The magnificent small cities (or big towns) of Regensburg and Bamberg are unspoiled bookends to the tattered, bombed-out city of Nuremberg, though even the cities that were smashed in the allied vendetta are fabulously restored today. This part of Germany has an ancient, Italian influence. All of Germany has a more recent Italian influence in the form of pizza, spaghetti, and gelato. Perhaps Germany has taught Italy how to build a motorcar that works (note the rise of Fiat) while Italy has taught Germans something about food, but only the easy stuff. In fairness, the Germans can do things with mushrooms that are worthy of a closer look. But I digress wildly and may leave an unintended impression of entendre doubled.

Regensberg 798Regensburg (ominously pronounced “Reagan” as in Ronald) dates back to the days of Julius Caesar. The architecture has a decidedly Italian flavor. Most great buildings boast some form of tower, illustrative of the owner’s wealth; there are lots of balconies; the building colors are muted and tasteful (pre-Berlusconi Italy). A mural of David and Goliath (both fully clothed—colder climate than Florence, apparenly) is a bit cartoonish with the playful touch of Goliath resting an arm on a window cornice.

This is the first city we visited that had serious flooding two months ago. The lingering effects are hard to spot. A stone bridge completed around 1300 was partially submerged in the floods, but it is undiminished.

Regensberg 963

Our Australian guide pointed out some brass “stumbling stones” set into the street, replacing cobbles of the same size and shape. Each contains the name of a person who lived at the adjacent address and was murdered by the Nazis. The name “stumbling” does not indicate some intention to trip and kill elderly tourists in some ill-conceived act of pointless revenge, but in the more figurative sense of “stumbling upon” as a perpetual reminder of injustice. These are found in many Bavarian towns and are being set by citizens even today. This well-intentioned paving is irreconcileable with the adage about “the road to hell.”

Beer service at the café where our busses intended to rendezvous was regrettably slow. Chisti and I were forced to chug 12 ounces in 45 seconds, which we are conditioned to do, but this will cost the otherwise perfect town a half star—a sad day in northern Bavaria.

Published by Sambandar

Hiker, bridge player, and amateur opinionist living in this wonderful American city for nearly 30 years. I maintain a silly blog when traveling.

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