We took an early train/bus combo from Prague and arrived in Bamberg around noon. Along the way we got a taste of some of the weather Edmonton has been having with tonnes of wet snow, but luckily it was just rain by the time we reached our destination.
This little town is perfect, we are happy to be back in Germany! They have colourful buildings, the typical Bavarian half-timber style, with steep roofs. The old town hall is situated on an island in the middle of the river, with views of the castle and cathedrals on hilltops around the city. Old town feel with modern infrastructure; bike lanes, shared roadway, a new bridge.
It’s home to 70,000 people and 9 breweries – not a bad ratio. Naturally we had to try them all! On the first day we were a little more ambitious and peppy than day 2.
Some of the breweries have been around since the 1500’s, and the newer breweries on the block are a mere 150 years old.
The town specialises in smoked beer too, like Cesky Krumlov, but rather than smoking the hops, they smoke the malt, which I prefer. The best was the special lent beer, a dark, strong and smokey number served only this weekend – lucky us!
Each of the breweries had a similar aesthetic, cosy interiors with vaulted ceilings or exposed wood beams, well worn wood tables and chairs, interior courtyards, and delicious smells.
The comraderie is incredible. Strangers gathered around large tables, united by beer – Prost!
Good Friday was a quiet day in the town, with most of the shops and restaurants open. It was very spring-like (finally!) and we took a walk by the river. Kayakers were taking turns doing courses in the rapids.
The breweries were still open despite the holiday, and people were spilling out in the street, gathered in the street with drinks in hand.