Farewell to Franconia & Bamberg

This past week I have been trying to relearn German.  I owe my high school German teacher Frau Tangert a debt of gratitude as much of what she taught me in 1980 about this country, I got to experience this past week as I immersed myself in the culture.  Some of my German speaking ability came back to me, seemingly out of nowhere, but not as much as I would have liked.  But through persistence, the kindness of strangers amd gppd beer,  I got through fine.  There is so much to say about Bamberg and Franconia.  Where to start?  Well, for one thing they have huge pillows on the beds and the only English radio station is The Eagle broadcasting from the local U.S. Military base to "America's Finest."  Driving around listening to this station gave me some insight into what it must be like to be a U.S. soldier over here.  Lots of subtle suggestions to speak with an Army chaplain before you do anything crazy to yourself or others...but first another song Niceklback.

I went 110 mph on the autobahn and I met Canadian beer writers Josh Oakes and Sunshine Kessler, who are living here for more than two months.  I thank them for sharing their beer wisdom and knowledge of Bamberg.  We went to hear live music at a brewery in the country last night and we were the youngest people there by about 20 years.  It was a great experience and a little window into the world of the locals.  I plan to post some pics of this later.   Today, we had lunch and beers at Brauerei Sonne.

Then of course there was the beer: Rauchbier and country beers.  All pure, fresh and full of character...and much of it fire brewed.  Many of these breweries have mountains of the most beautiful hardwood firewood, all harvested from the thick Bavarian forests.  They brew mostly lagers here with the exception of some wheat ales.  And, they're not afraid to drink them at 9 a.m., when many of the breweries open.  I have to admit, I had my eyes opened to how good a lager beer can be.  And, how different, subtle and full of character they can be.

More later, but for now I have to get some sleep to be ready for my last full day here.  But first, I have to finish the Drei Kronen Rauchbier I'm drinking....mmm...Did I mention I went 110 mph on the autobahn?