Hey remember how I went to Europe? Four months ago? I know it’s been a while, and I’ve already spent two months blogging about it, but I still have a whole week’s worth of adventures to share. I took a little hiatus over Christmas, but I’m ready to get back to Europe and finish documenting my trip.
After Prague, we took a bus to Nuremburg. Although the city looked lovely from the windows of the bus, we were actually just picking up a rental car so we could spend two and a half days driving along the Romantic Road. I had some hiccups with the rental car at first because I had never driven a standard where reverse was in the upper-left of the gears. It threw me off because I kept worrying that I’d put the car in reverse instead of first gear until I realized that there’s a trigger you have to use first. That was a relief! Also, this was my first time on the Autobahn. And yes, people really do go as fast as the legends say. However, people also drive kind of slow — like 45 mph slow — in the right lane. So the trickiest part of the Autobahn is not getting stuck behind the slowpokes because it’s hard to get up to speed fast enough to pass them in the left lane without getting overtaken by a car going 120. As for me… I think I topped out at 100. Just for a minute or two. Just so I could say that I did it.
We quickly arrived at our first destination, which was Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It was everything that I hoped it would be! Beautiful, colorful buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. Lots of little shops and bakeries.
I had researched places to visit and things to see, but we really just ended up wandering around looking inside the shops. I was on the hunt for the perfect cuckoo clock (along with some Christmas presents). I brought my sister home a small cuckoo clock from my time studying in Austria (we split the cost of it), but I didn’t think about getting one for myself at the time, and I always regretted it. In planning this trip, my one requirement (souvenir-wise) was to come home with a cuckoo. I didn’t find on in Rothenburg. But that was ok because I still had time and I had lots of fun looking.
We mostly just wandered around the town. I probably should have mapped it out a little better, but it was pleasant just to wonder and (other than the cuckoo) my primary hope was just to take photos. We ended up at one of the outer gates of the city with a spectacular view.
Rothenburg was actually larger than I expected. At first, I wondered what that walled city was in the distance, but then I realized that it’s part of Rothenburg.
And a friendly cat. (We met lots of cats on our journey. I’m not sure if it helped Cristen or made her miss her own beloved cat even more.)
We headed back toward the center of town to the Rathaus and Marktplatz.
But there was one particular street that I was looking for. I had seen photos of it during my research, and it just seemed like the quintessential Rothenburg street. I wouldn’t feel like my visit was complete until I saw it. Luckily, it was easy to find, just down the road from Marktplatz.
The awesome thing about this view is that I posted a photo on Instagram and one of my friends commented that her dad had actually visited that adorable crooked building right in the center many times while he was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The lady who lived there would have the missionaries over for dinner and would drop the key down on a string for them. I wish someone would have dropped a key down for me! (Also, did you notice the pulleys on some of the houses and a bucket in front of one? I didn’t notice them until the other day when I was editing photos.)
Rothenburg has a medieval wall that still exists around most of it and you can climb up to walk along it. I’m not really sure how far it goes around, but we walked along a stretch just as the sun was setting.
We decided to have dinner in Rothenburg before driving to our hotel in Dinkelsbuhl. When we first walked in to the restaurant, I was not interested in staying. It was crowded and hot and smokey. The owner saw us and welcomed us right away and said there would be a table for us shortly, but I was iffy about staying. They did, however, have a bathroom, so I waited for Cristen and when she was finished, the table was ready, so we stayed. And it was awesome. After a little while, the crowd became lively and jovial instead of noisy and the heat was welcoming instead of overbearing. I don’t know what happened to make the difference. Maybe it was the big smile of the owner or the delicious schnitzel or the huge glass of Spezi, but it was the perfect end to our visit to Rothenburg.