Monday 19th September
After bragging about the weather in the last blog we really copped it with heavy rain, it was going to be a long driving day. 125 miles in all mainly down autobahns so easy driving and by lunchtime the rain had stopped. We were aiming for an aire in Wurzburg, it’s the start of the Romantic Road and you know how romantic I am. The only worry was that this was a popular aire with river views right next to the city but only had 10 parking places. No need to worry, there are 30 of here and room for lots more. The parking is free at the weekend and just €3 per day during the week.
And this is the view we gave Frankie, aren’t we nice to him. This is the River Main which meets the Rhine at Frankfurt so it is tied into the river traffic network.
I had a little wander around looking for bins, information points and fellow Brits and found Mandy and Darren, sitting in their Frankia so burst in and introduced myself. Mandy and Darren have been on the road for the last 5 months travelling mainly through Sweden and Norway and are now heading for Spain. Quick chat turned into long chat and then a marathon drinking session leaving me rather delicate the next morning. We had a great evening and I don’t think I managed to say anything controversial.
Next morning, feeling rather ill we wandered into the city walking along the river looking at lovely old buildings.
The old crane supplied by the town so that river trade can be controlled.
On the old bridge were nearly a dozen large statues.
And in the distance you can see Kapelle, the Wallfahrtskirche Maria Heimsuchung designed by Balthazar Neumann in the mid 18th century. Balthazar was a very famous architect in his day and specialised in the baroque school of building.
High on one side of the river is the defensive position called the Marienberg Fortress, visiting will have to wait for another day.
This is what I call a narrow boat in a lock. On the top deck everything has had to be taken down including handrails, exhaust pipes and deckchairs so that it can pass under the old bridge.
And this is what we have come to see today, the Wurzburg Residence, seat of the Wurzburg prince-bishops until 1802 (A certain French chap came calling and put a stop to all that stuff). It was built from 1720 until 1744 and designed by Balthazar Neumann. In March 1945 the British came calling and dropped 300,000 incendiary bombs (yes, 300,000) which created a firestorm destroying much of the internal decorations and most of the old town. After the war the Americans managed to weather protect the palace and thereby preserved what was left so that it could be restored and become the World Heritage site that it is today.
There was a very strict no photo regime inside the building with guards lurking behind every column, I got a couple of suspicious stares but sneakily took some pictures for you, please excuse the jaunty angles.
The gardens round the back were just as beautiful.
Würzburg Tourist Information Office, lovely building taken from a cafe over the road where we nearly had lunch, but then we saw the prices. I did manage to get a quick beer in and I don’t know if it was my headache but it seems that I am starting to gain an appreciation for German beer.
Look Mum, I’m still alive and eating well. Currywurst, hot dog and two piles of chips for less than the cost of a meal in the other place and we got Hollander Jolopsosse (a kind of mustardy, curry, mayonnaise creation).
And we’ve found the start of our Romantic Road, i’m getting all lovey dovey now, but that could be the currywurst talking!