Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Sunday, September 27, 2009

Our train ride up to Bamberg, in Bavaria, was one of the most frustrating yet. We got on the train just fine in Munich and had to switch over in Nurnberg.  Our first train was running behind so we missed our connection by a few minutes.  So we waited for an hour on the correct platform (according to the computer) for the next connecting train.  That time came and went.  Ticked off, we went down to the service counter and they said the train was switched to a different platform.  I asked how people were supposed to know that and he drew us a picture on a scrap of paper.  He said up in the corner of the information board on the platform, there is a information bar and thats where it said it.  But this is only in German, yet English is printed everywhere else!  Ahhh!!!  So we had to spend 2 hours of a gorgeous afternoon standing on a train platform.  Luckily, the next train came to the correct spot and we got on. 

We arrived in Bamberg in time to get a bus out to our hostel but only part way there, we would have to wait another hour for the other bus.  So, we didn't want wait after wasting so much time at the train station earlier.  Instead we took the first bus and walked a good 30 minutes with our bags to the hostel, but it was right on the river so it was worth it.  We walked into town that night - at least 40 minutes both ways because the buses weren't running anymore.  It was a great walk though through the woods- but not as much fun walking back in complete darkness.  We went to one of the 9 breweries that night for dinner.  In 1888 there was 65 breweries but now only 9.  But still, 9 is a lot for a small town.  We went to the Rauchbier Brewery that's specialty is smoked beer that tastes like bacon.  It sounds terrible but was actually really good.  We had potato pancakes with sauerkraut and sausages and it went really well with the beer. 

Bamberg is awesome by the way.  Lonely Planet described it as one of the best towns in Germany and we HIGHLY agree with that.  Probably the best town in Germany (and that says a lot).  There are a bunch of canals that run through the town and that are lined with old buildings and lots of bridges.  It is definitely one of the most scenic and romantic towns we have been in.  There are a lot of parks, churches, a palace, a monastery and of course, the 9 breweries. 

Our hostel let us take 2 bikes from their shed and we rode into town.  The first day we wondered all around town and saw the basics that we always start with and went to the monastery that looks over the city for some great views.  They have a neighborhood called Little Venice that is a bunch of colorful old homes right on the water front.  They each have their own boats docks but they are so old that they look like their going to fall into the water at any moment.  That night we rode back to the hostel (which was a 20 minute ride) through the woods and discovered our bike lights didn't work.  It was a little hard riding in complete darkness right next to the water but we made it.

The second full day we went out to the shed to get two more bikes.  The one I rode the day before was really uncomfortable so I picked a different one that had no bike lock.  That day we rode into town and saw the few things we didn't see the day before.  Like climbing to the top of the town tower that was part of a castle to look over the city (again).  After all that, we went to some of the breweries so we could to try their famous beers.  We couldn't make it to all of them but the ones we did go to all had pretty good beer, were all in old traditional Bavarian buildings and were more like beer halls.  That night we rode back and I had my wonderful new bike that had a light - true happiness.  When we rode up to the hostel, the chef ran outside straight for us.  It was somewhat understood that the chef was the owner of the hostel and he was a pretty sarcastic guy, so when he came up to me and said "That's my bike", I took it as he was joking around and that he owns all the bikes.  I replied with a "Yeah, its a nice bike".  He said he couldn't go home that afternoon and was waiting for it.  Oh, his personal bike!  I quickly got off and said sorry, explaining that it was in the bike shed with all the other bikes and unlocked.  He seemed kind of mad but not at me.  He just wanted to go home.  How embarrassing.  We had to ride back into town to get dinner so again, we had to take the old uncomfortable one...and it was even darker, and know I had no light.  Damn!  My bum hurt the next day.  But that night we actually had to change hotels because the hostel was hosting about 50 8th graders!  They came the night before and made more noise then I thought possible.  We were happy to leave.  So we changed to another hotel just down the street. 

The next morning we got the bus and were off to Heidelberg.
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