Today we have to go to Mainz. Well, we don’t have to, but it is the start of the Rhineland-Palatinate. It is where the Rhine and Main rivers join and start to form a gorge, the area is a very important religious area, and the home of Gutenberg (The guy that invented the printing press hence revolutionising religion and printing).
Here we found a little hotel right in the middle of down town. The down town area is not as traditional as other towns, as it was heavily bombed during the war, and there are great glass monstrosities of modern architecture (shopping centres) with small quaint 5 story buildings preserved in between. Our hotel was one of these. It looked much better on the outside than the in, but it was still pretty good. Also an ideal base to explore from. However we were there as it was the only place not booked out or charging 200 euro to stay! Not sure what was in town, but everywhere was booked solid, and we had ended up dragging our bags all the way from the station.
Here it was a quick skip over an arterial road to the Main river,and most of the museums in town. It was a beautiful spring day, and perfect to explore the city. So far we had been lucky with the weather in Germany,as we have had a string of sunny days. Considering the reports of the weather from people we talked to, of a long dark and gloomy winter. Due to this, there were lots of people out and about. Enjoying the sunshine, cycling, walking or just lounging in the sun.
Off to multiple church’s, the castle walls, and out into the suburbs on both sides of the river. Again we wished we had pedometers, as this is the longest walk we have done in ages, and it is a good thing it gets dark so late here, as we took full advantage of it. Only getting lost occasionally, but this led us to other new and interesting parts of the town. At one stage we found a map with walking routes marked on it, and were happy to discover we had already covered most of it. Another big difference. Signposts. Love them!
At some stage we ended up in the pub district and had to sample a few of the speciality ciders the town has to offer. Most were too tart or bitter for me, but after a few sips you get used to it. This is what life is about. Sitting in an attractive courtyard, in the sun wit a cool drink.
On our return we found another part of the Altstadt (old down town area). Here the architecture was amazing. Vakwerk houses lining the streets (these are the houses with the wooden beams on the outside and plaster between them). Most of the buildings have been superbly renovated, and give a special bit of charm to this part of the city. Combined with the many different speciality shops on the ground level, with restaurants, bars and cafes creating a light and lively atmosphere.