On Friday afternoon, we left Berlin on a train bound for Bamberg, Germany. The train ride through the German countryside was beautiful. Everything was lush and green and fall leaves were starting to change colors. Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of a few places in Germany that wasn't bombed during the war. Our friend, Catherine, just moved to Germany this summer, so she was our faithful tour guide and navigator of German menus.
The city is absolutely darling and we pretty much spent our entire time walking five steps, exclaiming "oh, that is so cute," taking pictures, turning to our right and left and taking pictures and then walking a few more steps to do the same thing. I don't think I've ever seen a cuter town and one that cried out "Germany" so much!
We didn't take any tours or go to any museums and it was so nice to be able to just wander around the city and stop for pastry breaks or meal breaks whenever we felt like it. We had a great time walking through the Saturday market, window shopping and catching up with Catherine.
We found a really neat travel store and stocked up on cleverly designed German bags. Jon got a man-bag made completely out of recycled PET bottle material, I got a Reisenthel city shopper tote bag for more knitting projects, and Catherine bought this awesome Reisenthel carry cruiser for Saturday market days (see above). We stumbled upon a German department store selling lots of yarn, including Regia sock, but I was able to hold myself back (I'm not a sock knitter, after all).
We also visited a darling German Christmas store, K√§the Wohlfarht, and bought two cute little wooden Christmas ornaments (I'll have to take a picture and post them soon). The store was adorable and we were totally lured in by the cuckoo clock collection but managed to refrain ourselves.
Bamberg has lots of very crooked buildings that have settled over time.
One day, Jon and I will adopt a pug (or two!)
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We left Bamberg on Saturday night on an overnight train bound for Cologne, Germany. Well, we thought it was an overnight train....
We ended up taking 3 separate trains to Cologne. First a one hour train to Wittenburg, then a one hour train to Frankfurt. We realized on our train to Wittenburg that we would be having a three hour layover at the Frankfurt station. Then we remembered that it was Daylight Savings Time in Europe (one week earlier than DST in the U.S.). So, we ended up spending that extra hour of Daylight Savings Time in a cold, outdoor Frankfurt train station huddled up next to each other on a bench watching Dexter on Jon's ipod. Our other entertainment of the evening was watching a drunk man sitting across from us blow his nose without the assistance of a tissue and spit repeatedly on the ground. I was sure that I was going to catch swine flu from him with all of the bodily fluids he was leaking.
Sitting in the cold, train station was pretty depressing as we watched all of the clocks stuck at 3AM for one hour. But we made it through and are able to laugh about it now. What are the odds of being stuck with a long layover in a train station in the middle of the night on Daylight Savings time, after all? After our four hours in the Frankfurt station, we had a three hour ride to Cologne with a private compartment and then another 2 hour train ride back to Brussels. Luckily, we were both able to sleep on both of those trains.
Even better was that we got to celebrate my favorite day of the year again in the States yesterday with an extra hour of sleep in the warmth and comfort of our own bed. It definitely made me much more appreciative of yesterday's time change!
The rest of the Bamberg photos are on flickr, here.