Day 1 in Europe: Frankfurt to Bamberg

2 Oct

It’s 11 p.m. local time here in Germany, 2 p.m. back in Seattle, and I’m operating on only a two-hour nap in the past 34 hours. Pardon the typos!

If time is short, skip to the photos below. Otherwise, here’s the deal:

I had a pretty horrible routing: Seattle to Dallas, Dallas to Frankfurt. About 6 or 7 hours longer than if I had just flown Lufthansa from Seattle. But it was a mileage ticket, so it had to be.

I had extra legroom for the 10-hour DFW-FRA part, but that don’t mean diddly if the guy in the seat next to you is 300 pounds. Sigh. It was impossible to sleep, even with Advil PM.

Upon arrival I had two hours to kill in the train station before catching my train to Bamberg, in Bavaria. It was a 3-hour trip, and of course the trains in Germany run pretty much right on time.

Somehow I have lucked into some glorious weather – hardly a cloud in the sky, and temps in the upper 60s.

I walked to my AirBnB place near the city center. Peter welcomed me in and showed me to my room. It’s plenty comfy. He’s got a few other boarders and I met a couple of them.

From there I did a fair bit of walking for a couple of hours, touring the oldest part of the postcard-perfect town.

By 4 p.m. I needed a drink, of course. And I found one of the seven breweries in town, called Mahrs Brau. The had a pilsner they call “the U” that is pretty famous and damn good. Probably because they’ve been brewing it for centuries.

I was at a table by myself when four gentlemen asked if they could share the table with me. By the time several rounds had come and gone, I learned that these guys were old friends from Hamburg who gather each year in a different German town to ride bikes and drink beer. It was nice of them to take pity on the solo traveler and include him in their “Prosts!”

After that I headed back to my room to crash, that two hours of sleep I mentioned above. Then I got up to go find food. Which I did. Pizza. I’m saving the over-the-top German meat feast for tomorrow.

When I got back to the room, Peter, my host, invited me into the kitchen where he and the other boarders were having a beer tasting. Good times. And I was shown a German culinary tradition: the wrapping of chocolate in proscuitto. Your mind says no but your mouth says “Damn! Das ist gut!”

That’s enough for one day – er, two days if you count the travel time.

Behold:

Catching the train to Bamberg from the Frankfurt airport.

Catching the train to Bamberg from the Frankfurt airport.

Tranquility.

Tranquility.

More street scenes.

More street scenes.

Typical street scene.

Typical street scene.

A river runs through it -- briskly.

A river runs through it — briskly.

City hall of Bamberg.

City hall of Bamberg.

You go, Germany.

You go, Germany.

Tourists aplenty.

Tourists aplenty.

Scenic? Possibly.

Scenic? Possibly.

Yummy half-litre at Marh's Brau. "The U."

Yummy half-litre at Marh’s Brau. “The U.”

Beer tasting with friends at my Bamberg crash pad.

Beer tasting with friends at my Bamberg crash pad.

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