Simon Benson & Alison Edwards
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Wow - I didn't know you could pack so much into a few days. I also didn't know much about this part of Germany.I now know that with the help of an enormously helpful, enthusiatic local guide who enjoys the planning and preparation almost as much as the actual experience that the sky is the limit. Thank you Francoise & Sonia- we are so glad you showed us this part of Germany. There is no wasted time when you don't need to find a hotel, find somewhere to eat, look for the station or a supermarket or the entry foyer or the information centre. An associated bonus is this creates time to simply sit and watch the Rhine or the locals or even the other tourists.
I was woefully ignorant about Bamberg - I am now prepared to be it's Australian ambassador. Student towns always seem to have a lovely vibe but this one is something special. Of course it helps when your guide knows the town well.
It aso helps when you have been somewhere before. It is always a treat when you can revisit people and just take up where you left off. Visiting Michael & Klaudia in Buckenhof is like that. They live just out of Erlangen, another student town (amongst lots of other attributes.) Tim & Simon have grown another 3 years which made them just exactly big enough to learn to throw a boomerang. They are also old enough now to ride right into Erlangen along the rivulet and make exploring on bikes is a real joy. We have been to Nuremberg before and again, re visiting is sometimes even better than the first visit . This visit Simon is bringing home a long-lasting reminder - a pair of leather shorts. I expect it will mean constant reminders of Germany for the next 20 years! It also means various Germans presently come up to him and start chatting, assuming he is a friendly Bavarian. They are as surprised by his lack of facility with the language as the Japanese tourists on the Rhine cruise were when Simon greeted them in Japanese!
We've seen schlosses and ruins, markets and churches, old towns and rebuilt ones, the Rhine and the Moselle, lots and lots of vineyards and over everything is the green of spring.