Romantic Road - Part 2

Trip Start Nov 28, 2008
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Trip End Jan 11, 2009


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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Friday, December 12, 2008

It was dusk as we were arriving at our hotel, well, more of an inn really. Being the party family we are, we decided to hit the town straight away. Rothenburg is absolutely beautiful, as regulations require it to be pretty much perfectly preserved in all its medieval glory. Think cobblestone streets, castle walls and gates, and old stores selling everything from pastry to swords and shields.
 
We immersed ourselves in yet another batch of Christmas markets, the best we've seen so far. After enjoying half metre German sausages and Gluhwein, we discovered a little store that had been recommended by Dad's travel idol, Rick Steves. In his book, Rick had talked about this lady who he had befriended in Rothenburg.  She painted these incredible maps, one of which was included in the book. To our delight, that woman, Anneliese Friese, is still alive and kicking today at 70, and greeted us in the store, giving us free copies of her famous map. Having lived near Brisbane for a year or so, she loved chatting to Dad about her experiences - she has an amazing memory. Having made a new friend we returned to the hotel, only to discover we had accidentally taken the keys from our previous stay in Wurzburg - oops.
 
The next morning we rose early, ate our excellent 'free' breakfast and headed towards the Rothenburg Tower. While not a high tower, the climb definitely beat the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. These last two had seemed reasonably safe, but the steep stairs and ladders made for an interesting experience. Once at the top, you had to wonder how many people it could hold, the man with an eye-patch in charge didn't seem too worried. And as if that wasn't scary enough, we climbed straight down and made our way to the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum. After that we went on a guided walking tour, and invested in the local delicacy, Schneeballs. Schneeballs, meaning 'Snowballs' in German we guessed, are basically balls of dough which are then baked. It was once a food of the poor peasants in medieval times, but has now become a hit with locals and tourists alike and can be found in many different flavours. We never managed to finish our chocolate coated Schneeballs, simply too much pastry.
 
One of the beauties of having accommodation close to the action is being able to retire for an afternoon rest - which is exactly what we did. But after watching way too much CNN (It was the only English TV channel), we headed out once again. After having dinner at the restaurant downstairs, we decided to take the renowned Nightwatchman's Tour. In medieval times, the Nightwatchman had the role of making sure everyone's door was locked and the drunken were all in bed. These days, the Nightwatchman is George, who, seventeen years ago, decided to start taking tours of Rothenburg at night, dressed as the old Nightwatchman. We have to admit, it is a bit touristy, but you've got to love a local cashing in on the town's booming tourism. George's accent, his historic story telling along with his hilariously corny jokes made the day one of the best yet on our trip.
 
Eating yet another yummy breakfast we checked out so we could take one last look around the magical town. We were asked for our key even before getting to the counter - had news already travelled of our key-stealing antics? After wandering around we got back in the car and found our own way back to the Romantic Road, none of this GPS nonsense. Around half an hour away from our next destination, Fussen, we saw a little snow, then more snow, until the whole countryside and mountains were absolutely covered in it. The view in every direction was as if looking at a postcard, and we arrived excitedly at our hotel by the lake.
 
Kirra
 
 
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