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Monday, November 2, 2015

GAWA Day #47: Bamberg and Beer

This is our final day of beer, for we are moving out of Bavaria and into wine country.  Today, a quick tour through Bamberg (pronounced bom-berk--berg means mountain and burg is castle), one of those German towns you'd never bother with if the river cruise did not spend a day here.  You can't even find it on this map, but it's in the direction towards Bayreuth.  Reminiscent of Medieval times with churches and a river, it has been here for more than a millennium.  Their Bamberg University was founded in 1647.  The population is 72,000 and Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

They are recognized for having smoked beer, and Tauck provided a lagniappe, an unexpected treat,  at a local beer  hall:  three kinds of beer, plus two sausages and pretzel:

We returned to our ship for lunch and, against my better judgement, I actually ate a full lunch not more than an hour after that beer feast, chicken curry with another beer.  Then, we had a full hour of introduction to beer by Kati, in a dirndl (By the way, did you know that lederhosen, those leather pants, worn by men, are never washed?) one of our tour guides, who is from Germany:

Okay, that's not Kati, but someday soon, my photo will replace the above.  Incidentally, if the apron bow is to her left, it means she is available.  Right, taken.  In the middle and she's either open or a virgin.  Bow on back and either a widow or a waitress.  The latter two get a bit hazy.  Where's the bow above?  Not sure.  Anyway, no one takes this too seriously.
  • Germany has over 1200 breweries with 5000 different labels.
  • 80% of all European breweries are in Germany.
  • However, only #3 in per capita consumption at 28 gallons/year (to Czechoslovakia and Austria)
    • U.S. is #14 with 77 gallons
    • China consumes twice the volume of the USA, which is #2 in total amount of beer drunk
  • Germany passed the first food and beverage law in history, in 1516, dictating the use of only 4 ingredients for beer:  malt, yeast, hops and water.
  • Beerology
    • dark beer uses malt dried at high temperature
    • pale lager is pale
    • wheat beer uses wheat
    • 5% alcohol, although some spring beers exceed 7%
My biggest surprise was that the shape of the glass determines type of beer drunk and origin.

I previously associated glass shapes only for wines, and tomorrow, we enter wine country.

By the way, a comment yesterday provided a link to the adventure of 26 year old travel blogger Sam Huang, who spent only $300 and cashed in his Alaskan Air points (not by flying anywhere, but by using 15 credit cards to quickly accumulate 100,000 miles) for an around the world first class journey on Emirates, although he actually only went 21,000 miles.  The loophole is that Alaskan Air did not have any routing rules and you could nest layovers.  Not anymore, of course.  I wonder how he spent 5 days in Dubai, for there is a 24-hour limit to these stops.  Says he usually flies coach if his money.  Anyway, absolutely fascinating, and here is his blog site.  

Notwithstanding that fabulous adventure, I think My Ultimate Global Adventure (MUGA) in First Class two years ago was a lot more satisfying.  Why am I showing a gold koi?  Well, you need to go to my MUGA Day #28.   Actually, there was even a follow-up a year later on My Ultimate Fantasy Adventure Day #12.  Then, of course, on my GAWA Day #11, Pearl's Gold Koi again.

Anyway, the point I want to make is that while the flying part of an around the world journey can be memorable with those incredible First Class lounges where you get shuttled by Rolls Royces to the plane, plus all that outrageously awesome service in the air, it is what you do when you get there that makes a grand away the world adventure worthwhile.  Each stop can be another flight into fantasia limited only by your imagination...and, perhaps, money.

Tropical Cyclone Chapala is still at 120 MPH, but should weaken into a Category 2 and crash tomorrow into Yemen, over Bir Ali, as the first hurricane strength storm in history:

They could get 8 years of rain with one storm.


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