The Beer Capital of Germany...
Bamberg Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
Bamberg is a reasonably sized town situated in the northern parts of Bavaria. Apparently it has the privilege of having more beer consumed per head of population than anywhere else in Germany - which considering how much of life revolves around drinking beer here that’s saying something! To help this on it’s way there are nine breweries located in the town so you’ll never be short of a range of local brews to try.
We arrived at the station in late afternoon meaning we’d been travelling for over twelve hours by this point. Ascertaining that our hotel was supposedly within walking distance we decided to eschew the notion of catching a cab and proceeded to set off on foot.
The walk itself took us up the main shopping street through the new part of the town and up to the river, which basically acts as a border between the new and old towns. We passed a variety of shops but it has to be said that the number of what I can only describe as ‘Hip Hop Attire’ shops on this stretch of road seemed somewhat out of proportion to the size of the town.
The walk turned out to be a good fifteen minutes and wouldn’t have been too bad if we weren’t being bombarded with frozen rain! It was too icy to be snow, two wet to be hail and too solid to be sleet - so frozen rain it is. Dragging your luggage around in this weather looking for your hotel is great fun I can tell you - no wonder we all ended up with flu as the week progressed!
Hotel Central was situated at the edge of the old town just across the river and once we’d located it there was finally the chance of a shower and little R and R in a thankfully warm room.
Reasonably refreshed the need for food became paramount so we set out for the old town to try and find somewhere to eat. The weather had eased up a bit but it was still dark, damp and cold so we basically ended up piling into the first place we found. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it but it was a nice enough traditional bar serving typical local food, although it was surprisingly quiet.
The bar staff were friendly and were seemingly very concerned that the gluwein stall situated in the freezing street outside was busy whilst they were serving about five different type of speciality gluwein and no one was coming inside to drink it.
Unfortunately as the place wasn’t that full it got a bit cold and they told us the heating was automatic so they couldn’t turn it up. What they did do however was bring a temperature gage down for us so we could see exactly how cold it was and provide blankets for my mother and sister to wrap around their legs which they found most exciting.
The long day was taking its toll on half our party but as it was the first day of our holiday my sister and I weren’t about to retire for the evening just yet. Braving the rain once more we set off into the old town to try and find another, livelier drinking establishment and potentially find another hostelry to eat at the following night.
ignoring the rain we trudged about for a while before deciding on a weird looking weinstube based on the fact that they had a big sign showing a traditional Bavarian white wineglass outside. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) this place was just closing so we were out of luck. Our brief inspection showed it to be a bit of a dodgy looking place with some bloke who first off accused us of being American and then pretended that he was English - ‘Sheffield - I know it well. It’s in Norfolk yes?’ Hmmm...
The next place we tried was much more successful. We happened upon a very traditional looking weinstube, Zum Kachelofen, which turned out to be tiny inside and packed to the rafters with people enjoying some hearty looking food. Having established we could sit at the bar for a drink (this place was probably smaller than my front room) we spent a few hours discussing the usual rubbish you do in these sort of situations. Perusing the menu we decided that this was more than suitable for a meal the following day but failed in our attempts to reserve a table as the owner said people just turned up - you hang around at the bar for a bit until there was a free table. No need to book.
As the evening drew on I hadn’t realised that Rebecca was now somewhat merry, although the way she made the American barman hide because she kept asking him why he wasn’t wearing the traditional lederhosen like the waiter, should perhaps have given a clue.
After numerous glasses we decided to call it a night and set off back to the hotel. Thankfully it had now stopped raining / snowing which was probably a good thing as Rebecca was now in full effect. Having picked up an apple from the bar somewhere she then decided she wasn’t going to eat it and proceeded to keep drop kicking it down the street in front of us. Once she tired of this it was decided that we needed to sing a rendition of The Wild Rover at full blast which we duly did. The problem is that she only seems to know one verse (The ‘I went to an alehouse I used to frequent, and I told the landlady my money was spent… one) and she couldn’t be swayed from repeating that one over and over again.
I was cold, tired and now somewhat embarrassed so for once I was glad to be retiring to bed at a reasonable hour!