For someone who considers each and every birthday to be a milestone event worthy of celebration ("the best day of the year"), it did not take me much effort to get excited about the Bamberger Dom turning 1000 in 2012. Bamberg, Germany is a magical place for us--where Jon and I met, fell in love, and eventually got married. We met some of our best friends there and created memories to last a lifetime. Needless to say, we jump on any opportunity to go back. Thus, a 1000th birthday was a perfect excuse...er, reason.
We learned several years ago that the Dom (Cathedral) would reach the ripe old age of 1000 in 2012 and immediately made plans to go see it. Several friends were on board, and we actually began planning over a year ago. But then, life happened, and unfortunately our friends decided they could no longer make the trip. We still wanted to go, however, and kept our plans on the back burner...not actually making any because that would be silly.
We ultimately decided that we wanted to combine the Bamberg return trip with a couple of other choice locations: the Cinque Terre--where Jon had traveled with a friend in 2005 and continues to talk about--and Zurich--where a college friend recently moved (see subsequent posts). We hemmed and hawed about when the ideal time to travel would be, and as we are wont to do, made our final travel arrangements for the end of July/beginning of August at the last minute.
But as usual, our last-minute plans had very little effect on the awesomeness of the trip. When the only thing you have to complain about is the fact that you were unable to sit on your couch glued to the Olympics for two weeks, you know you're doing pretty well. (And besides, we were able to catch the BBC occasionally, so we didn't miss too much.)
We kicked off the trip in the only way we know how: a beer fest. Within hours of landing in Germany, we were whisked off to Annafest by some good friends (who we knew in Washington and currently live in Germany). And then, we ran into some more good friends (who also live in Germany again) in the parking lot. It was wonderful catching up with these aforementioned friends while enjoying German beer at a fest in the woods.
|Beer and rides in the woods? Yes, please!|
Starting to feel a bit tired from our travels (or was it the beer?), we headed into Bamberg, where we had the opportunity to show off one of our favorite places to our "Washington friends." Since it was still summer vacation for their daughters, they were able to stay the next day--Monday--so we were in full-on tour guide mode (once we got some much needed sleep).
Our first stop in Bamberg was Altenburg Schloss (castle), which allows for some of the best views in Bamberg.
|While I'm pretty sure we already have taken "this" picture several times, it's still quite an impressive sight|
As our friends have a similarly good taste in beer (and since they had a car), we next headed to a brewery that Jon claims to have a mystical connection to: Braueri Kundmuller. I cannot claim a similar connection, but I do know they have delicious beer and a really cool playground for kids.
|Christmas card preview?|
|Mahr's Brau: Jon's favorite Bamberg brewery, home of his all-time favorite beer (besides his own)|
|My favorite Bamberg brewery--Spezial--and my favorite German meal, jaegerschnitzel (there's pork under all that gravy somewhere)|
|Happy Birthday, Dom!|
|We left a little souvenir at the brewery where we met 7 1/2 years ago|
|Literally half a chicken|
|How to order another beer in Bavaria|
|Everyone bikes in Germany|
However, like all good things, our time in Bamberg had come to an end. We woke up early on our last morning to run through town one last time and get some pictures of our favorite places.
|Thanks, little tripod!|