"Blue Red and Grey"

Trip Start May 25, 2013
Trip End Jun 23, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's another blue sky morning as we rise early for a quick breakfast before a 90 minutes bus trip to Nürnberg (Nuremberg) on the Pegnitz River in the Bavaria where Nazi rallies dominated during WWII and the subsequent Nuremberg Trials relating to war crimes were held.

With a local guide on board, we see the inner town from the bus windows. It's a very frustating exercise as travel is too fast to see properly or for photography.

We alight at Nuremberg Castle, first documented in 1050 and expanded over the years. It sits within extensive city walls with impressive fortification, towers and has never been breached.

It was damaged in WWII but subsequently restored and contains a youth hostel in one of the larger buildings. We enjoy the panorama of the city from the forecourt. There are numerous spires and Fachwerkhäuser - 'half timber' houses.

Our guide then walks us through the town to the market square where a produce market is in full swing. There is an impressive Gothic Schöner Brunnen - a gold spired fountain and a Glockenspiel in the clocktower of the church along one side. It plays daily at midday with puppet musicians 'playing' their instruments while others parade around central figure.

We buy some delicious cherries and gingerbread from the market and head for the bus. The air-conditioning fails again...

We barely have enough time to wash our faces and eat lunch before returning to the bus for for a short ride to the Würzburg Residenz. The vast UNESCO-listed compound near the center of the town was commissioned by two prince-bishops and was modelled on the Palace of Versailles. It was extensively damaged in WWII but completely rebuilt. Fortunately, all that could be remove for safe-keeping had been. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo created the largest fresco in the world, which adorns the vault over the staircase and survived in tact. It is an impressive work of art. It has rococco room after room with extensive plaster stucco detailing, crystal chandeliers, a gold mirrored room like Versaille and enormous tapestries. However, the bishop now lives in a more modest residence in town.

This afternoon's guide stresses she is from the region of Franconia, not Northern Bavaria!
She is an art curator and a good leader through the Residenz. She then leads us down to the old town. A wine festival is in full swing in the market square with many long tables of people eating and drinking.

Along the river, we find the Alte Mainbrücke - a bridge dating from 1473. It is similar to the Charles Bridge in Prague with statues of saints across its width. From its centre, we can see that water is spilling over walls and still raging downstream.

It has been a long, tiring day - not an example of the sort of relaxing travel and sightseeing we had paid for. There is the unappealing prospect of full days of bus travel to get us to Budapest in time. We return to the boat for dinner. The mood is more grey and sombre as the various tables talk amongst themselves, postulating what would be best after tomorrow's planned program.

Luckily, the crew are putting on a show tonight to lighten the mood. 'Our' original crew would have done the same on our last night, had we stayed with them the full 15 days. It is a blend of slapstick, a bit of toilet humour and a very clever (and funny) act using frying pans and ladles as 'gongs' under the dressing gowns of three otherwise scantily clad waiters.

With no energy left to even shower, l flop into bed. Sleep is required before tomorrow's early departure to Regensburg.

"Blue Red and Grey" by The Who
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Bev Dean on

Thank you for your photographic travelogue. I'm sorry your cruise has been so messed up - but that's life.

Gayle on

Anyone seen my towel?

Ian on

I stayed in the youth hostel at Nuremberg. I remember it was at the top of a steady walk uphill through the town.

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