Tales from the River – Wurzburg, Germany, Oct 5, 2011

Oh, my goodness, we had an early start this morning! We had to have eaten breakfast and be ready for a tour of the Bishop’s Palace by 9:45!!! LOL. Yes, it was worth it.

The palace was the home of the Prince Bishop. This was the “new” home, built in the 1700’s. The “old” home still exists but it is on the other side of the river and atop a hill. This home was the grandest that we’ve seen so far and it was beautiful. We couldn’t take pictures inside the home but I did buy a few postcards of it. This is the first real portico that I’ve seen, where the horse and carriage would pull up past the water fountain and drive into the palace’s first floor to discharge their riders at the indoor huge staircase. Walking up, we were greeted with a colorful fresco on the ceiling depicting the 4 continents that were known at the time. America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, ranked in that order of sophistication and culture. This was built in the mid-1700’s but they showed America with an American Indian. A little behind the times, I would say, considering Europeans were already in the new world long before then.

From there, we entered the White Room, the reception area. It was all different shades of white. There was a greyish white on the main walls, which showcased the white stucco decoration on the walls. It was ornate but understated. From there we went into the main hall. This was a room filled with color! The marble floor was original. The columns were faux-marble, not because of expense but because of weight. There were wall paints all around and huge fireplaces for the winter.

Each room after that became more and more ornate, ending with Mirror Hall, a room covered with paintings on the back of mirrors. It was destroyed in March, 1945, and so all of the mirrors are recreations of the originals. They tried to save all 600+ mirrors but foud they couldn’t remove them safely. They put wood panels over them but when the Allies bombed Wurzburg, many of the ceilings caved in and the wood paneling in this room caught fire, melting the mirrors hidden underneath.

The highlight of the tour, though, was the wine tasting in the wine cellar. We got to see the caskss containing the estate-grown wines. These casks were not as large as the ones we had previously seen but there were so many of them! We tasted 4 different wines but by the time we got to the last one, I was pretty sloshed. I sipped it and then gave it to Ed to finish. It was good but they were giving us half a glass of wine each time and that was quite a lot for me to handle. I sure was glad that Ed was there to walk me back up all those stairs.

Wurzburg is home to about 29,000 people and I have decided that I much more enjoy the little villages that we have visited than the larger towns. We walked back to the ship after the tour and, of course, got lost on the way. We just wandered along the streets and eventually came to the river. Thankfully, our ship was parked next to the Cinemarxx theater so we were aiming for that building. Thankfully, a young man showed us which direction to walk and then we saw our housekeeper, who also helped. Yes, we did have a map but have you ever tried to read a map where everything is in a foreign language? It’s difficult, to say the least!

We made it back in time to get a little lunch … at 2:30 pm … and rest up a little before dinner. They feed us way too much on this ship. Ed has gone back to eating whatever he wants but only half of it. As a diet, it works well.

We are now in the bar, listening again to Robbie. Ed keeps urging me to get up and sing but that’s not as easy as it sounds. It has to be in the right key and have the words on the music. I haven’t sung since we left home and I think I have forgotten every song I know!

Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to Bamburg!


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