The last leg of our road trip was to be centered in Nuremberg at an Airbnb apartment, where we were scheduled to stay for three nights. During our drive from Munch, I checked the Airbnb site and noticed that there was a recent negative review of this place — mostly that it was unclean. Well, I thought that sounded like something that would be addressed immediately and I hoped for the best. I had received instructions from the owner about how to find the hidden keys in the yard, which seemed a bit unusual but not a big deal. We arrived kind of late around 10pm and the place seemed okay — not perfectly clean, but not filthy. Kathryn realized right away that the wifi wasn't working. We entered and re-entered the password and restarted the router, but the internet was unavailable. Since it was late, I waited until the next morning to contact the owner. We slept pretty well that night, but got a better look at the bathroom in the morning and it wasn't very clean. There was mildew, grungy bath rugs and the towels were old and thin. I tried calling two phone numbers listed in the owners profile and neither connected (got a German operator). Not a good sign. I emailed a message and hoped to get an immediate response.
We decided to go to Bamberg in the morning anticipating that we could cover the sights there in a few hours. It turned out that we really loved it there and could have stayed the whole day. What a beautiful town! The weather turned favorable and it was great to see the wonderful architecture and gardens in the sunshine. We sat at a café near the landmark bridge for awhile and tried some smoked beer (because of the local uniqueness of it). It doesn't sound good, right? It tastes like beer initially and then a smoky aftertaste hits — kind of like an ashtray might taste — ick.
We tore ourselves away from Bamberg and drove back to Nuremberg. As we were walking around, we noticed that there were a lot of buskers on the streets. Some were really good and some were mediocre. It took us awhile to notice posters advertising a world music festival for that weekend. Cool! We walked around most of the fortified wall and then hiked up to the fortress (they are ALWAYS on a hill!). There were more musicians to listen to along the way. After we took in the view for awhile, we found a Czech/German restaurant close by. We all chose schnitzel this time. The guy waiting on us was really nice and even let Dick leave the restaurant without the full bill being paid so he could get more cash to settle up.
There were several large stages for bands set up throughout the city and we stopped to listen to a couple of them. We really enjoyed the French band, La Gapette. Very entertaining! There was also a German band that had a lot of instruments and a great lead singer. It was a lot of fun to hear music everywhere we went!
Since I didn't get any response from the Airbnb host, I decided to cancel our last night and booked a hotel room further west instead. I'm glad we did because the second night the neighbors camped outside our bedroom window to have a smoke at 1am. Ugh! We were glad to leave this place behind on Saturday. [Note: The host responded with a defensive message three days later. Airbnb was very cooperative and honored my refund request.]
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a lovely place that typically shows up on lists of quintessential must see German towns. Hitler apparently thought it was quintessential also and it was a Nazi stronghold. Anyway, we started our last day there with schneeballen and coffee. We browsed the shops, including the original Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas store. Then we walked up to the fortress for another nice view. The gardens there were very nice. Lunch was flammkuchen for each of us, which were bigger than we expected. So much for a lite lunch! After that we walked on part of the fortified wall to get back to our car.
Our last stop on this Bavarian journey was Würzburg. Our time was getting short so we drove right to the Imperial Palace and parked there. It was a beautiful warm day and we enjoyed walking through the extensive gardens at the palace. They were gorgeous! We walked into the old city from there stopping for gelato along the way. This city was bombed during WWII and is therefore not as well preserved as Bamberg or Rothenburg. People like to hang out and drink wine or beer on the old bridge, which has been restored. I don't think I've ever seen people sipping wine on a city bridge before. We were dehydrated and very thirsty, so we stopped into a grocery store for our drinks. It was another climb up to the fortress, but we didn't get quite to the top. There was a nice look out part way up. A few hours were all we needed in this city.
Our last night was spent in a cozy old hotel just west of Wurzburg. While we were there, we joined a video conference with Jasmine & Matt and other family members as they opened a sealed envelope to reveal that they are having a baby GIRL! It was so much fun to be with them for this happy moment. Thank God there is wifi everywhere and we can stay connected wherever we go! We're also grateful that we can now use our cellphone data anywhere in the EU without extra fees.
We travelled over 2000 kilometers on our Bavaria roadtrip, visited 10 cities in two countries, five hotels, one castle, one concert hall, six palaces, five fortresses, two cloisters, seven (or eight?) churches, three beer halls, two funiculars, two cable cars, ate a lot of German food, walked a lot of miles and created priceless memories!