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Friday, April 04, 2008

Vacation Diary Day 4: Frankfurt -> Würzburg

Click here for photos from Day 4

We tried waking up early with no luck and took the train back to the Hauptbahnhof to rent a car for two days. The plan was to go to the town of Ostheim, via Würzburg. So we drive to Würzburg, a small town that was 85% destroyed in 1945. In fact, most of the town was rebuilt, including the churches and the Residenz, the palace for the local prince-bishop. All the reconstruction is gorgeous. If we hadn't been told that the entire city had been destroyed and rebuilt, we wouldn't have known it. Würzburg has about 130,000 people, and so is an active city in its own right, but it's also a fantastic tourist location, with pretty streets reasonable shops and great restaurants.

We had a nice visit to the Residenz, home to one of the largest frescoes in the world (one of the few parts of the castle to survive the bombing.) It was an awesome piece of work. The artist intentionally placed Europe as the pinnacle of civilization, and Würzburg as its center. You're not allowed to take pictures of the Residenz, but this person managed to take some nice ones:

We drove to a restaurant recommended by the folks from Lonely Planet with authentic Franconian food. We started with Fränkenische Mostsuppe, a local specialty: wine soup (with a mushroom base and cinnamon croutons.) Beth ordered Sauerbraten, a pork rib with cabbage and dumplings, and I had Rhönlamm lamb in rosemary with zucchini. All the food was un-belivable. So we decided to spend the night in Würzburg. We walked up to a nice enough hotel (thanks again to the Lonely Planet guide) right by the Dom Cathedral and went to sleep.

Until 3:45AM, that is, when we heard banging. Bang! Bang! Bang! On and on for 45 minutes. Since the hotel's front door was locked at 10PM, and no staff was around until 6AM, Beth thought someone was trying to get in. So I tried calling the police, but I couldn't figure out how to do it from the hotel phone. We were on our own. Finally the banging stopped and we went to sleep.

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