Considering how close the city of Bamberg is to Bayreuth, it’s almost a little shameful that it took me almost five months to visit it. To be fair, I have been somewhat preoccupied going, well, EVERYWHERE else (proof on the travel tab, ma friends.)
But yesterday was the day. I’d heard such lovely things about Bamberg so was extra pleased that the sun had decided to come out shining – everything looks prettier set to backdrop of blue sky and sunshine, don’tcha think?
The old town centre is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and, located on the River Pegnitz close to its confluence with the River Main, Bamberg is full of waterways and bridges.
It may not be far from Bayreuth, here in Upper Franconia in Bavaria (in case ya didn’t know), but Bamberg is slightly awkward to get to by train. And being car-less, Emily and I were left with no other option. Alas, our train journey did not get off to the smoothest start…
Emily messaged me saying she couldn’t find her keys and was running a little late. No matter, thought I, I’ll just get our tickets. Having done so, a few minutes before our train was due to depart, it pulled into the platform. I’ll go get us a table seat, thought I, and duly did so, messaging Emily with the platform number and saying I’d meet her on the train. At 10.58, with two minutes until departure and no sign of Emily, I was starting to panic. What if the train left before she arrived and I was off to Bamberg on my own? I’d better get off, just in case.
Nervously waiting on the platform, I watched the clock turn to 11am. OH GAAAAAAD! About ten seconds before the train left, Emily ran up on to the platform and we ran on to the train, just in the nick of time. PHEW! Stress over, we settled down and watched the sunny Bavarian scenery go by as we whizzed over to Bamberg.
Once we arrived, Emily and I made our way to the city centre. Some people had told me Bamberg is smaller than Bayreuth, but it certainly seemed much bigger to me! Bustling with life on a bright Saturday afternoon, there was lots to see, including these cute cheeky chappies:
The market was on, and we strolled down the main street perusing the wares and, obviously, trying all the free samples.
It was lovely to pop in and out of cute boutiques (Bamberg certainly seems to have a lot of them).
|I'm a sucker for cute German cards...|
|...and anything sparkly. Ooooh sparkles!|
Being keen bakers, Emily and I couldn’t help but pop into a baking shop, and I particularly enjoyed these Bavarian-themed cookie cutters. Beer-shaped biscuit, anyone?
The city is really lovely – all exposed beams and adorable riverside houses. In fact this street of little fishermans’ houses is actually known as ‘Little Venice’, and I’m sure you can see why…
Another great sight is the Old Town Hall (below), in all its colourful glory. The thing is, as every blimmin’ building is so gorgeous, Emily and I spent hours amusing ourselves just admiring people’s houses.
Soon, we realised we needed a lunch-stop, and eventually found somewhere to suit our requirements: cheap, so preferably a bakery where you order at a counter, with a loo, and inside tables and chairs. Not that we’re fussy.
Generally, people tend to speak English to us after hearing us chatting to each other. However, we always reply in German, and from then on they usually also stick to their mother tongue. Not bakery lady, my friends, oh no. We must have had a conversation with her for a good five minutes (what? I had a lot of questions about the bagels!), and despite Emily and I saying everything in German, she replied every time in English! IT’S. SO. ANNOYING! Why do people do it? Are they trying to show off that they can speak English!? GARGH!
Anyway, the bagel was nice after all that, and it certainly hit the spot.
Re-energised, Emily and I walked off round the corner to find something very exciting… A FROYO SHOP! In Germany! FROYO IN GERMANY! Y’all may know how much of a froyo fan I am (my friends and I must surely play a big part in keeping Bristol’s multiple froyo places afloat), yet it’s not a big deal in Germany at all, tragically.
Sure, we’d just had lunch and weren’t hungry, but you’ve gotta take the opportunity to get a rare froyo fix, haven’t you? Despite it being a chilly winter day, Emily and I pounced.
Yo&mi is the name of the place, and it’s only been open a month or so (froyo is apparently very new to ze Germans). Living up to my sister’s theory that froyo shops are always cool/trendy/fun inside, yo&mi certainly had a cute vibe going on.
The lady behind the counter was lovely, and despite starting off speaking English to us, after Emily and I replied in German, she proceeded to do the same. YES!
We were thoroughly spoilt for choice when it came to toppings, but both went for yummy fruit purées – mango for me and berry for Emily. Combined with seriously creamy natural froyo, it was soooo delish!
Full of froyo joy, we set off up the hill to the cathedral, and what a nice cathedral it was too.
Some people say, 'you've seen once church, you've seen them all,' but I don't really agree with that. Bamberg cathedral was very grand but a lot less elaborately built than many others. I always like to go inside for a moment or two of peace. I've gotta say though, it really is time to take the Christmas trees and other decorations down now, Germany. Not just in the cathedral but everywhere else. Seriously.
Emily and I carried on our stroll up the hill to Michaelsberg Abbey. En route, however, we stumbled upon a cheeky little alcy shop full of interesting flavoured liquors and local specialities. When the man offered us the opportunity to sample a few, we weren't exactly going to say no, were we?
Unsurprisingly, I particularly enjoyed the sweet ones: an amazingly intense peach liquor and this Apfel Strudel (only in Germany eh?) one...
Somewhat warmed from the inside, we carried on up the hill to the abbey. It was yet another beautiful, grand, old building, and what's more, we were treated to a fab view over the city. Alas, the sun had gone in and grey cloud had descended, but I suppose we were lucky to have sunshine for half the day, at least.
Emily and I then wandered back down into the city, strolled along the river bank and moseyed round the shops some more before heading back to the station. Luckily, this time we were both there with plenty of time to spare.
I really enjoyed my day in Bamberg and to be honest, can see why it's more of a tourist trap than Bayreuth (I still love ya though, BT!) I'd definitely recommend a visit.
With only a few weeks left in Germany (*sob*), I'm continuing to pow out my travels. Watch this space...