Tandem Tour 2015: Kitzingen to Bamberg via Sand am Main

Kintingen_sand2

The main route heading north and east is a delight.

Kintingen_sand

It is still significant enough to experiece ferries and sizeable bridges, some of which riders are required to use. We travelled in a northerly direction towards Dettelbach. This is very much wine country and Dettelbach (below right) is twee and offers a considerable – and probably necessary – marketing opportunity for growers. They have hostelries on the road side with opportunities to sample the local wine and DSCF1204then buy a crate. We acquired a taste for Domina (a fruity red) and Spätburgunder (another word for Pinot Noir). Suffice to say, we did not carry a crate on the tandem.

We actually stopped at Volkach for lunch where, clearly, we should have stopped at the St. Maria im Weingarten church, the home of another Riemenschneider carving. But we hadn’t done our homework.  However, by way of compensation, and as is so often the case, one DSCF1210stumbles upon strange – sometimes inexplicable – attractions. So at Stammheim, one encounters an air museum (left). And a ferry. I love ferry rides across rivers (below right).

Onward towards Schweinfurt which is a not insignificant industrial town. It produced most of the Nazi war machine’s ball bearings. For that reason it was a target of allied forces in 1945. It retains significant metal industry facilities. But if one follows the track, the city is largely bypassed.

Next up is Haßfurt, again somewhat bypassed. We were keen to get to our preferred campsite at Sand am Main.DSCF1213 We took a little detour adjacent to an airfield, surprisingly busy with small and micro aircraft. Sand am Main proved not as easy to get to as we might have thought. There is a lot of water which requires one to ride over the correct bridge just to the east of Knetzgau. The campsite is actually on the banks of Sanderbaggersee and is, consequently, relatively easy to find once in Sand.

DSCF1220Time for a day off from the tandem. The next day we walked into the nearby Zeil am Main (left), a centre for furniture manufacture, and caught the train into Bamberg. Bamberg – or at least its centre – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And it is extraordinary. It has a thousand years of history, much of it religious. It lost its status as a city state in 1803 becoming part of the Bavarian kingdom.DSCF1227

It is certainly a hilly place (there are 7 hills, die Hügel), thus enjoying the architecture requires some strenuous walking. The stone used for the buildings gives it an unwarranted industrial feel. The Cathedral (right) is, for example, built from a sandy-coloured stone, as is the nearby Michaelsberg Abbey (below right). The cathedral dates from the 13th Century and is described as romanesque (Bamberg is often described, inappropriately, as Bavaria’s Rome). As for the 20150828_152853interior, one can find an ornate Riemenschneider tomb sculpted from marble (left). It was sculpted for Heinrich II and his wife (Kunigunde), and dates from the early 16th Century. It is adorned with carvings capturing a series of complex stories. For example, Kunigunde was challenged on her faithfulness to the KingDSCF1232 (left). She was essentially cleared after proving her faithfulness by runing over some hot sharp metal without injury!

Bamberg also has a history steeped in beer, not unlike most Bavarian towns, it has to be said. There is one very special beer, however, that had to be tried. That beer was Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (essentially, dark smoked bier). The beer is smoked arising out of an DSCF1235accident. Fire damaged the brewery and soiled the ingredients including the hops. However, waste not want not, as-it-were. The next batch of beer had, not surprisingly, a smoked flavour. I have to say, one glass was enough. The hostelry itself offers traditional complementary food which is quick (the turnover inside is rapid) and surprisingly good, even for a vegetarian.

 

 

 

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