10/10/2011 Rothenburg, Germany -Rich
Getting from Bacharach to Rothenburg. We check out and know we have to catch the train toward Mintz and Frankfurt. Have not been able to figure out all the train connections yet but figure we will be able to on the way. We travel with Nariko, a young lady we met at breakfast, who is from Tokyo, who is on her way to Frankfurt. Also at the platform we meet Jerry and Nancy from Florida and they are heading to Rothenburg too, they have all the info we need. We tag along and talk with our new friends over the next three hours of train transfers to our German walled city. Rothenburg is an old city with a protective castle wall still intact all around the city. It has castle towers, entrance gates, moats, and you can walk on the wall which has an clever ancient roof covering the walk which goes around almost all of the city(town). I'm not sure how this all works or what it means but in France it was bakeries, in England...pubs, in Belgium chocolate shops, in Rothenburg...tacky German toy/Christmas shops and bakeries with spittlelhumps/sneeballs (balls of deep fried pie crust covered in a variety of frostings or sugar
coatings, not that good really)...give me England or Belgium
. The food specialty seems to be schnitzel which is breaded fried veal. Our hotel is nice, as cheep as a hostel but clean and quiet...maybe hostels are better since we are neither real clean and certainly not quiet. The kids seem to get wound up at night and want to wrestle or fight or both and I am sure we are creating memories for the unfortunate travelers that are lodged on the other side of our hotel wall. Our room has a double size bunk bed, the kids on top and us on the bottom, works out great. The bathroom has a memorable "secret sauce" colored sink and toilet. Our day of adventure includes walking the wall, then going to the Crime and Punishment museum. The museum is very interesting collection of how laws and policy has developed and evolved and also how they were enforced. Interesting but also horrifying; many devices of torture and punishment. They had great hand written documents dating back to 1400 with beautiful calligraphy, a collection of stamps used for sealing documents. It appears there were times in history when the people in power were very involved in peoples personal lives and were instituting incredibly intrusive policy and horrid punishments, makes me very thankful for the freedoms and liberties we live with and enjoy. We check out the excellent public pool (huge indoor swimming complex) that we will enjoy tomorrow. It seems that the Europeans have spent significant resources for good public pools, lots of bike lanes and other community amenities, as well as incredible public transportation, makes me a bit envious.