Day 11: Glassblowing, mind blowing scenery and Miltenberg

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Swans in a misty landscape

Today was a little bit different. We gathered in the Amavenita‘s lounge to watch a demonstration of glass blowing. This wasn’t the sort of bending of glass into animals that you see in Venice. Hans Ittig and his family make glass instruments such as pipettes, test tubes and precision instruments in their workshop. As well as fun items like sparrows, glass bowls and so on. He told us a little of his family’s history, how his grandfather had escaped from East Germany and settled in Wertheim. The bitterness of being seen as refugees in their own country shone through several times.

IMG_1929 IMG_1930As Hans worked the river glided past. The autumn colours and the mist reflecting in the still water made its own kind of mind blowing magic. I admit I ducked outside for a few photos. But I did notice that Hans had hauled up our mate Bruce to help him make a glass bauble. Vicky and Bruce now have a wonderful souvenir, not quite perfect but absolutely unique.

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A bird takes off from the river

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Miltenberg

After lunch we went off to visit another medieval German village! They do all start to blur into a continuum, but once again, this one gave us something a little bit different. We could walk into town, so we met our guides near the bridge. Just pick your lollipop colour. Our group’s guide spoke impeccable English with a London accent. Yes, a London girl who had married a German. Pete actually picked her accent as being from Camberwell. She was pretty astonished – but Pete has relos there.

For this visit each of us had been given a sheet with questions on it, a sort of treasure hunt. Our guide would tell us the answers as we did the village tour. We walked along while she told us the history of Miltenberg. You can find the gist here. There is a castle, of course. But no cathedral.

IMG_1963 IMG_1947 IMG_1949We were led through the main street lined with houses from the 17th century, the sort of half timber buildings of Tudor times.

On the way, we visited a restaurant for a taste of pretzels and a shot of schnaps. We would have been taken to the bakery, but it was closed, being a Sunday. The pretzels were interesting. I’ve always thought they were the little crunchy things you eat with beer, but this was a bread roll sprinkled liberally with salt, but shaped in that knot pattern. The schnaps came in a little bottle and we were encouraged to throw it down the hatch. Very warming on a coolish day.

We stopped at the butchers’ too, where we were offered slices of various German smallgoods. Just the thing for someone with my upbringing, and what I sampled was delicious.

See that white castle above the town in the large picture? It was there that the baby who would become Queen Victoria was conceived. How ’bout that? The Germans could claim that she’d been made in Germany 🙂

Then it was free time. I climbed up the wet cobbles up to the castle and was rewarded with a lovely view of the Main with the bridge reflecting in its waters. Here’s one more to finish today’s visit.  PS. All the treasure hunt entries were placed in a barrel and Cherie picked the first entry with all correct answers. There was a prize, but I don’t remember what it was.

Next time, we’re back to the big cities.

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