We run away from the cold of Berlin aiming to arrive as quickly as possible in southern Europe to warm up a bit. Our plan was to enter France from Alsace following the rivers, thus avoiding the mountain roads and the cold. But when we arrived in Bamberg we changed our mind. Cold, not cold, it was impossible not to stay for a couple of days visiting this lovely town.
Although not particularly well known, Bamberg is one of Germany’s best preserved medieval towns. This is due to the fact that it had escaped the bombing during the World War II, thanks to the lack of heavy industry at that time. Nowadays, the industrial sector is well developed here too, as it seems to be everywhere in Germany. Nevertheless Bamberg owes its nationwide reputation to its ‘light’ industry. With more than 70 breweries in the greater area and 9 downtown, this picturesque town is considered the German capital of craft beer!
The old town can be explored within a couple of hours, including the ‘Little Venice’ district (Klein–Venedig)
It was a very pleasant surprise to see quite a few contemporary artworks on the streets of the town, including an unexpected Bottero!
If you want to stretch your legs, you can take the uphill path that leads to the St. Michael’s Abbey; from where you have a beautiful panoramic view of the Bamberg!
We found also very nice the habit to decorate the front windows of the houses with various objects …
Bamberg has a dedicated parking for the motorhomes [49.88593,10.90291]. It is in great location but for a fee throughout the year: € 12 per day plus 0.50 / Kwh current. The camper service outside is free for dumping, while the load of water costs 1 € / 100litri.
We instead took advantage of the tiny dimensions of our camper van and preferred to stop along the way [49.88909,10.90393]. It was a little noisier, but at least it was free😉
After Bamberg we headed in Breisach, just on the border with France, a few kilometers from Colmar, where we preferred to stay in a parking lot [48.02782,7.58092] rather in the camper area [48.02966,7.57591], although it was free for the winter period. The reason is that it seemed to us rather dimly lit and a bit more isolated. In the morning, not knowing the diesel prices in France, we filled our tank (in Germany it was always under 1 euro per liter).
Brief summary of our impressions from Germany:
– The Germans don’t like to speak other languages or to communicate somehow if you don’t understand them ! At times it is really frustrating to deal with this.
– Eating out is expensive, but the supermarkets have good prices, apart from fresh fruits and vegetables. As we discovered later, besides the wine that is more or less on the same prices, the spirits are much cheaper in Germany than in France …
– For vegetarians it is a paradise. You will find a huge range of products even in the discount supermarkets and of course many specialty shops.
– Returning the empty bottles, especially those of water, is a big problem. You can not crush them and you can return them only to the stores selling the same brand! As they are worth 25 cents per bottle, it is difficult to throw them away to the recycling bins.
– Road signs, vertical and horizontal, are close to perfection. It is a pleasure to drive in Germany!