Würzburg, Germany – Friday

Friday, August 11, 2006

I have to say, his whole trip has felt a bit like the Amazing Race (Make your way to Nymphenburg Castle. Find the painting of Madame Du Barry and pick up your next clue!)

So, Friday morning, August 11, I slept in and rested my knee, while Doug went to the conference. We checked out at noon, asked the hotel to hold our bags and grabbed something to eat. Bratwurst in brochen (bread) with mustard. Yum.

We took a taxi to Hertz to pick up our rental car. There was a big Hertz sign, and we lugged our heavy suitcases inside, only to be told that Hertz was around the side of the building. So we lugged our suitcases around and found lots of stairs. I waited downstairs with our stuff. It was a really tiny office, with one guy working there! Who didn’t speak English very well! But Doug managed to get our car, and we didn’t have to pay extra to add me as a driver, which was good. We got an Audi station wagon, which is pretty nice.

Then we had to get back through Heidelberg to catch the roads we needed to get to Wurzburg. Which proved fairly challenging, though we did ok, finding a map of Heidelberg that was big enough to show where we were, at the last minute!

Our drive took us along the Neckar River, which was really pretty. The drive was maybe 2 hours, getting us there at 5pm. The next challenge was finding Schloss Steinberg, which is where we were staying.

Here is a pic I took out of the car at the scenery. I was amazed at all the grape vines!
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Our hotel was at the top of a hill, overlooking Wurzburg. We drove up and up and up, and finally found it – though it wasn’t labeled.

The view of Wurzburg was just amazing! Here are some pictures:
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Here’s a pic of Festung Marienberg off in the distance:
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Here is a pic of the hotel:
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Our room was cute, yellow and orange-red, and had a gorgeous view of Wurzburg. As you can see from these pics!
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The bad thing was that the room was on top of 4 random staircases – our suitcases were too big and heavy to bring up, so we had to just bring up what we needed.

We ate dinner at their restaurant, which was expensive, and I didn’t really like the food. We also had a cheese platter, which sadly had mostly blue cheese on it, and I didn’t like them. The view was beautiful, but a train went by every 5 minutes and it was really noisy! Neither of us slept very well.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel (it was included), and it was very good. They had a lot of cheeses, all of which were mild, so I had a ton of cheese – and wished these were the cheeses that had been on the platter the previous night!

We drove down the hill and made our way into Wurzburg to the Residenz – which was a bit tricky to navigate to. The Residenz was built by one of the prince bishops of Wurzburg. There’s a good page of about it on Wikipedia. it was beautiful, though we couldn’t take pics inside. Much of it (and much of Wurzburg) was destroyed in 1945 during the war. So much of the Residenz was rebuilt since then – a lot of beautiful work was done on it.

Here are some pics of the outside:
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We could take pics on the small chapel attached to the Residenz. Apparantly it is really popular for weddings – and in fact, we saw it just in time, before they closed it for one. It was kind of photograph because it was dark in there, so even with a flash, the pics are dark. Or I used night flash, and they are slightly blurry… I mostly used the dark ones here, just adjusted in photoshop if they were really dark!
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Here are some shots of the courtyard of the Residenz:
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One of the main attractions of the Residenz is the grand staircase. It has a huge curved ceiling that covers the huge 2-level staircase. Apparantly the architect was told it would never stay up under the weight – yet it was one of the few things to survive the bombing! It’s got a huge mural painted on it. Here are a few pics of it I found online:

http://www.terragalleria.com/europe/germany/wurzburg/picture.germ2638.html

http://www.terragalleria.com/europe/germany/wurzburg/picture.germ3674.html

I should probably try and scan my post cards, as the rooms were lovely – especially one with mirrors painted on the reverse sides – a technique nearly dead now – yet they managed to get someone with the skill to do it! It’s really a very impressive reconstruction job.

It has lovely gardens too:
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…and on our walk through, we saw this – the fattest bird I’ve ever seen:
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I took a ton of flower pics, because that’s what I like to do, so here are some of those!
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After a quick bite to eat at a sandwich place, we drove up to the Fortress and the Festung Marienberg, which is a huge stone fortress on a hill, with several old churches in it. Here’s a page on Marienberg. And an exerpt: Fortress Marienberg is a prominent landmark on the Main river in Wurzburg, Germany. It has been a fort since ancient times. After Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden conquered the area in 1631, the castle was reconstructed in the Baroque style. Today, it is a park and museum. In 704 A.D., the Marienkirche was built atop a former Celtic shelter and in the 13th century was surrounded by the first fortification. In 1482, the main castle was encircled by a medieval ring wall with the Scherenberg gate…In about 1600, Julius Echter rebuilt the fortress into a Renaissance palace. After the conquest by Gustav II Adolf of Sweden in 1631 (Thirty Years War), the fortress was reconstructed as an even more formidable baroque fortification, and a princely park was laid out.. There is more on the wikipedia page I linked to.

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After Marienberg, we made our way to Rothenburg Ob de Tauber, which is a medieval walled city, with a great deal of 17th century history. I utterly adored Rothenburg! Here are a few pics of our drive there. Our drive took slightly longer than anticpated because we went in the wrong direction on one road. But the scenery was lovely!

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There were large fields of what looked like dark purple cabbage!
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Butthard!
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Every time you entered a town it would tell you. And every time you left a town there would be a sign with the town’s name x’d out. It reminded me of a closed html tag!
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