Bavaria – Part 3 – Bamberg

For the final installment of my recent Bavarian sojourn, I was very briefly in Bamberg (as I have already described the heavenly lager, Mahrs, that I drank).  What was stunning to me, was the number of churches (again!), the cleanliness and the several “brew pubs” that I saw; below is the magnificent and stately, Obere Pfarre Church – which I preferred to Bamberg Dom.

I had a schnitzel, for probably the first time in years, with pomme frites in a delightful outdoor court, complete with covering for the rain, and also visited Bamberg Dom, that was complete with a roof top garden, and a spectacular view over the rest of Bamberg.

Finally, went to the start of the St James Camino in Bamberg at St Jakobs Church, that also featured several maps of the complete set of Caminos in Europe.

Bavaria – Part 2

As this isn’t really a “beer and vomit” type of elegy to Germany, Part 2 will start with something that is even spiritual, the Saint James Camino, or as stated in German, St Jakobs Weg. Yes, THAT camino, and there are numerous variations of this not only in Bavaria, but in other parts of Germany as well, as this map shows; with the red way in northern Spain (The French Way) being the most popular. If interested, please try this site, for further information.

My journey was only for two days, and was in southern Franconia, though still beautiful!  And this comes to another point about Germany, and specifically Bavaria – their churches.  I have always wondered why they are not as renown as others in Europe.  The particular style in Bavaria is Rococo, though I could be wrong that it applies to every church here (probably I am!).

On our first stage to Effeltrich was delightful, and still so close to cities, but JUST far enough to feel a sense of remoteness – however false that was.  In addition, there will always be a village or small town within an hour of you, complete with all things German (bakeries, Gasthauses with Bier, etc). What was unusual here in Effeltrich, was a bizarre “church / fort” (in German a “Wehrkirche – Fortified Church”), at the end of the stage, called St Georg.  More information can be found here.

St Georg, Effeltrich, Germany

The second stage was continued a few days later, and started from Effeltrich via a bus, to Forcheim.  Whilst we took a wrong turn in a forest after Pinzberg (to Kersbach), we still had time to discover a delightful trinity of churches / chapels in Pinzberg.

The first was a chapel (Kappelle)

Kappelle near Pinzberg

Followed by another Kappelle, complete with outdoor seating for services.  Interesting and with an ode to German efficiency, it was possible to not only collect a stamp for your Camino book, but also to listen to some spiritual tunes as well.  Magnificent!

Seating for outdoor Mass, near Pinzberg
Kappelle, on outskirts of Pinzberg
Shell and Stamp for your use. Cool hi-fi system!

The final stop in Pinzberg, was at St Nikolaus, with a smaller chapel inside, for use of children.

St Nikolaus, PInzberg
Shell and Stamp, St Nikolaus, Pinzberg

Afterwards, we meandered to Forcheim central, but stopped along the way at a Lutheran church, St. Johannis – Evangelisch-Lutherische, in it’s outskirts, though still part of the camino.  Yes, non-Catholic churches take part here; even in Bavaria.  Though in this case, it was not as ornamental as other places.   Though it still had the blue and yellow shell signifying the camino.

St. Johannis – Evangelisch-Lutherische, Forcheim
Inside St. Johannis – Evangelisch-Lutherische, Forcheim

Finally, ended in the centre of Forcheim, with what else a bier. In this case, it was a Tucher, information here.

Lunch and Tucher beer in Forcheim

If you do notice one thing though, in the summer in this neck of the woods, there are wasps EVERYWHERE there is food.  Hence, you simply have to use the beer coaster (Untersetzer) on top of a beer. You’ve been warned. But if you require more information on this, please check out here.

Bavaria – Part 1

It’s probably been said numerous times; a traveler goes to Munich, and talks about, or ONLY talks about the Lowenbrau tent at Octoberfest, and getting hammered, etc.  Seen it, done it, years, as in YEARS ago!  Not impressed, and besides, for anyone with any, and I mean any inclination or brains, it’s Augustiner beer that’s the best that Bavaria (or Munich) produces.  So the purpose of this post, is not the stereotypical reminiscing about Deutschland, but of some unknown or even idiosyncrasies that I’ve noticed this last trip and before.

First, the cigarette machines.  Yes, they are everywhere, and with a finger to the PC brigade, it gives people there the choice – and btw, you can only purchase with credit cards; no cash.

Cigarettes for Sale publicly

The second part, is the food.  Whoever has said that the cuisine in Germany is shite, has simply never been there or in Bavaria.  Even something very simple as a salad, has ALWAYS come in a dressed, elaborate manner, that is delicious.  For example the Swiss variety of Wurstsalat (sausage salad).  So simple, with a non-fattening style of dressing; more vinegar than oil.

Wurstsalat – Swiss variety

As for the Churches, that will be next, in Part 2, when you can see my report from one of their St James Caminos.