Walking Wurzburg

Overlooking Wurzburg, Germany from the Marienberg Fortress on the Main River. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I always like walking tours, particularly in Europe where everything is just so darn pedestrian-friendly. On river cruises, however, my chief complaint about walking tours is that there is less walking and more shuffling along. I’ve even had so-called walking tours that have bussed guests from the pier to a drop-off point two blocks away. It always baffles me.

This might be my favorite cruise weather forecast ever. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Today aboard Avalon WaterwaysAvalon Expression, I participated in an entirely different sort of walking tour in Wurzburg, Germany. I’d call this a real walking tour. Part of Avalon’s new Active Discovery series of adventures ashore, today’s walk was neither hard nor overly challenging, but more a pleasant, two-point-five-hour-long stroll.

Our destination? The prominent Marienberg Fortress overlooking Wurzburg from the upper banks of the River Main (pronounced, mine).

The Festung Marienberg, as it is known in German, has been a fortress since ancient times. Built around the 13th century, it was severely damaged by bombing raids in 1945 and was only fully rebuilt in 1990.

This morning, we set out on a fantastic Active Discovery hike with Avalon Waterways…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…to the Marienberg Fortress. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Heavily damaged during World War II…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…the fortress now retains its former glory. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Our guide explains the history of the Fortress…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…while guests admire the views. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The walk back into Wurzburg is no less picturesque. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The stroll up to the Fortress is decidedly picturesque, and the reward for getting there is huge: a panoramic view of the Main and the town of Wurzburg.

From there, we walked into town, arriving with about 90 minutes to spare before Avalon Expression set sail. In Germany, 90 minutes is just enough time for a pint and a salted bretzel, so I found a nice café in the city’s main square to do just that. It’s the perfect reward from a morning of walking, which my pedometer tells me was just over 6000 steps, or roughly 5 kilometres.

Back in Wurzburg…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…there is just enough time for a beer and a ‘bretzel.’ Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

This afternoon, I took advantage of our leisurely scenic cruising time to watch up on deck as we transited impossibly-narrow locks, and to enjoy the views from the lounge as we sailed along the Main. Truth be told, I didn’t do a lot of work – I caught up on my reading, had a few cups of coffee, and only hauled myself up to change for cocktail hour and dinner. In short, I behaved exactly as a guest would, relaxing and discovering my very own special place onboard the Avalon Expression as she sails for Bamberg, Germany tomorrow.

It’s all very civilized – just as travel ought to be.

Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Our Voyage Report from onboard Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Expression has sadly come to a close, but stay tuned for our full Voyage Recap coming soon. Follow along with our latest cruise adventures on Twitter: @deckchairblog.

Avalon's Magnificent Europe - Amsterdam to Nuremberg

September 12, 2017Amsterdam, NetherlandsEmbark Avalon Expressionin Amsterdam
September 13Amsterdam, NetherlandsCulinary Walking tour in Amsterdam's Jordaan district; Dutch Painting Class
September 14Cologne, GermanyCologne Off the Beaten Path
September 15Rudesheim, GermanyHiking and Wine Tasting
September 16Miltenberg, GermanyHiking and local flavours excursion
September 17Wurzburg, GermanyHike to Marienberg Fortress
September 18Bamberg, GermanyCity cycling tour & Rauchbier tasting
September 19, 2017Nuremberg, GermanyDisembark Avalon Expression

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