After spending the morning wandering the streets of Weimar, I took to the road to drive south to Bamberg. My nephew’s wife had recommended it as a picturesque and “typical” Bavarian city. The roads from Weimar through the Thuringian Forest were windy and slow, so I finally escaped that and got on the Autobahn to make up time. I arrived in Bamberg in the late afternoon, checked into my hotel, and found the parking garage for my car. Once settled in my room, I headed out to explore and find a place to have dinner.

From UNESCO World Heritage Listing: Bamberg is located in southern Germany in the north of Bavaria. It is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.

The street layouts of the three historic core areas retain their medieval features. The many historic buildings in these areas are authentic. Since the 1950s Bamberg has undergone a continuous programme of restoration of its historic properties and areas. Street layouts of the three historic core areas retain their medieval features. The many historic buildings in these areas are authentic. (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/624)

Schlenkerla Rauchbier

My hotel, though somewhat hidden on a side street, was very close to the busy Obstmarkt Street. Along here I found several grocery stores but headed first to the bridge that crossed the Pegnitz. I grabbed some shots there and then stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a beer before heading back to the grocery stores and my room. In the store, I picked up a few things to take back to my room. I figured out where the Schlenkerla Brewer pub and restaurant were and headed out to find it. Once there, I decided to eat dinner in its restaurant. This is the brewery my nephew had recommended because of its unique “smoked” beer. After dinner, I wandered the streets a bit, but then headed back to bed.

Distant church tower brought closer with 35-100mm lens. 

The next morning I had an excellent breakfast in the hotel’s breakfast room then headed out to explore Bamberg. As in Weimar, I approached my outing not as a tourist but rather as an observer and street photographer. I was mostly looking for interesting people shots, though I also wanted to capture some of the charm and architecture of the city that captured my eye. Case in point was a church tower in the distance as I crossed a bridge. A bit far away for my 12-40mm (28-80mm in full frame terms) lens, so this was actually the first time I had replaced my favorite 12-40 with another lens the whole trip! I chose the very small Panasonic 35-100mm, f/4-5.6 and it performed perfectly. I decided to leave it on as I continued back to the busy "Fruit Market" square filled with people. I was curious to see what shots I might be able to get with a rather far reaching 70mm equivalent at the widest focal length.

On my way back to the market plaza, I stopped at a busy pedestrian intersection to get some shots. Having the 35-100mm mounted served me well. I could be reasonably far away and grab shots of passers-by unobserved as they turned the corner. Once back at the market plaza, this narrow focal length let me get unnoticed shots of people as they shopped.

Though in my wandering I had stopped for a traditional Bamberger lunch with a beer, I was hungry for something sweet before I fetched my car and headed to my nephew's for dinner. I found a wonderful Koniditorei right around the corner on the Obstmarkt Street. Satisfied with my photo captures for the day, I headed there and enjoyed a decadent sundae and a cup of coffee.