for the occasion of my mother in law’s visit, a little bit of travel was in order. not only was it her first time in the czech republic, but her first time in europe, so she was really eager to travel west to neighboring germany (a country of her ancestry) to set foot in the vaterland. even though we are really close to austria here, nope! germany it must be. but if you know me, you know that i had no problem with that.
i also knew that she isn’t a big fan of major metropolises, and because bavaria is the closest region of germany to us, a specific city came immediately to mind: bamberg. located in upper bavaria (more specifically, the franconia region), this town just a bit north of nuremburg is unesco designated, has the most gorgeous architecture i can remember seeing in germany, and well, THE BEST BEER. what a place to go to see germany if you’ve only got a weekend!
i knew this trip would be very special to me for other reasons as well. bamberg was one of my favorite destinations when i spent a semester studying and fairly extensively traveling around germany ten years ago this year. the stars aligned!
we went by rail – it was a bit rough going however by the time we got to cheb (a czech city near the northwestern border with germany) and realized: a) our train had turned into a bus due to construction between the czech and german borders, b) the departure time had moved so that we had exactly two minutes to catch this bus, and c) i was definitely not informed by either české dráhy or deutsche bahn of this change. (thanks a lot, guys – our thoughts on two extra connections somewhere in the german borderlands, above)
needless to say, we were relieved to finally set foot in bamberg after all of this – of course the first thing we did after checking in to our accommodation was go directly across the bridge past the altes rathaus (old town hall) to schlenkerla brewery – my personal beer mecca.
schlenkerla is world famous for brewing the best smoked beer in the world – dark, full of umami, and so addicting! the flavor isn’t for everyone and may be a bit acquired, especially for your average pilsner drinker, but give it time and an open mind and you were surely come to love it. sitting at our restaurant table (shared by a local, because german beer hall), given our first frosty beer from the kind beer maiden…. heaven! i think i’ve been waiting ten years for that. of course the food there is absolutely delicious, as well.
besides feasting on the great food and drink to be had (so many great beers brewed in this town and surroundings!), we wandered all over the city, popped into a couple of churches, shopped, had many a coffee sitting along the banks of the regnitz river with the sun in our faces… just holiday things.
the area along the river, below, is called “little venice” (klein venedig) because of the pretty row of small half-timbered cottages balancing on poles set in the water.
of course, i couldn’t leave without recreating this famous photo from my 2007 trip to bamberg with friends… ten years later, standing in nearly that same spot, still loving that schlenkerla rauchbier. only time will tell if there will be a twenty years later photo – hah! also, guys… i’ve got a lot of rauchbier at home right now. it’s wonderful.
(below – 2007 vs 2017)
have you ever gone back to a place after so many years (and taken a photo in the same spot) like this? deutschland – just always a joy.
this post is a part of the wonderful wanderful wednesday with van, isabel, marcella, and lauren.