A Travellerspoint blog


Smoked Beer and a Christmas Market

While we were in Nuremberg we opted to take the short train ride to Bamberg to spend the day there. I really enjoyed Bamberg, it was really a charming city even if the weather didn't necessarily cooperate.

Bamberg is a quintessentially medieval German town in Bavaria. A large part of the town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bamberg was founded in 1004 by Emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on 6 May 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081.

Here are a few pictures of the town:

Bamberg Cathedral was completed in the 13th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.

Heller Haus was the birth place of Joseph Heller, a local businessman, historian and art collector. Heller bequeathed a huge art collection to the Bamberg State Library. In front of the house stands the statue of of Empress Kunigunde.

The New Residence of the Bamberg Prince-Bishops was constructed in the seventeenth century.

The Old Town Hall:

Bamberg Christmas Market:

And the whole reason we went to Bamberg was for the smoked beer! No trip to Bamberg would be complete without a trip to Schlenkerla Brewery. Records first mention Schlenkerla "House of the blue lion" in 1405. The brewery is run by the Trum family and are on the 6th generation.

Schlenkerla: https://www.schlenkerla.de/indexe.html#

Bamberg was such a cool city and I would love to go back!

On to the Nuremberg Trials...

As a side note, here is a link to a new internet radio station with a focus on travel bloggers, COLLAGE TRAVEL RADIO: https://live365.com/station/collage-Travel-radio-a95388

Posted by LCP 01:18 Archived in Germany Tagged beer market town germany cathedral christmas old hall smoked bamberg hellerhaus Comments (1)


Old Town and Christmas Market

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Nuremberg, Germany. Germany was high on our list of places to visit and we decided on Nuremberg not only for the history of the city, but we were told Nuremberg had one of the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. We also decided to take the train up to Bamberg for a day to visit and to check out Schlenkerla, the world famous and historic smoke beer brewery. I'll talk about Bamberg in a separate post as well as more of the history of Nuremberg.

We had a relatively short flight with Ryanair right into the Nuremberg Airport. We then took the wonderful German trains to our AirBnb. The trains in Germany were fantastic and very easy to use. We got a Mobi card which allowed us unlimited use for the few days we were there for about €26. Germany uses the euro(€) for its currency and it can be tricky in Germany because a lot of places are cash only. After arriving, we set out to go into Old Town Nuremberg for a tour of the Imperial Castle and to take in the city.

AirBnb Nuremberg: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/16068041?source_impression_id=p3_1576997220_A9y0H3N38Tx2TxIN

Views of Nuremberg:

Church of Our Lady - Frauenkirche:

White Tower:

Schöner Brunnen is a 14th-century fountain located on Nuremberg's main market area:

This a a picture of Albrecht Dürer's house. He was a German painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance in the 1400-1500s.

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg: https://www.kaiserburg-nuernberg.de/englisch/castle/
The castle was really interesting as it sat on a hilltop at the top of Old Town. Its history dates back to the 1050s.

We opted for a demonstration of the deep well at the castle. The well reportedly dates back to the fourteenth century and was dug 50 meters down into the rock. During the demo, the guide poured a pitcher of water into the well, it was so interesting to hear the water splash down eventually as it took several seconds due to the depth.

The Christmas Market in Nuremberg was AMAZING! I caveat this statement with the fact that I'd never been to a Christmas Market before and have no comparison, but I had heard many things about this market and it did not disappoint. There was food and drink and local artisans and it was such a neat experience. You can definitely pick up some one-of-a-kind momentos there. We also definitely felt safe as there was a strong security presence.

Christkindlesmarkt: https://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/en/


We came across this duo playing music. Their instruments were interesting....yes, those are PVC pipes and yes, she is "playing" them with flip-flops.

Did a little car shopping while we were there...could not resist!

We also had some amazing food in Nuremberg.

Nuremberg was a fantastic city and I would love to go back. We had such a great experience there!

Onto Bamberg...

Posted by LCP 00:05 Archived in Germany Tagged church market christmas castle imperial nuremberg Comments (1)

Romania Part 2

Sinaia, Brasov, and Bran

Greetings! During our stay in Bucharest, we decided to take a one day tour to Sinaia to see Peles Castle, Castle Bran in Bran, and the city of Brasov.

Peles Castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains near the city of Sinaia. The castle was commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883. It was the first European castle to have electricity, hot and cold running water, central heat and central vacuum system. The stain glass roof of the foyer opens mechanically and there was a small elevator installed for the royal family. The rooms in the castle are said to have inspiration from various parts of the world. For instance, there is a Turkish inspired room, a Moorish inspired room, and French inspired room, among the various rooms in the castle. King Carol enjoyed collecting weapons and he displayed them throughout the castle. There are also a few secret doors around the castle.

The city of Brasov is about 40 miles from Peles Castle. It is a city in the Transylvania region of Romania, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. It's known for its medieval Saxon walls and bastions, and the towering Gothic-style Black Church. We were able to go inside of the Black Church but photos were not allowed and externally, the church was surrounded by buildings. We had lunch in Brasov in the square and had Papanasi, which is a traditional Romanian desert of donuts with cream and jam. They were delicious and disappeared before I could snap a picture, ha!

Castle Bran was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Although Stoker never visited Bran Castle, it apparently matches the description of the castle Stoker writes about. In my opinion, it has less of a castle feel and more of a fortress feel. It was definitely cool to see though, especially the views!

Fall colors at Bran:

We really enjoyed our tour in northern Romania. Peles Castle was very interesting and in a beautiful area. It was one my most favorite castles we have had the opportunity to visit. We are glad we made the trip to Romania and we certainly learned a lot.

Onto the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 01:33 Archived in Romania Tagged mountains castle romania sinaia brasov dracula peles bran carpathian Comments (1)

Romania Part 1


Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Bucharest, Romania! Like Vilnius, Bucharest was not originally on our must visit list, but again, we had heard from several colleagues who really enjoyed Romania. Bucharest is in southeastern Romania and is the capital city. The city is probably most famous for the Palace of Parliament, which is the second largest building in the world; second only to the Pentagon. Bucharest was a very cheap city to visit, most of our meals were under 80 RON (Romanian leu), which was about was $20. Romania is part of the European Union, but retains its own currency the Romanian leu.

We stayed in a lovely AirBnb situated behind the National Theater Bucharest. We also walked everywhere in the city and used Uber to and from the airport.

AirBnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/plus/15984949?source_impression_id=p3_1572181231_j9Azw27So9aO0IVY

National Theater Bucharest

Some fun facts about Romania:
-The Romanian language is 1,700 years old.
-The first ever perfect 10 awarded in the Olympic Games went to Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, for her performance on the uneven bars in Montreal, Canada in 1976. She was also the only person allowed to marry in the Palace of Parliament.
-According to legend, Bucharest was named after a shepherd called Bucur who was in love with a young lady named Dâmboviţa, like the name of the river that flows through the city.
-The name “Romania” comes from the Latin word “Romanus” which means “citizen of the Roman Empire.”

Views of Old Town Bucharest:

Famous Bookstore in Old Town Bucharest, Cărturești Carusel:

Food from Bucharest restaurants:
Caru' cu Bere, one of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest.
Traditional Romania dish of Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls):


Boutique du Pain:

Sushi Room:

Palace of Parliament. Palace of Parliament took over 13 years to build (1984–97). The palace was commissioned by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the last communist dictator of Romania, for his family to live at, but communism in Romania was overthrown in 1989 and he never used the building. Most if not all, of the materials used to construct the building came from Romania, including all of the marble. The palace has over 2800 chandeliers and cost $3 billion to build. Michael Jackson infamously said, "Hello, Budapest!" from the balcony in 1990. Today, the building is used by parliament and I think spaces in the building can be rented out for events. For instance, a wedding expo was underway while we were on our tour.

Back of Palace of Parliament
View from Palance of Parliament balcony looking onto the promenade (modeled after the promenade at the Palace of Versailles).

A few of the many churches around Bucharest:
Kretzulescu Church
Saint John Chrysostom Church
Stavropoleos Monastery Church

Cișmigiu Gardens:

Izvor Park:

Memorial of Rebirth (commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism):

Onto Siniai, Brasov, and Bran...

Posted by LCP 23:43 Archived in Romania Tagged church palace of national romania parliament cu care theater bucharest bere grandees Comments (0)

Scottish Highlands

A one day jaunt through Pitlochry, Blair Atholl Distillery, Fort Augustus/Loch Ness, Spean Bridge, Glencoe, and Tyndrum

Greetings! Today's adventure took us on a tour of the Scottish Highlands in northern Scotland. Scotland is one of my favorite countries and Edinburgh has been one of my most favorite cities we've had the opportunity to visit. We took the train up to Edinburgh and stayed in the most amazing AirBnb in Edinburgh. The hosts had the most thoughtful touches in the flat and the location was perfect. We created a customized private tour with Highland Experience Tours and would absolutely book tours with them again. Simone was absolutely wonderful to work with and created a tour with everything on our list of must see places. Mark was our guide and driver and we could not have had a better guide. He was hilarious, insightful and fun!

Highland Experience Tours: https://www.highlandexperience.com
AirBnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/5805796?source_impression_id=p3_1571041311_HIY4TDUxj090zdn4

Mark picked us up at our front door and we started our journey north. The bridge on the right is the Forth Bridge which is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, nine miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. The Scotsmen are very proud of this bridge and it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. Construction of the bridge started in 1882 and it was opened in March 1890.

Here are some pictures in the car making our way up the M90. It was such a scenic ride to our first stop. Along the way Mark taught us a thing or two, like loch means "lake," ben means "hill," and glen means "valley."

Our first stop was the village of Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Distillery. Pitlochry was a charming little village. We stopped into of the cafes for a quick bite to eat and then it was onto the distillery.

Next, we made our way through the Cairngorms National Park and made it to Laggan Dam and and Fort Augustus and the Loch Ness area. Unfortunately, we could not find Nessie.
Fort August/Loch Ness

After our lunch stop in the Fort Augustus/Loch Ness area we continued on to Spean Bridge, Glencoe and Tyndrum.

There is a Commando Memorial dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces during Second World War and it is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west of Spean Bridge, the area where we stopped for pictures. It overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle.

Next it was onto Glencoe and Tyndrum. Tyndrum was probably my favorite stop. The views here are stunning.

Hairy Coos also known as the Highland Cow!

After Tyndrum, we made our way back to our AirBnb. Visiting the Highlands further reiterated why Scotland is one of my favorite countries we have had the opportunity to visit. There is so much to see here and everywhere you look the topography and scenery is stunning. I cannot wait to return!

Onto the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:46 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch edinburgh fort bridge tours highland experience ness blair glencoe distillery augustus atholl tyndrum spean Comments (0)

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