I felt a tapping on my shoulder, as I opened my eyes, half awake, I saw my Grandmother pointing wildly out the taxi window. I was filled with excitement as my eyes shot open and I stared outside. In a blink of an eye I was carried hundreds of years back in history. My destination, Bamberg, Germany.
â–º Semi Finalist 2012 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Standing on a balcony, overlooking Bamberg, a beautiful town in Germany, I could no longer imagine where I would rather be than here. The ancient streets hold the presence of the people that once walked them two-thousand years ago. Smoke and the spicy smell of sausage drift lazily throughout the town while wood-paneled taverns serve schlenkerla, Bamberg's famous smoked beer. The golden glow of the summer sunshine offers a magnificent view of the river Regnitz after a foggy morning. The town itself is a colorful bouquet of flowers, rosy red roofs and dandelion yellow buildings stand tall after miraculously surviving World War II. To my right an older woman steps out onto her balcony to enjoy the fresh air, a wide grin displayed on her wrinkled face. I could not help but think how magical it must be to live in such a charming place. After several more minutes of looking around and appreciating my surroundings I decided it was time to come down from the balcony and experience Bamberg up close.
Surprisingly, the staircase did not creak as I made my way down. Paint fumes revealed that the building was recently redone but an old fashioned, cozy atmosphere remained. As I descended I saw sunlight peering through a dark wooden door that led out to cobblestone streets. Stepping outside I looked around curiously, a steady breeze gently blew my hair around my face. Locals whistled past perched on their bicycles, while tourists indulged in a flavorful meal. I was captivated by the history hidden behind every corner. Narrow streets presented themselves at every turn, each one leading to another, like a secret passage. I took one of the smaller streets in hopes of discovering more about the town. The buildings here looked different. Although still beautiful, they were tarnished, and chunks of paint were missing exposing a layer of cream colored wall. Looking up I saw blankets and lingerie flapping in the wind as a woman hung laundry on strings strung across her balcony.
Suddenly, the tiny street that I had been walking on opened up. I realized I had arrived at the busiest part of town. People of all shapes and sizes posed, hand on hip, snapping photos. Regnitz River was visible from a bridge that arched like a camel’s back. Coming closer I noticed that the water seemed treacherous as it gushed down, yet a few brave souls on their kayaks steered down the river. From here I reunited with my Grandmother and we walked together talking and laughing while small cargo boats traveled along the river, steam rising from behind.
Once the sun began to set, casting an orange glow across the sky, my Grandmother and I settled in our seats of the yellow taxi cab. I looked out my window to capture the beauty and history that we were about to depart from one last time. Against the dimming light, I caught a glance of a night guard dressed in a medieval suit. I was sure he had just stepped out of a museum. Slowly the taxi began to move as the night guard along with the history of Bamberg began to gradually disappear out of view, and travel ages back in time.
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