Old May 21, 09, 1:56 pm
  #14  
Flying Buccaneer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: TPA
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Posts: 2,199
Rothenburg, finally!

The Holiday Inn Express in Schwabach was a real find. Although jetlag hit me again and limited me to six hours sleep, the stay could not have been better, especially considering the rate we paid. After breakfast, we checked out and headed to Rothenburg. It took less than an hour to get there and parking inside the city walls was easy. We walked through the White Tower and explored the Market Square. A band was there playing “traditional” German songs like “Tiger Rag” and “Hello Dolly.” The place was far from deserted, but not so crowded that we had to dodge other visitors.

(A picture of the square can be found at this link.)

We thought that we had found the Imperial City Museum in the back of the Town Hall, so we paid our admission and began the self-guided tour. After we left, we realized that the sign outside that said “Reichsstadt-Museum” was pointing to the left and saying it was about 4 minutes away! We had actually visited the Town Hall Vaults, not quite the same attraction, but a nice stop nevertheless.

We walked in the direction of the Imperial City Museum into a small square and saw St. Jakobskirche. We walked around the church and decided to have lunch before we went inside. We walked to a restaurant called Reichskuchenmeister overlooking the Kirchplatz. Its tables were shaded by a thick canopy of trees that created a nice atmosphere. We seated ourselves and waited about 10 minutes before someone brought menus. About 15 minutes later, someone else took our order. We didn’t mind the wait, because of the warm breezy weather and tranquil setting. I ordered spargel soup and three assorted bratwurst on sauerkraut.



With our bellies full, we explored the church. We surprised ourselves by spending nearly an hour walking through the building and noticing all of its features. This is not one of those churches that you enter, see a spectacular main section, and then get underwhelmed by everything else. The upstairs altar and downstairs altar themselves are more than worth the €2 price of admission.

After the church, we finally went to the Imperial City Museum. This museum contains artifacts – some prehistoric – from the history of Rothenburg and has a small section devoted to the city’s Jewish inhabitants. Seeing the gravestones in the basement was a little disconcerting to Mr. FB, and he placed one of the provided rocks on the top of each one. While we were there, another visitor asked my spouse if he was Jewish, and he said he was. It turns out that the gentleman had grown up in the eastern part of Germany during WWII and his mother had tended the graves of some Jewish women who had been murdered before the war started. The man said that all traces of the cemetery had been wiped away after the war, and people thought he was crazy when he told the story until they began to explore what had happened more closely. It was quite a chance encounter.

After a walk through the Convent Garden and the Castle Gardens, we strolled along Herrngasse and stopped for ice cream and a prolonged session of people watching at one of the sidewalk cafes. While we were there, it rained a bit, but it ended just as we were ready to leave. All that was left were some souvenir shopping and the obligatory purchase of a schneeball. (We could have skipped the latter!)

At nearly 6:00 p.m., we got back to our car and drove toward Würzburg. Less than an hour later, we arrived at the Novotel, exhausted from a long day of exploring without too much driving. The Romantic Road is behind us. The road has many interesting sites and beautiful sights, but it is best to decide what you want to see before driving it and allow time for unexpected pleasures. As it is, we didn’t have time to explore Würzburg (except for dinner!), but we both think Nürnberg was a worthwhile detour.

Tomorrow, we get up early and drive to Frankfurt to pick up Mr. FB’s parents and drive up the Rhine to Köln.
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