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Bavarian New Year in Bamberg

December 31, 2005

(Written March 12, 2006 -- a little late!)


Dear Friends and Families,


We had spent the Christmas Holidays at home, mostly, and wanted something festive to welcome in 2006. The easiest choice was Bamberg, a 20 minute drive from home in Pommersfelden and truly one of the most charming small cities in Germany. So, we packed our bags, made the short drive, and parked in the same parking lot we normally use for shopping.

We walked from the parking garage into the old center of town, passing the historic old city hall on the next bridge over across the Regnitz River. Dragging along our suitcases, it sure felt like European Travel, no matter how close to home.


It took us five cold minutes to make it to our small hotel(four rooms), The Cafe am Dom, but it was worth it. (http://www.cafeamdom.de) The room was pleasant, the view really did have a bit of the Dom (cathedral), and downstairs was what may be the best confectionary shop in the area.


At Christmas time, Bamberg is famous as a "Krippenstadt", or "Creche Town". There are three dozen creches to visit, but we had left our creche tour too far late in the season and far too late in the day. We would make do with just a couple of stops.

Our first church will remain nameless. It has been three months between our visit and this writing and I'm afraid my memory is just not up to it

The elaborate creche scene told the Christmas story as it would have been imagined in the Middle Ages. The scene was a study of history, even if not historically accurate.

  St. Stephens church was more modern and their creche followed suit. I suppose THIS creche was historically accurate in depicting a rough birth in the Middle East 2,000 years ago.  

Walking back from the mini-tour of Bamberg creches, we enjoyed the cold and blustery weather. Somehow, this seemed appropriately festive.

Back at the Cafe am Dom, we picked up a couple of pieces of wonderful torte and washed it down with a red wine. Looking out at the Dom, past our still-life snack, we knew we'd chosen the right place to bring in the New Year.


After our break, and after a snooze, we went back into the streets. They still felt festive, although a bit deserted. The light of our restaurant, the Hotel Brudermuehle were welcoming. (http://brudermuehle.de)


Dinner was special. As is German custom in a busy restaurant, we shared our table with another couple. After about an hour, we actually spoke a bit.

We did manage to speak to the busy waitress long enough for her to snap a picture.


We made it back to the hotel well before midnight and have to admit that we had already turned in when the festivities really started. Our view of the cathedral was transformed into a front-row view of fireworks. Just one street over, people were lighting rockets and fire crackers and the night became a wonderful light show, until there was so much smoke in the air that even fireworks couldn't shine through!

The next morning, we had a cafe breakfast that was both "regular" and special. The variety was normal: breads, cheese, ham, jam, butter, and an egg. What was special was the quality of the breads and sweets! It may take a year to work off the extra calories.

Take care and Happy New Year.

John and Marianne


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