El blog de Jaizki

15 agosto 2006

Visiting Bavaria - Day 3

This post is the continuation of Visiting Bavaria - Day 2.

Ingrid and Josef's plan for Sunday morning was hiking to Walberla mount (picture). Unfortunately, or perhaps luckily for my injured ankle, the day started rainy and they had to change their plan.

We went once again to Forchheim, this time with daytime light and more time to spend there. We visited once more the city centre (picture), the door that represents the passage of time (picture) in the main street, the leaning house by the river (picture). But this time we gave a walk through the city and we saw many more things.

For example, we saw the Kaiserplatz (Kaiser's Palace) (picture). In fact, the palace was permanently empty and the richest neighbours had to fill it with their best furniture when the kaiser announced his visit. As soon as he was gone, they took them back. We also walked around the inner perimeter of the city wall -not very impressive-, and through small side streets with really pretty small houses.

In Forchheim many old houses higher floors are bigger than lower ones (picture). Apparently, some kind of tax on the occupied ground made citizens decide to build the ground floor as small as possible, and build the higher floors as big as possible.

We also visited the outside perimeter of the wall by car; from that side height was much more impressive than expected visiting the inner perimeter.

Following the German standard, we had a reservation for lunch at 12:00 in a restaurant, so we picked Tobias and Tanja up and went there. It was quite small and neither the outside nor the inside were very attractive, but it was packed. The only good reason for that is splendid food.

At this point, my hosts decided to test Basque gastric capacity, and ordered schäuferla for me (roasted pork shoulder with knödel and sauerkraut), it was supposed to be for two. To tell the truth, the pork was exquisite and the sauerkraut -of which I am not fan-, was superb. However, I was unable to finish it, I think I left almost one third. In my defence I must say that at 12 AM I'd rather have a pintxo than lunch, maybe something different would have happened if lunch had been at four o'clock in the afternoon.

After this feast, we went back to their home to let the food go down before going on with the afternoon plan. Josef and I had a shot of strong local liquor, somewhat like Spanish orujo. For sure it helped my digestion.

The plan for the afternoon was visiting the towns in Wiesent river valley. This area is known as Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz). It was given this name by romantic artists and poets in the 19th century who compared its landscape to Switzerland. Among them was Ludwig Tieck.

First place we visited there was Gössweinstein, a town famous for its Baroque basilica (picture), a traditional place of pilgrimage. There's also a palace on the top of a hill, it was reformed in 19th century with the gothic style of that time.

In remote times, Franconian Switzerland was under the sea, and there is now a great amount of fossils, ammonite specially. In Tüchersfeld there is a museum of fossils and traditional life style in the area. However, Tüchersfeld is better known by its rock formations (picture). It is possible to go up to the top of those rocks and, of course, we did it. The views from there are great (foto).

From Tüchersfeld we went to Pottenstein (picture), as it started to drizzle we went for a drink to a brewery. As it did no clear up, we decided to visit Pottenstein by car. In Pottenstein there are some caves (pictures) we did not visit. We followed the road to a recreation area by a lake (picture). In our way back from there we saw Pottenstein castle (picture).

After that, we went up to the ruins of a castle at one side of the valley. There is another one, also in ruins, in the opposite side. From these castles anyone crossing the valley could be detected.

From there, we went for dinner to another small restaurant, although quite isolated it was as packed as the one we had had lunch in. The waitress, who was also helping in the kitchen, was totally overwhelmed, so the service was slow, but it was worth the trouble. This time I had the famous knödel with mushrooms Ingrid had ordered the day before. But these had nothing to do with the others, they were absolutely exquisite.

As dinner took plenty of time, it was quite late by the time we arrived at their home and since we had to get up early the following day, we went straight to bed.

Continues in Visiting Bavaria - Day 4.

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