Tag Archives: Bamberg

Bamberg and milch kaffee

Houses along the Regnitz

The lovely little town of Bamberg is situated on the Regnitz River, a tributary of the Main. In fact, it’s kind of built over the river. As usual, there’s a busy old town filled with crowds of tourists. The Germans certainly look after their heritage, with all the lovely old half-timber and painted facades looking like they’re only a few years old.

The old town hall

Beautifully maintained facades

The cathedral’s famous horseman

We went along for the walking tour, crossing over the bridge at the old rathaus and climbing up to the (inevitable) cathedral. This time, a tour of the cathedral was not included, which is a shame because it’s a fascinating building filled with history going back to the eleventh century. But never, mind, I covered that stuff in this blog. Check it out. I’ll wait.

That was fun, wasn’t it? And you got to see the photo of the abbey across the valley from the Prince/bishop’s garden. There were far more people visiting this time than there were last time we were here.

The old residence. But when it became old-fashioned, the prince/bishop built a new one

The new residence. He ran out of money before he could demolish the old one (above) and extend.

Lovely mushrooms, fruit, nuts

We enjoyed wandering through the narrow, cobblestoned streets lined with antiques and art shops, and admiring the produce at the inevitable markets. The fruit and veg are just amazing – as are all the small goods and cheese. But while wandering around can be fun for a while, we both felt we were given too much time to kill. We eventually ended up in a café. We had discovered back in Bonn that the Germans have a thing called “milch kaffee” – which I don’t remember having seen on our previous visits to Europe. The closest thing we could get to a flat white then was a latte, which comes in a glass, so you have to wait for it to cool down before you can drink it. (Stoopid). Here’s the news, folks – “milch kaffee” is a flat white which comes in a huge cup (with handle). I managed to order two cups in Bonn in such flawless German that the lass at the counter asked me (in no doubt even better German) if we wanted something to eat with that. I managed to shake my head in a clearly Germanic way, and even worked out the right money on my own.

So here we were in Bamberg, with two cups of milch kaffee. We’d found in Australia that if an inexperienced kid who doesn’t drink coffee makes the coffee, you’re just as likely to end up with a cup of hot milk with a slightly brownish cast. Yep, happens in Germany, too. We ordered an espresso each, which we tipped into our milch kaffee. Perfect.

And then it was back to the ship, and the Main-Danube canal, where we would cross the European watershed. From there it would be downhill all the way to Budapest.

And here’s a sunset from the previous evening, with cormorants going home to roost


Day 9: Bamberg

IMG_1756Bamberg has so many historically significant buildings it has been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site. Unlike towns like Frankfurt and Nuremberg, it wasn’t bombed flat in the war. So there was some honour between the combatants. Unlike the recent destruction of Petra, but that’s another story. Anyway, you can read all about Bamberg here.

IMG_1743As usual, there’s an abbey on one hill, and the cathedral plus the stronghold of the cardinal princes who ruled the area on another hill. And lots and lots of cobblestoned roads lined with beautiful old buildings in a variety of architectural styles. We did a short tour of the cathedral, parts of which date back to the eleventh century. It’s one of the few churches that actually has two altars – one for the emperor and one for the church. And one pope is buried here – Clement II. He had been the local bishop before he was promoted, and asked to be interred here. Back in the day (1046) being pope was a sought-after job and since it’s given for life, the only way you got to be pope is if the incumbent died. Clement died of lead poisoning in 1047. Who knows if the death was deliberate? Suffice to say he was succeeded by Benedict IX, who had already been pope twice before at the time – the first time when he was just 20 years old. They were exciting times 🙂 (I knew there was a reason I read Medieval history)

There are lovely views to be had from the cathedral precinct where the rulers lived. You can bet there was a fortification up here well before the cathedral was built.

I have to admit that the various picturesque German villages tend to blur together in my memory. But each had its own unique quality. In this case it was the river Regnitz, which is a tributary of the Main. It was fascinating to see how the buildings have been built over the fast flowing river, incorporating rapids and arches. They obviously do kayak racing through the rapids. You can see the gates hanging over the water.

One thing all of these places have in common, though, is that just because the road is built of cobbles that doesn’t mean it’s for pedestrians only.Bamberg was particularly bad for this. The road (the bit for the cars) was delineated by some white lines. No kerbs. No gutters. And over there in Europe they drive on the wrong side of the road. Us Aussies had to remember to look LEFT for approaching cars. And if you’re wandering around in a large group, meandering out into the traffic because it’s crowded just behind the lollipop might not be a good idea. However, the locals know about the visitors. I have no doubt they talk about the browns cows while sharing a pint (I certainly would be), but the tourists are what keeps these places going, so tolerance has monetary value.

We had a very pleasant morning, nobody was killed or injured from playing in the traffic and we returned to the ship tired but happy.


The view from the palace


Looking down on the town


The courtyard at the residence


Note the murals on the walls


Rapids in the heart of town


The joys of a heritage listed home





Fresh produce at the market


More of the markets


Follow the leader along the cobblestoned street