Update from Bratislava

I will not be posting anything for a while. Wifi is very difficult.


Bamberg- May 3/19

80,000 pop. + 14,000 students. In 1500 the monastery was built. Now is a hotel… but in between it was very good hospital noted for privacy and cleanliness… something that was unusual for the times.

City has been in existence since 902 but wasn’t recognized until 1007, by the dioceses.

Little Venice …along river began in 16th century.

There are 1523 stations of the cross in the city .

A symbol left over after departure of 14,000 US troops that were stationed here.

Wobbly walking man” is name in German for brew pub. The cathedral on the hill was built in

“Wobbly walking man”…. a pub with the sign hanging that looks like the “Star of David” but is actually the sign of a pub

Romantic & gothic style ….. built in 1230. Beside it to the right is the Renaissance style of “court”and then again to the right, the humongous Baroque style with a rose garden overlooking was bishops residence. Wow!

Bamberg Cathedral… in Romantic and gothic style

Court building in Renaissance style

One half of the prince bishops residence…. in Baroque style

The other half…. huge.. could not get it all in one photo

Court (not justice) building

More cathedral

Gate at “Court”

Inside the cathedral is the oldest tomb of a pope north of the alps ….Pope Clement 2nd. Another is of Pope Henry 2nd and wife.. she could read & write Latin and do financials so was with him in the tomb….. very unusual.

Clement’s tomb… oldest of all tombs north of alps

Organ in the Bamberg Cathedral

Holy Roman Emperor Henry 2 (died 1024) & wife Cunigunde’s tomb

There are 1400 historical buildings in the city.

The oldest living house was built in 1183.

During the 17 century many of the buildings were plastered over covering the half timbered building to make the city “less poor” looking. Little did they know!

The facade frescos one the outside walls of city hall was done in 1574 and redone again in 1960s. Magnificent!!!

According to legend the bishop of Bamberg did not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall. This prompted the townsfolk to ram stakes into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island, on which they built the town hall they so badly wanted. The boot of a cherub is hanging our of the fresco wall. Amusing!

“Stumbling Stones” in the cobblestone sidewalks are in 90% of German cities …..almost everywhere except Munich, to identify and pay homage to the last Jew to live in that particular building before sent to a concentration camp….where they were exterminated… because you have to bow your head to look at it. Munich Jews do not want people walking on top of them so have none.

Locks on the Rhine, Main and Danube

In order to pass through the locks , there is a charge for the ship as well as everyone on board including crew and passenger.

We started on Rhine, then Main and Danube. From Bamberg onward we enter Main-Danube Canal….. built from 1960-1992

Every 20 minutes we enter another so they are not opening the sun decks

Cost was 2.3 B for this canal to be built-16 locks on this section

Hoping to build storage reservoirs to save for times of low levels, like last year.

There are 68 locks in total from Amsterdam to Budapest.

The highest level is 1332 ft high at Scheitelalhatung or 406 metres above sea level. All are remotely controlled …in 4 locations only.

The canal is 171 kilometre long.. longest length, 190 meters …3 m. longer than this boat and about 6 inches wider.

123 bridges on this section…..1000+ overall.

They’ve only had 1 dam break …in 1979. Before that there weren’t any inspection but now they have regular inspections

Each lock has 3 reservoir….don’t use the river water……pour the water into the lock then suck it back out.

There is little as 20 cms clearance between ship and bridges. Captain can still control the height of if still too high by adding water to tanks.

One ship replaces 82 freight trucks or 42 cargo wagons

Use is 49% cargo freight, 43% cruise ship, balance private vessels.

It is so beautiful sailing up this river. It is clean everywhere (NO GARBAGE)…. and green (their season is a bit ahead of us in Victoria). In some places it seams that like you paddling a canoe on a Creek, it’s so narrow, we’re at water level and there is lots of birds especially swans, mallards and Egyptian Geese (some Canada Geese too). We are amazing at how really lovely it is…. seeing all the castles and quaint villages. (The locals seem to think the castles are boring). The locks may well become monotonous! And the number of bridge….. incredible!

Rothenburg…May 2/19

Wurzburg, where the boat stopped has a population of 130,000 (but I went to Rothenburg).

Xray machine was invented here.

90 % destroyed in 17 minutes by 238 planes just before the end of war.

Marinburg Palace on hill in Wurzburg. The fortress in current shape was built in 15th century and finished 16th, however area has been fortified already in 1000 BC by celtics.

Marinburg Castle

In 1156 Barbarossa “red beard” married in this church

There are 45,000 churches of just Catholic and Protestant, in Germany

1/4 of population burnt for witchcraft by .

18 years ago it was discovered that people were using salad oil… (canola) for diesel. There is a lot of canola grown here.

Price is 1.42/ litre/ € reg gas ($2.15 CAD/ litre)

38 percent of energy in Germany is renewable. …solar farms, wind turbines even though they only get 65 days of sun/year. 2024 is the year they hope to be free of fossil and nuclear fuels.

It costs 4,000€/ yr hunting lesson… high seats

19% tax on everything except 7% on food

In Rothenburg only 3000 live inside city walls although it is a very large city. That is partly because the accommodations upstairs have to be accessed through the main floor of a business that is not necessarily run by the owner of the building.

They had a sort of “go fund me” after the war to help pay for repair walls. In the wall there are the names of people from around the world that contributed and how much of it….. as in 1 metre or 10 m.

Slots on tower are toilets

Tower inside… 1200’s was hospital … ran by catholic monks

Heritage designation on all buildings here so if there are any update, it has to be restored to same.

Only wrought iron sign holders allowed… no Las Vegas here.

One of the towers of Rothenburg

Crooked house

A sign on a well…..from 1385

Do you think this may be a Christmas store???

Store sign…. example of wrought iron with helmet from Middle Ages

Rothenburg street

What is so unique about this city is the wall that surrounds it . It provides a wonderful view of the city as myself and 2 other ladies from Victoria found out.

On the Rothenburg wall

Looking down onto a back street.

The stairs leading down from the wall

Peephole for keeping an eye out for the enemy and shooting from

Rooftops…. see the cathedral in the distance

Miltenberg and Wertheim


May 1/19

As we travel south, we noticed that the rows of grapevines on the hillsides have changed direction. Now they are what we would expect….horizontal. Previously they were running up and down….. not so good for erosion, one would think.

Glassblower….takes 4.5 years to get degree, has degree for scientific glassblower…as in for labs.

Miltenberg is called the Pearl. Only 10,000 population. No bombing during war so it is intact.

Engelplatz (angels plaza) at 4pm meeting … at the maypole. A big building called “Rathaus”….. the city hall. Pretty funny!!!

Bridge built in 1900 sponsored by twin sisters but destroyed by Hitler in ‘45 but rebuilt exactly the same.

More damage in the “30 years war” 1618-1648 when a lot was destroyed… fighting between Protestants and Catholics.

“Staircase” building belonged to bishop. It’s from 14th century.

“Rest easy and sleep like a bear” is a sign outside of a hotel.

Across from Rathaus was a Franciscan monastery built because the bishop thought the citizens were being just too noisy and rambunctious in the Engelplatz.

The Protestant church up the hill was built in 19th century but city did not change from Catholic. .

1581 timber building was built using beams and only wooden pegs..the mortar between the beams was a mix of dung, clay, straw and water. Amazing….. they have lasted for over 500 years.

In the 16 & 17th century Miltenberg had witch trials and executions.

The oldest hotel in Germany called the Reisen or giant. … ugly faces on exterior facade to keep nasty people out. FYI …Elvis stayed here too.

“Staircase” building belonged to bishop. It’s from 14th century.

One of the ugly faces… this one of a female gossip… not big ears and big lips/mouth

The oldest hotel in Germany called the Reisen or giant. .

Guild sign of the butcher


High river flood marks on the buildings

So many interesting doors…

Miltenberg market square

Another interesting door

On the carmel coloured building, above the door shows the “guild” …..of butcher.

Apothecary was here for 500 years but closed 2 years ago.

Oldest house in Miltenberg built in 1333. Everything about it is not straight including floors.

Joseph Martin Krause born in 1700 same as Mozart..musician statue in market square.

This day is the a holiday….the “1st of May”… “labour”day, so nothing except coffee shops and a couple of tourist places.


Castles in Europe were all built in 12th or 13th century.

We drove through a little town that has existed since 1611.

Bike trails along highway like the “Galloping Goose”. Lots of “caravans” or RV parks. Reminds us of the island.

As we drove in we can see the magnificent, huge castle built in 1117.

Protestant town run by a Count not a bishop. To keep religious peace one had to become Protestant or leave. Problem came later when there the only heirs were sons-in-law. One was catholic and one was Protestant. They then had to share the same church. That didn’t work out well.

There used to be a large Jewish population at time of war. Germany changed the names of street (which later the signs were reposted with both names. They also took down the synogogue.

Apparently in Germany, all grade 8 students as part of their curriculum, must take the history of what happen during Hitler and Nazis…WW2. They must also go to a concentration camp to see what was done so that it is never repeated.

Castle built from 1117

Example of the street sign…. The newer name from Nazi time above, the one below… the original “Jewish” name

This roof is definitely in need of repairs

Photo of flooding in streets of Wertheim

Machine on street selling tubes for bicycles

Museum of “Old” stuff

Wonderful narrow street of Wertheim. In this house…. the highest set of windows were placed there so the owner could see what was going on down the street…. nosy!!!

Home of Lina Klaus, a Jewish woman and the date when she was taken away to the concentration camp

House that the owner thought the people would be jealous of because it was so y’all and beautiful

Seen in a shop, these cute children’s faces on these cups


April 29/19

Cruising the river toward Rudesheim.

Katz castle near Loreley Rock at St Goar.

Then Maus Castle on left at Loreleystadt-St Goarshausen……so we have the cat and the mouse almost across the river from either, spying on each other …. hahaha!

Katz Castle

St. Goar

Maus castle

The famous Loreley….. narrow winding and very busy passageway

Loreleystadt-St Goarshausen

82 ft deep at Loreley and 300+/-wide with lots of traffic on a sharp turn. Means “murmuring rock”.

Each kilometre is identified along the river. We are going from highest to lowest. Apparently when we meet the next river it reverses and starts to increase.

It is just one castle after the other. Incredible!


10,000 pop. but 3 million visitors per year.

There is a cable car up. to monument honouring the reunification of Germany. In 1853.

Siegfried Mechanical musical museum in a house from 15th & 16th century.

First built one was made in 1911

Next a crank music maker… “Harmonipan”

One with sheet metal discs built in 1900. …. “Symphonion”

Big ugly … made in Budapest in 1908.

1877 Thomas Edison grammaphone

Hupfelo maker…. 6 violins … amazing——1911. 12 left out of 500.

6 violins in this one!!!

Next….Oldest room like Sistine chapel…… not quite but….. Frescos from 1559. Piano 1928.

Family’s chapel…. all original. Flooring tile from 1200s… older than the walls.

Siegfried Mechanical Musical Museum built in 1500’s

One of the many wnderful mechanical music machines

Thomas Edison gramophone

Tiles from 1200’s

Inside their private chapel from 1500’s

Onto the Mein River … 50 locks in next 4-5 days. They had to lower the sundeck because of the height of the bridges that we have to go under.


April 28/19..Woke up in Germany passing by a lot of industry. Later on passed by Dusseldorf……looked lovely with lots of the old style buildings.





Yesterday we were passing boats to the right (as we in Canada, drive on the road). Today we were travelling on the left. We wondered why. According to Mr. Google …..”The vessel which has the wind on its starboard (right) side has the right of way. The vessel which has the wind on its port (left) side must give way.” I would assume that sometime we will switch to the other side.


Cologne…. could not get off but in Zons because the lock was not working. Had to take a 40 minute bus ride.


Modern tuk tuk???

If looking for luck in love, you rub this statue’s nose

Fishmonger womens waterfountain in Old Town

Reconstructed Old Town

River walk (and bike path) park ….. old town

3 million population with a 0% population growth. Lots of gardens for family use.

Canola is grown for vehicle fuel.

Biggest ethnic group is Turkish, then Italian and Spanish. They settled here after being brought in to work for a number of years but they all decided to stay.

It was founded 2000 years ago…. by the Romans. It was part of Roman Empire. The city was named after Colonia Aggripa. … a Roman girl.

Huge, huge manufacturing plant Bayer.

Used to be 400,000 working in coal mines producing 400,000 tons annually …. now only 10,000 tons are produced.

Cologne…..90% destroyed during war. 70% of city centre

“Bikes are over taking cities.” (Not just Victoria). Example ……one lane for cars with one lane each side for bicycles.

It costs 1,000,000€ just to maintain cathedral without actually cleaning the limestone.

Fast trains go 300 kms/ hour. 1.5 hr to Amsterdam from here.

During concerts at the concert hall, they put guards around courtyard …. to keep people off of what is the roof of the music hall…at a cost of 10,000€/mo….. because of the noise people, etc. created by walking or riding on it causes….. oops!!!!

There is a statue of Emperor Willheim… last Prussian emperor on horse… (by the train station and cathedral).

St. Martin church…. near by is area that was rebuilt after the war

City hall clock, in old city market

City Hall clock tower in Old Market

1248 Cologne Cathedral was started to be built. OMG what a spectacular cathedral! Impressed me more than probably any I have ever seen before. It is absolutely gorgeous!

Cologne Cathedral