Sunday, September 28th, 1997 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Breakfast at 8:00 AM was served rather than buffet style. Missed the eggs, fruit and cereal that we normally have but we had lots of meats and cheeses for our lunch sandwiches.
Packed and out the door by 9:00 AM we were headed for Heilbronn to find a Catholic Church as Heidelberg didn’t have a Mass until 10 AM which would have been well after 11 before we could have hit the road. Arrived at St. Killian’s and found that it was Evangelical and not Catholic. But we did see the astronomical clock on the town hall and a very unusual musical fountain. Water came out of various instruments at different times and the head of a person appeared to be singing all the time. There were bagpipes, flutes, tubes, etc. Lots of fun to watch. Back on the autobahn we were on the road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and hopefully a noon Mass. But, we missed the turnoff and arrived too late…especially since the last mass had begun at 10:30 AM.
Entering through the main gate we drove down the pedestrian way through the center of the town to the Burg Hotel at the end of the main street, on the wall overlooking the Tauber River and valley. We’d seen this hotel in 1996 and we delighted when we were able to obtain reservations to stay in this particular hotel. Upon arriving they were unable to locate our reservations, but since we had a copy of the reservations signed by Otto (who we found out was the father in law of the owner) they quickly made arrangements for us to have rooms for the night.
Both rooms are suite with a sitting area next to the bedroom and both have fantastic views of the river and valley far below the walls of the city. We left immediately on a tour of the city. Our first stop was at the Castle gardens, the only thing left of the original castle where we leisurely enjoyed our lunch and the beautiful flowers in the garden. Then we proceeded to walk the wall around the city for a total of about two miles. Lots of fun and great views.
Most of the wall walk was destroyed at the end of World War II and has been restored by donations from people from all over the world. We read all the names that are inscribed on the wall plaques as we walk the wall. At one point we stopped and climbed a tower for an overall view of the city. They also had photos of the destruction at the end of the war. On our return to the hotel we took a breather and put our bags in the rooms before we took off again to shop. Kathe Wohlfahrt has three stores in Rothenburg…one of which was unbelievable. It went on and on and on. Totally dedicated to Christmas. A form of pipe cleaners had been used to make stars on the ceilings along with greenery and lights. There was a fifteen foot glockenspiel made out of wood powered by candlelight (electric bulbs). It was truly a magic world created to promote Christmas decorations.
After that we window shopped a little, listened to the electric guitar play on the street and then found a bottle of white wine near the shop where we’d already purchased our desserts for later…dough scraps in a ball, deep fried and then powered. Also found post cards with the large beer steins that we’d used at the Oktoberfest in Munich. Went back to the hotel and sat on a balcony drinking wine and watching the sun go down. There was a hot air balloon slowly drifting over the hills as we watched the sun sink in the sky. Soon it was time to go for dinner so we actually missed the sunset, but enjoyed the view. We ate dinner at Reichskuechenmeister, one of the nicest restaurants in town located an easy walk from our hotel just behind the Cathedral of St. Jacobs. Shari feels much better today as her cold has apparently ended rapidly.
Shari had spaghetti and the rest of use had three sausages and potato salad (substituted for sauerkraut) with beer. After dinner we walked up the street to see the little café where Jim & I had dinner with Barbara in 1996. It was already closed for the evening. Home to TV, the computer and our desserts.
Another wonderful day. At dinner we talked about our next trip sometime in the next two to three years. Maybe Switzerland, Prague and cruising on the Greek Isles. We all agreed that we travel well together. Also that we definitely liked having our rooms pre-arranged. Joked around about leading a travel group during our walk today….Jan-West Travel…we’d be a day ahead of the group! Hard to believe that we’ve only got two more days to enjoy Germany. Jim said he likes Germany better than France for traveling because it is so clean and the people are so nice to us. Off to bed by 10 PM.