A quick little trip to another nice and mostly unknown part of Germany:
…where Woodpecker spent a happy youth in the beautiful small, and happily quite un-poshy town of Bamberg.
Bamberg with its 70.000 inhabitants is a medieval town founded more than 1000 years ago, then the seat of the holy Roman Emperor Heinrich II and today one of the few cities in the world which are entirely entitled the world cultural heritage status. Reason is that the old town was not bombed in WWII and Bamberg lacked massive industrial development afterwards, leaving it quite in its original state.
Once again it was really inspiring to stay there due to the contrast the town offers compared to Munich.
As pointed out, I love Munich and it is and excellent place to be, but its main disadvantage are too many un-frugal people who live there. A thing certainly more rare in Bamberg. Here you will see less hectic people running through the city with cell-phones on their ears, you will have difficulties finding anyone running around hacking on his blackberry, you see less top-edge designer-cloths and high-class cabriolets. All in all it is (like most smaller towns) more relaxed and more modest.
People sit around in cafe or outdoor restaurants (mostly worth their prices) in one of the nice old cobblestone streets. The city, any shops or public transport are healthily uncrowded.
You also find a couple of lovely placed beer gardens sitting on one of the hills of the city (actually seven hills like in Rome), beer costs you 2,50 EUR half a liter and not 4 EUR like in Munich, and Mrs. Woodpecker was delighted by the cheap flowers that we bought at the local market as a visitor’s present. Let alone housing prices…
All in all a great place to be. Although for a living it might lack a few advantages of a big city like Munich, like divers jobs, more potentially interesting people in Munich due to its sheer size or more leisure possibilities in Munich. But it’d be definitely an option for a frugal and relaxed living…and I can highly recommend it if you are a tourist, it is cheaper, less touristic and much more authentic, and quite as beautiful (or more) as e.g. Rothenburg or Heidelberg.
Then we did an excursion to the “fränkische Schweiz” (little Switzerland), an interesting hilly region close by, with lots of valleys, old castles on steep mountain tops (I counted more than 15 in a guide-book), some caves and creeks, little villages with cheap local food and a local historical steam train we took and which was great fun for the boy.
Price 12 EUR per adult, for a two-way drive of 45min each, kids for free! Less than a cinema ticket and a real event.
Total trip cost was around 200 EUR for 4 days and 4 persons, alone more than 100 EUR of that allocated to total car cost for 500km driving…if I could only do something about that…
So a trip of good value and good fun, plus a night out with the old boys from school and priceless stories from our youth…;)
Highly recommended if you happen to be around!