Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bamberg: Asparagus, old buildings, new sculptures

In the winter we have feasted on German mushroom dishes. Now that it is spring we devour asparagus (spargel)  and experience the new (to us) white asparagus. A curiosity - in the Nuremberg farmers' market the asparagus were laid horizontly - in Bamberg (less than 50 miles north) they were displayed vertically.
Display of asparagus in Nuremberg, Bavaria
Display in Bamberg, Bavaria

Note asparagus in Bamberg were 6 euros per kilo - in KL we found sad looking white asparagus for roughly 18 euros per kilo.

Now to taste them.We went to Hofbrau, close to the Ratthaus (old city hall), which had posted an asparagus menu. We made a reservation, which proved to be necessary on Saturday night. I had asparagus with perch. The asparagus came with either melted butter or a hollandaise sauce. The asparagus was delicious as was the perch (after seeing so many meat heavy menus I was craving fish). Doug had veal instead of perch. The meal was great and the service was friendly, so we went back the next night, repeated our entrees, included an asparagus salad with a vinaigrette, and Doug added an asparagus cream soup.

"The best way to discover what Bamberg has to offer is on foot" (Bamberg tourism pamphlet), and walked we did. The town was filled with walking tours that seemed to consist of Germany tourists.

The guided tours were conducted in German. We had to settle for an audio tour. (A note on logistics on Saturday the tourist office is open until 4 and on Sunday until 2:30. An audio tour can be rented for 4 hours - so no dashing in at the last minute.The Bamberg card at 12 euros is a bargain - it is good for 3 days and includes bus transportation and an audio guide, which rent for 8.5 euros.) Since it was raining I tried to manage my umbrella, head set (it kept slipping) and the audio device. The sound quality was mediocre. Still it kept us from mindless wandering.

River view
Frescoes on the old town hall (1386)
Inside the DOM on its 1000 year anniversary
 A row of shops - note stork with baby on right

Despite the rain a gondolier plying his trade

 A river view

Neptune Fountain (1698) Green Market

As an intact historical town buildings dating from medieval times - it is not frozen in time. The "trail of modern sculptures" is particularly remarkable and deserves frequent visits. Each has been purchased by the town and each suggests some wise eyes motivated the purchases.
                                                                     Centurione I by Mitoraj (Bamberg purchase in 2002)

                                                       Same statue - another side. You have to see it yourself
                                                            Lady with Fruit by Botero (Bamberg purchase 1998)
                                                                               Large Sculpture 1982 by Avranidis (Bamberg purchase 1999)

                                                                      Apoli by Lupertz

                                                              Couldn't decide which view I liked best - so here are both

Among the things we couldn't do because of our lack of advance planning was attending a performance of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.  The local ticket service closes on Saturday at 1PM, and is closed on Sunday.  We went to the box office on the afternoon of the performance.  It was sold out,  our names were added to the waiting list, but most tickets seemed to be sold between private parties.

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