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My trip on the Romantic Road, part two
The rest of the way around Bavaria
Friday, Oct. 13
It is Friday morning, as I write this. I am sitting in the station at Würzburg. The strike is on. So far I have seen only ICEs running, and a few freight trains. I have changed my planned itinerary. Today I wll go directly to Nürnberg and see what I had planned for tomorrow. Tomorrow the trains will run normally. Then I plan to backtrack to Bamberg, then go on to Vilshofen by Passau.
A regional train just came in headed for Stuttgart.
I take the EC to Nürnburg.
Nürnberg is just as expected. The castle is on the far side of town, so I must walk across the old town to get to it. On the way I pass a huge church, which is, I think, one of the symbols of Nürnberg. Then I cross over the Pignetz river and pass through the famous Hauptplatz with its fountain, another symbol. The castle is not much, as castles go. They built it up on a hill overlooking the town and then had to dig a deep well to get water to the castle.
After my castle visit I eat lunch at the base of the hill, then find my way back across town to the station and take the U-bahn to Fürth.
The center of Fürth seems to have been taken over by non-Germans – my host is Bosnian.
I didn’t see a Bayern-Ticket sales at the U-bahn station Rathaus, so I walked to the Hbf and bought one for tomorrow while there. Buying the B-T from a Nahverkehr automat is easy. First, press the button for Bayern-Ticket in the left-hand column. A selection apprears on the screen. On the keypad, press “2” for Bayern-Ticket-Single. Then a calendar appears on the screen and, using the keypad, enter the date. Most Nahverkehr automats take only cash, while the Fernverkehr machines take only CC.
Saturday, Oct. 14
Without the strike the trains are running normally. I took the regional train to Bamberg, just over half an hour. From the Hauptbahnhof many buses run to the ZOB, just outside the old city. At the ZOB they have lockers (€0,30 for 4 hours). I stashed my big bag and hopped a bus to the old town. The bus fare is included with the Bayern-Ticket; good thing as I hop off in a couple of blocks. I forgot to print a map, but, no problem. There are maps every few blocks. First thing I find is the tourist office. I picked up a free brochure that said it had a large city map. No map! I guess you get what you pay for. No problem, there are maps on signs every few blocks. Next I found the river and the suspended Rathaus. After the compulsory photographs, I moved to the old town. Here there were numerous street vendors selling Thüringerwürst in Semelbrötchen. A Thüringerwürst is a “foot long” weisswürst. The griller broke it in half because the “Semmelbrötchen” is just a Kaiser roll and the hotdog sticks out on both ends. Then I went into a self service bakery and had an onion, quiche type pastry. I walked back through the winding streets to the ZOB, picked up my bag at the locker, and boarded one of the buses to the Hauptbahnhof, and went on via Nürnberg and Regensburg to Vilshofen.
I found the pension in Vilshofen after just a bit of searching. The guy who runs the pension apparently lives across the street (Fischergasse). He expected me to arrive by bicycle – the pension is popular with bicycyle tours on the bike path that runs from Donaueschingen to Vienna.
Traveled from Vilsfofen to Passau, where I walked to the point at Passau. One the way I saw church with world’s largest organ on way. They were having a church service at the time, so I couldn’t see the rgan. I left Passau. I decided to go to Burghausen via Austria. Bad choice. It took at lot longer, mostly waiting for connections. And it cost more; could have used B-T if not. Arrived Burghausen at dusk. I caught last bus to Wöhrgasse. The driver didn’t know Wöhrgasse. It’s off a one-way street, and Kaffeemühle sign and Wöhrgasse sign don’t show up in direction of travel. The bus passed right past Kaffeemühle. The room was very cold.
I walked down street and an found Italian restaurant open, hHad Pizza, and returned to the hotel. Couldn’t get in; key was tight in outside door. Feared I would break it. Finally roused fellow guest who reluctantly let me it. Lesson: always check key in outside door before leaving.
Mon., Oct. 15
Toured Burghausen castle. Impressed. Maybe most impressive castle on trip. Took stadtbus back to Bahnhof, ate lunch and boarded train to Poing. Decided not to go through Salzburg. Too much improvising already. Arrived in Poing early afternoon. No problem finding hotel (been there four times already. Ate at local German Gaststätte. Not as good this time. Maybe under new management.
Tues., Oct. 16
Bought Tageskarte and went to Andechs. Don’t think I was on the correct S-Bahn (per my original schedule). The overhead sign said the scheduled train was cancelled, but the announcer said twenty minutes verspätet. Hard to say when the trains run at twenty minute intervals. I was surprised to find a bus meeting the train, since it was late, and if on time was just supposed to make the connect with the bus. The bus driver wouldn’t take my tageskarte. It was a private bus line, not an MVV bus. Cost me €2,20.
The bus dropped us off at the foot of the hill and we had to walk up. Seems everything in Germany is on the top of a hill. I skipped the brewery tour. Not sure how to get to it, but I did see a sign saying they wanted €4. Of course if the tour includes a bier, it would have been worth it. I poked my head inside the church, but didn’t think I could take a picture. Bought a couple of post cards. I ate lunch at the monestary – a piece of pork and a bretzel. By the time I was half through with the bier the line for another was so long I decided to forgo it.
I finished eating and left. The train back was loaded with high school kids returning from school. I stopped at the Hbf to ask the woman at the Reise Zentrum about booking night train “reservations” to Italy if you had a rail pass with only Italy and Germany, but not Austria. She said you could but you would have purchase a separate ticket through Austria. Then I went back to Poing, cleaned my contacts, checked email, then returned to have dinner at Hofbräuhaus.