Emerald Star Cruise Photos
Day 2: Bamberg
Around 8 a.m. on Day 2 of our cruise, Emerald Star arrived in Bayernhafen Bamberg, which attracts some 850 passenger-ship visits per year.
The port was located outside of town, in an industrial area. While we ate breakfast on deck, we could watch an electromagnetic crane on the opposite shore loading scrap metal onto a barge.
On Emerald Waterways ships, a buffet breakfast is served in two locations: in the (which has electric doors opening onto , shown here), and in the main , where the menu is more extensive and you can get omelettes and other egg dishes cooked to order.
After breakfast, we went ashore for the first of our cruise's shore excursions. Bellejour, the German river vessel that we'd seen in Nuremberg, was tied up alongside Emerald Star.
A sign on shore pointed to the waiting coaches and the city center.
A short bus ride took us to Bamberg's modern Konzerthalle (in a newer part of town), where we joined tour guide Konstantin Bilozertsev's group for a walking tour.
The Concert Hall was an impressive sight for a city of 70,000. It's home to the Bamberger Symphoniker and also serves as a convention hall.
Bamberg is a beautifully-preserved city that, to quote our Emerald Waterways guidebook, "could easily serve as a dictionary of European building styles, embracing everything from 12th Century Romanesque to 18th Century Rococo." The entire Altstadt, or Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of our first stops on the walking tour was the , or Old Slaughterhouse, which has a stone statue of an ox on its façade.
We took this photo of a local sightseeing boat on the River Regnitz from the, or Lower Bridge.
Nearby, tourists were snapping pictures of the medieval or Old Town Hall.
The Bamberg tourist office's Old Town Hall page explains: "According to legend, the bishop of Bamberg did not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall. This prompted the townsfolk to ram stakes into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island, on which they build the town hall they so badly wanted."
The Old Town Hall's trompe d'oeil frescoes are embellished with a genuine 3D feature: a cherub's sculpted leg.
, a.k.a. the Imperial Cathedral, overlooks the River Regnitz from one of Bamberg's seven hills.
The Cathedral was consecrated in 1237, replacing a previous Dom that was burned down in 1185. It combines Romanesque and Gothic styles and houses the tomb of Pope Clement II (the only papal tomb north of the Alps).
The richly-carved , shown here, is open only on holy days.
The or Old Court is another Bamberg Landmark. It's just around the corner from the Imperial Cathedral. During our summer visit, the half-timbered building's balconies were decorated with geraniums.
From the Cathedral, we walked a short distance to
Bamberg's Rosen Garden (Rose Garden).
The Rosen Garten is next to the , a 17th Century McMansion for the Prince Bishops who ruled Bamberg from 1007 until the imperial state became part of Bavaria in 1802.
The garden, which was laid out in 1733, has approximately
4,500 rose bushes in more than 70 flower beds. (The beds are surrounded by
The Rose Garden is pet-friendly, and a viewing terrace overlooks the medieval city center and the Regnitz.
The final stop on our walking tour was the Ambräusianum, which is billed as "the first and only guesthouse brewery" in Bamberg.
We were served pretzels and Rauchbier, a local style of beer that dates back to the 1500s. Beer Advocate describes it as an "acquired taste" with a "smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat."
In the cruise director's informal survey of passengers after our visit, opinions on the beer were split almost evenly. Some found the smokiness appealing, while others thought the beer had an unpleasant taste of liquid bacon.
When we left Ambräusianum, beer was being delivered (presumably for patrons who prefer smoke-free brews).
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