Bamberg, the Cincinnati of the Rhine

Not every town can be San Francisco or St. Moritz.  Someplaces just have to be Keokuk IA. Germany has many lovely cities, and Bamberg.

Not that there is anything wrong with Bamberg, it just isn’t spectacular.  It’s a city where people live and work and study and love and eventually die, just like Cincinnati.  We went there because it was Thursday, and we had to be somewhere.

We started out in the Grunmarkt, the green market in the center of town.  Where once this was a thriving farmers market, now there are a couple of vegetable vendors and lots of stores just like at home–H&M, McDonalds, cell phone stores, drug stores, etc.  The statue was nice:


Why not a sea god near a river?

Why not a sea god near a river?


In any town on a European grand tour, you have walk from the wherever the bus parks to the cathedral.  That’s the drill, every time.  And that means uphill, because they always build the house of God as close to Him as possible.  So up the hill we trudged.  In this case you walk across a bridge to a tiny island in the river where the town hall was built.  The mural on the side of the building was interesting:

An impressive paint job

An impressive paint job


The artist did some serious showing off–the painting turns three dimensional with this angel, pointing to the artist’s signature:

Hard to miss who did this work.

Hard to miss who did this work.

We’re in Germany, so everything is neat and tidy.  Here is one of the older buildings in town, a brewery where they produce the local beer–a very strong, smoky flavored brew.  They say if you don’t like the first liter, have a couple more.  I decided not to try that technique–the stuff is apparently on a par with Guinness for flavor, and I’m not.  The building is gorgeous, though.  I don’t know how they keep the flowers blooming this late in the year, but everywhere in the city there are beautiful windoboxes.

Bars don't look this good in Walnut Creek.

Bars don’t look this good in Walnut Creek.

Reaching the top of the hill, gasping for air and holding both knees in pain, we arrived at the cathedral, or, as they say on these tours, “ABC”, another bloody church.  Dark, imposing, gothic, cold, nothing very interesting or notable until I saw the imagery for the Stations of the Cross on the side wall.  I don’t know anything about the artist, but I thought they were the most interesting thing in the entire city.


The tour ends at the cathedral, and you are left to find your own way back down the hill to the meeting point, which isn’t difficult since there is only one main street and you just follow the tourists.

Having time, we wanted to stop and have an ice cream, which seems to be national passion here.  The creations go far beyond the simple chocolate sundae, and we had to have one.

For some reason, the local ice cream parlors specialize in trompe l’oeil ice cream construction.  I had what was called a “pasta carbonara” sundae.  The chocolate ice cream is extruded in the shape of spaghetti then topped with nutella, hazelnuts and whipped cream to simulate a dinner entree.

Not exactly my favorite dish of pasta, but close.

Not exactly my favorite dish of pasta, but close.


Carol had a sundae prepared to resemble a chocolate truffle:

An enormous chocolate truffle, dripping with raspberry coulis.

An enormous chocolate truffle, dripping with raspberry coulis.


She thought it tasted like wine, and sure enough, there was sherrylikör in the ingredients list.  That’s probably illegal in California, but it sure tasted good in Germany.

And that was enough fun for Bamberg.  We had to hurry back to the ship to get ready for dinner, and try to pretend to Gail that I hadn’t ruined my appetite with my plate of “spaghetti”.

On to Nurenburg.


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