Day 12 – Nov 22, 2015 Speyer • Home-Hosted Kaffeeklatsch After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Speyer, a town founded by the Romans in approximately AD 50 that flourished during the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, much of Speyer was destroyed in the 17th century during the Palatine War of Succession and few remnants of its glorious past survive. One exception is the Romanesque Cathedral, which you’ll explore on your tour. Built between 1030 and 1125, it set a new architectural standard for the time. Join us this afternoon for an exclusive Discovery Series Home-Hosted Kaffeeklatsch with a local family. Sample coffee and fresh, homemade cake as you glimpse everyday German home life. Please note: It is not always possible to dock in Speyer, so we sometimes dock in Worms or Germersheim. If that happens, you will be transferred to Speyer by bus and all program features will remain as scheduled.
Today is Speyer a major city which was founded about 2,000 years ago. It is well known for its cathedral which is the resting place of four emperors and four kings. This is a city we have visited last year. The church was closed to visitors when we first went there with our tour guide. So we went down the main street right in front of the cathedral which is the shopping district in Speyer. Speyer is a city of about 75,000 so not too big. At the end of the street is the old city gate built by, originally, the Romans and is pretty much the only part of the old city wall left. From here we went to the old Jewish Quarter which is a museum, several old buildings, a ritual bath and a few other ruins. After we were done with the tour Patricia and I went back to the old city gate and from there out the gate to another couple of churches to look at them. Most all churches are Catholic but we did go into one of the churches which was a Lutheran church and stayed for part of the service. After this we went back to the cathedral to look at it. Quite expansive inside! This was getting to be about lunch time so back to the ship for lunch.
After lunch we had an option to have an afternoon visit with a local family for afternoon ‘tea’. I went but Patricia elected to stay on the boat. So seven of us went to a house. Only about a third of the passengers elected to do this excursion. Very nice family. The father was a retired general contractor,his wife worked directly for the bishop at the cathedral, one son worked at an Audi plant NW of Muninch and the other son ran a safety company – sold safety equipment. Had a really good single layer cake with chocolate chips and apricots on top along with wine, beer, schnapps and a really good liquore – not sure what it was. So after about an hour and a half the bus picked us up to go back to the bus. Really a most delightful time! By the time we got back had a little reading done then time for supper and that was pretty much it for the day.