We did have a great lecture by an expert on the Main Canal which explained how the locks worked and gave details on the system history and operation. We both enjoyed it very much.
We docked at dawn in Bamberg, misty in the morning light.
Nick was still a bit under the weather so I took the excursion without him, passing more hanging signs and old shops and corner saints which make these cities so picturesque.
The rather distorted panorama of the accommodation buildings for visitors; massively huge!
A former monastery
The city has an amazing frescoed town hall through which the main gateway to the city passes over a bridge. These days the kayakers play on the waters below the sluice and the mills no longer run. But the water is swift and they use it for power. For a photographer, it is very pretty.
Town Hall frescoes, bridge and medieval rooms
In the city square fishmarket a fountain featuring Neptune and his trident was never really understood by the land locked populace. Instead it became a place to meet “by the fork”, and has remained so.
A featured taste of the town is smoked beer. I believe in trying the specialities, but beer that tasted like bacon was a bit beyond my tastebuds. I had a few sips only and will not be in a hurry to repeat the experience.
We had a lovely talk by the captain about the boat and everything connected with it. I was pleased to hear that the sewage is digested by bacteria before discharge. Apparently it was just jettisoned previously, Eeewww! There were more pleasant statistics about engines and steering (by engines and propellers, not by rudders) width and depth to match the canal measurements and height to fit under the bridges, plus how locks work and their dimensions.
As we sailed, this lock entrance glowed in the pretty evening light. We sailed in on the level and the were dropped down.
On to Wurzberg! We arrived quite early to a view of a massive fortress, the Marienberg Fortress and home to the Prince/Bishop of Wurzburg before he decided on a city Residence (modelled on Versailles) as more convenient. There was also, apparently, a small weekender out in the country of similar size, just in case one wanted a respite.
Market church nave with new glass
Nothing else exists like this, though it is by necessity, a faithful reconstruction after the war. Indeed, it boggles the mind at how often and how devotedly people persist in reproducing exactly what was damaged or lost. Is it worth it? What are the psychological imperatives that drive such reconstruction? What would be the alternatives? Perhaps the concrete brutality of much of post war Britain.
The French Gardens of the Residence are always open to the public and we visited. Very pretty conical evergreens and planted annual borders of multiple flowers, the tulips and poppies getting past their best.
A drive set up for tasting