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German Charm - Mainz to Wuerzburg
By Therese Bruning
25 October 2010

Our day started with a walking tour of Mainz city – starting with the over 1000 year old St Martin’s Cathedral in the main market square. I never tire of admiring the beautiful work in European churches – basking in their peace & quiet & thinking about the historic events and people that have passed through prior to my visit. No matter what anyone’s beliefs, they are a real sight to behold & each one has their own character.
A short walk took us to the  Gutenberg Museum, one of the oldest printing museums in the world which houses an original Gutenberg Bible plus a working replica of Gutenberg’s original printing press. There are also many other original printed works from the 15th Century onwards. Once again, I ponder on the journey these historic works have made to end up on display in tact in the 21st Century for our viewing. 

I love the style of the older European buildings, many elaborately decorated on the outside. Our guide advised us that much of Mainz city was destroyed during the war so many structures have been rebuilt in keeping with the original style which helps Mainz retain its lovely character.

A walk through charming lanes & walkways takes us to St Augustine’s Church. Not at all imposing from the outside, but once inside you are in awe of it’s beauty.  

Mainz train station is about a 10 minute ride or 30 minute walk from the main city area. Being full from another large lunch, we opted for the taxi, collected our luggage from the lockers which we had stored earlier that morning and boarded our train from Mainz to Wuerzburg via Frankfurt.  Eurail passes are an easy option if you’re doing multiple journeys on European trains, but it is important to remember that failure to have them validated at the station before you use them can result in heavy fines - & yes, they do come through the train and check.

We boarded the ICE train from Frankfurt & the First Class cabins are very comfortable. Just a note to remember, sometimes these trains can be quite full depending on the journey, so a First Class ticket does not guarantee a seat as we found out on this route (however as this route seemed to be full of city commuters, it was the only leg where we had this problem). Another point to note is that when waiting on the train platform, there is a sign which advises where the first and second class cabins are located on the next train so you know on which part of the platform to wait, as these change from train to train. Some of these trains & their platforms are very long & if you have luggage in tow, it can be handy to know which end you need to be at. After a one and a half hour journey we arrived in the gorgeous city of Wuerzburg, located on the Main River, and the beginning of our journey to the Franconian Wine Country.
A 10 Euro taxi ride from the station, & we arrived at our Hotel, the  Best Western Hotel Rebstock , a beautiful property with a boutique feel, and one of the oldest hotels in Wuerzburg.  Early evening, and we took a short stroll around the town on our way to dinner. I immediately fell in love with this city – so beautiful and so very European. Our restaurant, Alte Mainmuehle was originally a grain mill built in the 1600s and overlooks the river and the Alte Mainbrucke bridge, this being one of the film sites for the latest Three Musketeers movie starring Orlando Bloom. The imposing backdrop of Fortress Marienberg towers over the city and as we sat back and enjoyed our dinner accompanied by delicious local Franconian wine, life in Brisbane seemed a million miles away.

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