We had a lovely breakfast in the cosy dining room of the guesthouse. We tucked into cereals, yoghurt, juice, tea, coffee, bread rolls – and with our bottomless stomachs, it kept us going for about an hour! Our first stop was the tourist office because we needed to find an internet cafe to sort out some hotel bookings. The town was gorgeously quiet as it was early Sunday morning, and we were directed to the only place open. It turned out to be one of the strangest places we’ve ever been! It was basically an incredibly dark and smoky games arcade with a dragon-like woman in charge who was definitely not pleased to see us. Oh well, the computers worked…
We left blinking in the bright, natural sunlight and started our day of sightseeing. We both absolutely loved Bamberg straight away, it was beautiful, chilled and definitely deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status. To begin, we visited the Cathedral and Monastery (in both, we didn’t really know what we were looking at other than lots of religious imagery, but we enjoyed speculating!)
After a bakery lunch and some kuchen (still enthusiastically embracing German traditions), we climbed to the top of the hill overlooking the town and took a tour around the Neue Residenz, an imposing castle-like stately home. We were two of only four on our tour, which was unfortunately mostly in German, but we did have some written information and were really pleased we visited. We especially liked the huge porcelain chimneys in each room, which served to conceal the fireplaces from the ‘important’ people, somewhat unnecessarily in our view!
We continued our wanders through the town and next to the river Regnitz, and soon succumbed to the temptation of more Rauchbier. We sat in the beer garden of Schlenkerla, the most famous brewery, and were suddenly surrounded by English speakers, mostly Australian (previously, we had heard very little English spoken at all). We thought it was very funny that they complimented us on our excellent English. Why, thank you – we’ve been practising all our lives! When their group got up to leave, Oli possibly gave the game away that we weren’t local because he asked for a full pint of beer that they had left, but free beer is free beer and it seemed a terrible waste! We didn’t seem to last long on the beer and mainly got a bit sleepy, which meant we were in bed before 10pm on both nights, most unlike us. We had another good dinner of local sausages then straight to bed ready for another day of travel tomorrow, to Prague via Nüremberg.