The hotel Luther and Presley shared was not the Messerschmitt. It was the Zum Riesen (Inn of the Giant).
And it wasn’t in Bamberg OR Nuremberg. It was in Miltenberg.
I know because I just blundered onto “The Travels of David Ironsides,” the blog of a man who apparently took the exact same cruise on the Viking Skadi just 8 days ahead of us, http://irontrip.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/day-5-miltenberg/ even though the things he said he saw weren’t in the same towns I thought we saw them in. He even had the same tour guide, although he thought her jokes were great and I thought they were lame. (She lives in the castle on the hill; we have to address her as Your Highness. After the tour, she will collect from us a tax for every cobblestone we walked on.)
In Miltenberg he reports: “By then we were in front of the 1198 Inn of the Giant, the oldest in Germany. The Hotel Zum Riesen has accommodated princes since the twelfth century. Martin Luther stayed there as did GI Elvis Presley. The Giant was completely renovated in 2002 and is now owned by the Miltenberg Brewery.”
The internet bears out the conjunction of the two men in Miltenberg at the Zum Riesen. Humph.
I may be wrong about the fountain with the satyr’s bottom, too. The same Ironside states authoritatively, “[Tour guide] Marie Noelle’s told the story of the lovely water fountain in the market square that dated from 1583. The Mayor had scoured the town and surrounding area to find a suitable stone mason. He found one in a local village and the man moved his wife and twelve children to Miltenberg. The creation of the fountain took longer than budgeted and the stone mason went to the Mayor asking for more money. The Mayor refused him and he completed the fountain to maintain his reputation. Butt, he took his revenge – at the base of the column there is a naked boy whose buttocks were aimed at the Mayor’s house.”
According to him, the fountain wasn’t in Wurzburg. It was in Miltenberg.
And it wasn’t a satyr. It was “a naked boy.” (LATER: NO, I DOUBLE-CHECKED. TWO DIFFERENT FOUNTAINS. TWO DIFFERENT BOTTOMS.)
Sigh. My notes are sketchy, my journal was sporadic, our pictures were not labeled and some of them aren’t even in the right order. I have to keep guessing what something is and where it was located.
There used to be a movie, only memorable for its title, “If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium.” I keep thinking that could be the title of our trip, especially after Vienna, when we were hitting a new country every day–except we didn’t go to Belgium.
NOTE: Now Jerry tells me the building I have at the top of this page, with the painting of David and Goliath on the side, is NOT “the Inn at the Giant” even though it looks as if it should be. The “Giant” is the name of the street the Inn of the Giant is on. So the picture at the top of this page (as well as at the top of the “Longevity” page) is wrong.
I’m hopeless. If you want facts, you might as well just switch over to David Ironsides’ blog. If you just want anecdotes and don’t care about accuracy, stick with me. (Add wink face here. I don’t know how to.)
Here’s the genuine “Inn at the Giant”, where the two celebrities stayed:
Random shot of Miltenberg’s main street, because it’s quaint: