Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Waking up, we need to decide where to go next. We have no target, no plan for the day. We have plenty of time left over; we do not need to be in Heidelberg until the end of the week and today is Tuesday.
Not far from Passau is the town of Regensburg. I heard the name mentioned often but have never been there. I know nothing about Regensburg so let us go there and spend a day or two finding out about Regensburg. What do you say, Carol?
So, off we go, really meandering down the roads, from small town to small town, looking left and right, drifting towards Regensburg and get to this large city around noon. Again, I know nothing about the town but that is ok. Let us just find a motel, hotel or something and stay a few days. The old part of town looks interesting enough.
So here we start. The first hotel, on the edge of old town Regensburg wants 140 Euros for a room. I pass. The next Hotel around the corner, a not so nice place wants 90 Euros without breakfast and no parking. We get back on the bike, ride around some more, and find a hostel but all is “sold out”. The folks at the hostel send us to another place but there is no room in this place, either. Yes, there is a place around the corner, but when I try there, the place only opens up at 5 PM. For us to be waiting for 4 hours, and then to find they are sold out too is not an option. What do we do? By now, it is 2 PM, we looked for a hotel for two hours and yes, they have them, but I refuse to pay these prices.
Good-bye Regensburg maybe I will see you some other time.
So now what do we do? The next bigger town is Amberg. I never even heard of this town. Let us go and see what this town has; maybe they have a hotel that is ok for us, for just one night. We ride the short distance to Amberg, taking the Autobahn to get there faster, just in case we run into problems again.
With a few questions, we find the hotel Altstadt in Amberg. At 72 Euros with Breakfast, it is not great, but better than paying 140 Euros in Regensburg. The parking for the bike is in front of the hotel, all is well. We have a room for the night. Now let us go and explore the town.
Like so many towns in this area, Amberg, too lived off salt. Salt was so much in demand that whole towns, whole counties could live off the money it created. Yes, Amberg had a wall around the city; yes, Amberg has cobble stone streets and the former market area is still active, still visited. A river running through the town still brings visitors, still runs along its old path. After visiting Amberg, walking its old streets, I still do not know why the town is there, what it did in the past. I am sure Amberg traded salt, but what else did Amberg do?
After some visits of European towns, no matter the county, no matter the area, the towns start to look alike. Walled off from invaders, giving their tradesmen work, having a protective royal patron, being blessed by the church, they existed for some reason. They had to be famous for something, produce something. I never did find out what made Amberg famous. Only after I checked Wikipedia on line did I learn we missed the ‘famous’ smallest hotel in the world. Rats!
We are getting tired of travelling; it has been a long trip. It is time to go home!

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