I'm tired of train travel
Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
45Trip End Sep 30, 2009
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Where I stayed
Gastehaus Raidel (Rothenburg)
We decided to rest a little this morning before going to Nuremburg, but I got up fairly early. I woke up about 6 am and went to use the bathroom. But there was only one ladies toilet and there was a girl in there for 10 minutes brushing her teeth. We had sinks in our rooms where you were supposed to do that kind of thing, but she was probably trying to be nice to her roommates. But it wasn’t nice for me and it made me pretty angry
I finally got up about 7:30 am and worked on blog stuff for a while. Derek finally got up about 9:30 am and we went downstairs for breakfast. Most hostels include breakfast in their prices, but we had to pay 3.90 Euros here. It was worth it, though. We could eat as much as we wanted and they actually had fruit. Most hostels have bread and jam/butter and maybe some meat/cheese if you’re lucky.
So we checked out and made it to the train station in time to catch the 10:55 am train, getting to Nuremburg about noon. We left our bags in a locker at the train station, but I had to pay a second time because I accidentally left my Nuremburg guidebook materials in the locker the first time. The second time I realized I had also left the train schedules for getting to Rothenburg. But we just checked the timetables in an automatic ticket machine on our way out of the train station.
The train station was conveniently located right across from town walls of Nuremberg’s old town, the city center. Following Rick Steves walking tour, we entered at the Frauentor, one of four towers that lead inside the city walls
We walked down the main street of Konigstrasse, which had some interesting buildings but it was all pretty much reconstructed after WWII. We passed by St. Lawrence church and went inside. It was very beautiful and different from anything I’ve seen. It keeps amazing me how different churches can be. This one was entirely stone inside, a light brown color. The columns were adorned with many of the original statues. The church itself was pretty much flattened in WWII, but they had removed everything they could during the war in order to preserve it. I didn’t take any pictures because it cost 5 Euro for a photography pass.
Across from the church was the only original tower house in the city. It’s a one family castle that was built before the city had town walls. A little farther down the street we crossed the Pegnitz River and had a great view of the very picturesque Holy Ghost Hospital.
Continuing along the main road, we came to Market Square, the main square of the city. It was filled with many stands selling anything and everything. There was one stand that just sold brushes, and another where there were people demonstrating how to use some knives to make some kind of coleslaw.
Also on the square was the Frauenkirche, a very beautiful church that we didn’t go inside for some reason
Our final stop on the walking tour was the Kaiserburg, the Imperial Castle. It was on top of a small hill overlooking the city and was full of beautiful half-timbered buildings. We wandered around the castle grounds, and the views of the city were pretty good but not great. There was a tower to climb, but my Rick Steves guide made it sound like it wasn’t worth it. He said, “The tower climb offers only a higher city view and lots of exercise.” Derek wanted to do it, so we paid the 3 Euro. And boy was it worth it! We liked the exercise and didn’t think it was that much, and the views were way better than from below. We could even see all four towers along the city walls.
After we descended the tower stairs, we also went to see the deep well, which came with the ticket. It was 150 meters deep, and the German guide dropped some water into the well. He started with just a couple of drops, which were much louder than I expected. Then he dropped a thimble-full, which was even louder. And then he dropped a whole cup, which was really loud. It took quite a while, though, for the water to reach the bottom. We also got to see some candles lowered all the way to the bottom, and the guide held a mirror pointed toward the bottom so that the reflected light let us see the water at the bottom
The castle was the last thing we wanted to see in Nuremburg (well, me anyway), so on our way back to the train station we stopped for a late lunch at a place called the Bratwursthausle. Rick Steves said they had the best sausages in town, and that sounded good to us. We both got the 8 nurnberg sausages again, me with potato salad and Derek with sauerkraut. And they were amazing. Even better than the ones we had last night in Munich. I think it was my favorite meal of the whole trip so far.
We thought we had enough time for a second beer before heading back to catch the next train, so we stayed at the restaurant for a while. But we were talking a lot and drinking kind of slowly, so we had to hurry up and finish our beers before racing back to the train station. We got to the automatic ticket machine with six minutes to spare, only to find out that the train had actually left 10 minutes ago. And the next one wasn’t for about another half hour. We were both pretty annoyed and it put us in bad moods.
On the way to Rothenburg we had to change trains twice. The last train was the smallest I’ve been on yet—only two cars but very nice ones. It was on a spur line that just went over to Rothenburg and back.
When we got to Rothenburg, we walked 15 minutes from the train station to the Gastehaus Raidel, where we were staying. We each had a single room, on different floors, and they were definitely the best value I’ve had on this trip
Anyway, I was really exhausted for some reason when we got to the rooms. And I stretched out on my bed to try and rest for a little while. But Derek was excited to see the town and decided to go explore on his own after only 10 minutes. Rothenburg is one of the best preserved medieval cities with its town walls still intact and many historic half-timbered buildings.
I didn’t blame Derek for wanting to go out, I would have if I’d had any energy whatsoever. So I just stayed in my room and read a book for the rest of the night. I actually felt better after I ate something and started reading. But I’m glad I stayed in.
So tomorrow is Derek’s last day in Germany before heading home on Sunday. Our plan is to explore the city and do lots of shopping (it’s supposed to be one of the best places to buy souveniers).