*Rüdesheimer Kaffee is an alcoholic coffee drink from Rüdesheim am Rhein in Germany invented in 1957 by the German television chef, Hans Karl Adam. It is a popular drink in coffee houses. Asbach Uralt brandy and sugar cubes are added to a cup
If you move away from the river in a south-easterly direction you will arrive at the market town of Michelstadt, it’s off the beaten track, you can practice your German here as English is rarely spoken. The focal point of the town is the 15th-century town hall set amid the cobbled main square. The ideal location for one of my favourite pastimes, sorry that should be two, drinking and people watching.
Do explore the medieval back streets, here you will find the 14th-century Thieves Tower, some poor devils spent months on end banged up in here without any justice as the court was only in session every 4 months, the conditions were atrocious and many died never to see inside the courtroom.
People watching and drinking makes you a bit peckish, or is it just me? Zum Grünen Baum is the oldest restaurant in town, it has been in the same family for over 300 years, they certainly know how to cook local specialities, try the wild boar casserole, delicious and hearty.
Erbach, in the Odenwald is an undulating wooded moorland sandstone area approximately 50 miles by 25, famous for its ivory carving, the Earl of Erbach discovered the art of ivory carving on his European travels, and decided this would be an ideal trade for his village, so he established a training school, that still operates today.
Although not on the scale seen in the 19th century as the ban on ivory and tastes have changed, in fact the whole enterprise almost collapsed, but with the discovery of Siberian mammoth tusks preserved in permafrost and the use of the large ivory palm nut as an alternative the craft is still practised. Erbach Castle was first built in the 12th and remodelled in the 17th century and is now a museum also worth a visit is the German Ivory Museum, where you'll see some of the most beautiful ivory artwork that the town is famous for.
Amorbach still in Odenwald but also part of Bavaria, on the outskirts at Amorsbrunn is a 16th century gothic chapel and place of mediaeval pilgrimage, believers would travel here to anoint themselves in the stream that flows under the chapel believing it to be holy water. On a grander scale nearby is the imposing Amorbach Abbey and Monastery a building centuries in the making, having had many additions to the 8th-century original building. It has been in the hands of the Princes of Leiningen since the dissolution of the monasteries in the early 19th century, it boasts superb frescos and Rococo designs with cherubs scrolling and gilt painted plasterwork throughout which for some unknown reason reminded me of Posh and Becks, it must be their purple thrones,it also has an impressive Stumm organ at one time believed to be the biggest in the world. The building has been fortunate enough to have been fully restored in 2015.
Aschaffenburg the "Bavarian Cote d’Azur”.
Aschaffenburg combines the region of Frankfurt- Rhine-Main with the Spessart national park. The city is jam-packed with historical monuments that deserve your attention, starting with the Johannisburg Castle which has had its ups and downs, built from local buntsandstein sandstone with its natural red hue makes it seem to glow, something that will make you glow are the fabulous Franconian wines that are accessible in the castle’s wine cellars.
History tells us that the Germans and Romans were not the best of friends, with many battles fought in the area that is now known as modern Germany, despite this, Pompejanum is a replica of a Roman villa originating from Pompeii, commissioned by King Ludwig 1 in the first half of the 19th century it was a vantage point from where he could sit and view the River Main and fantastic surrounding scenery.
At the centre of the abbey of St Peter and Alexander is the Basilica church, historically a symbol of power for the archbishops of Mainz. It houses many treasures but perhaps the most unusual one is found in the archives of the Basilica, a manuscript which narrates the history of the city written by a bell ringer who in his lifetime was committed to ensuring the city’s history was documented.
I had the pleasure of staying in some very nice hotels during my stay, I particularly enjoyed the Jumeirah Frankfurt, it has a lot in common with the luxury hotels you find in Dubai not surprising really as the operators of the hotel are part of the Jumeirah chain out of Dubai.
The hotel has 25 floors with 218 rooms, it exudes luxury, the décor striking, lots of crystal sculptures and modern art, stunning views over the city a fabulous pool and exemplary service.
I couldn’t wait to get to my room as there were a plethora of gadgets to have a play with, a Bose sound system, flat screen LED television, under floor heating and I don’t remember how many times I opened and closed the automated blinds whilst lying on my bed.
The hotel has a choice of restaurants and I would have liked to try them all if I could have afforded a longer stay I did dine at Max on One managed by Executive Chef Martin Steiner formerly of the Savoy in London, delicious! Ich komme wieder ( I will return)
Small Family run hotel www.centralhotel.net/englisch.html
Check in InterCity Hotel Darmstadt www.intercityhotel.com
Check in Hotel Wappenstube, Erbach www.wappenstube.de
Check in Hotel Zum Goldenen Ochsen zumgoldenenochsen.de