Day Ten - Rothenburg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
One of the gates to Rotenburg.

It was a fairly tense conversation I was having with Katie Couric.  She didn’t seem to completely get it that she’s just not cut out for her job.  Then the car horn beeped twice and my eyes flew open only slightly faster than my heart was beating.  Then the edge of my sleeping bag was a grey blur in my vision and I jumped again because I thought Derik must be leaning over me trying to get my attention or to wake me up.  Then I heard his steady snoring in the bag next to me and realized it was early morning.  So I went back to sleep.

The next thing I knew, Derik was telling me it was 9 o’clock.  Apparently he slept very well, which is good - hopefully that makes up some for night before last.

Turrets at Rothenburg

I grabbed a shower and came back to our usual breakfast of cereal and juice, with the added luxury of a boiled egg now.  Before we left the campsite, we thought we should check in with the online world.  Our camp was supposed to have internet after 7am in the morning, so hopefully it’s on by now.  I cleaned dishes and the floor, while Derik went to get online.  It was working fine, but when I set down to check e-mails, etc. it decided to quit working.  So, after a conversation with the reception guy, he rebooted their end and everything was fine once again.

Time seems to move at a different speed when you’re online and unfortunately I lost track of it.  But between banking, e-mail, and work e-mail (which I should never have checked in the first place) it took about 40 minutes.

A section of the wall around Rothenburg.
  So when I got back to Arvie, Derik had every reason to be frustrated.  But as usual he was pretty calm about it and we drove off to start our day in Rothenburg.

Rothenburg is of special interest and shouldn’t be missed by any tourist.  It is, according to our guide book, the best preserved walled city in all of Europe.  The wall encompasses the entire town and for most if not all of it, you can still walk along the wall today.  In fact, there are tours designed just around that, as well as walking with the night watchman every night at 8pm.  There also is a distinct bell which rings out every 15 minutes to help you get more frustrated with how quickly time passes.  Especially when numerous sidewalk café’s beg you to just sit back and spend an hour or two watching the world go by.

Looking out from the walkway around the wall at Rothenburg.
  Or at least watching people go by.

When I’d been here last January, there were very few tourists and the shops were mostly closed.  As it turns out if you come at the right time of year, it’s a shoppers delight as most of the city is open for business.

We meandered through the stores, and lost great amounts of time in the main Kathie Wolfhart Christmas store.  I walked through 5 of them before my time here was done, but this main store is HUGE.  Easily 3 times larger than it was in January, when they had built some walls part way back in the store so they could recoup from the Christmas drain in private.  Fortunately, Derik was the only one to make purchases.  In fact, aside from a glass of some fresh Apple Cider, I managed to escape Rothenburg largely unscathed.

A quiet path outside the wall at Rothenburg.

Moving on down the street we followed a map Derik had and walked outside the city to a bridge and took some pictures back at the city.  Then we climbed back up to the walls and decided to walk atop them for a while.  This eventually brought us to a dead end in the direction we were going, so we wove our way around some other buildings so we could access the farthest point east.  Looking at our watches, we realized we only had about 20 minutes to get back to our parking lot to put more money in so Arvie would be safe in our continued absence.  I volunteered to take the short straw, since I’d been there before and headed off.

About the time I reached the main square and needed to start heading out of the old city, it occurred to me I’d need the keys to put our receipt on the dash.

A bench outside Rothenburg
  While Arvie’s been very good to us, he’s not really the sort of friend who just opens up when you ask nicely.  So, I retraced my steps hoping to catch up with Derik.  The odds seemed rather slim given the number of people and the fact I had no idea what his intentions were.  But not too long after I started running, I heard him yell my name and there he was, looking down at me from the wall.  Gratefully I got the keys from him and headed off again towards Arvie.

Once I got there, our plan hit another snag as the ticket machine would only take one coin, despite the fact it easily took two previously.  So, thinking that it was just that I had put a .50 euro coin in, I headed over to Arvie (conveniently parked at the complete opposite side of the parking lot) to see if I could dredge up another 2 euro coin.  Not finding one, my last resource was a 5 euro note.

Sidestreet of Rothenburg
  As another motor home had parked next to us and had their windows open,  I decided to see if I could navigate my way through change.

They spoke English and (eventually) were able to come up with change.  I went back to the beastly machine and despite now having 2, 2 euro coins, nothing changed.  It simply would not take that second coin.  So I printed the ticket and frankly hoped that someone before me had jammed a number of coins in there and walked away frustrated, not knowing how to use it.  But that wasn’t to be my fortune either.  I printed out a ticket for just one hour.  So, I walked back across the lot to Arvie and dropped off the receipt and headed to the city center to meet Derik at the appointed time, which it already was.

5 minutes later, he was again waiting patiently and after briefing him, we decided to split up and meet back at Arvie at 3pm when our ticket ran out.

More streets from Rothenburg.
  I moved on through the side streets and stores, window shopping and snapping pictures.  Before I knew it I needed to leave for Arvie or risk Derik waiting on me again.  Leaving the city and walking at a decent clip I was trailing Derik, so I knew he wouldn’t wait for me too long.

After a quick bite to stave off starvation, we began our drive towards Berlin.  After a brief discussion, I talked Derik into stopping in Lutherstadt Wittenburg, birthplace of the reformation and home for many years to Martin Luther.  Wittenburg is a neat little town and I was pretty sure there were things there Derik would appreciate.

Arriving in Wittenburg we found a campsite for that nite, but they didn’t take credit cards and we were short on euros, so we camped without electricity.  After dinner we called it a night and crashed early.

mellemel8 says:
i shared a chocolate covered snowball with travel mate check out my germany blog. if you like sweet and fried goodies, you will like it. drink it with ghulwien :)
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
mrkezn says:
RE: Snowballs. I'm not exactly sure what these are, but if they're the round doughy things - I was warned by a friend not to eat them, they said they were awful. So, I passed. I may have made a mistake there. Has anyone ever tried them?
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
mellemel8 says:
did you eat a snowball there? they are known for that. this is a fave town in germany :)
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
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One of the gates to Rotenburg.
One of the gates to Rotenburg.
Turrets at Rothenburg
Turrets at Rothenburg
A section of the wall around Rothe…
A section of the wall around Roth…
Looking out from the walkway aroun…
Looking out from the walkway arou…
A quiet path outside the wall at R…
A quiet path outside the wall at …
A bench outside Rothenburg
A bench outside Rothenburg
Sidestreet of Rothenburg
Sidestreet of Rothenburg
More streets from Rothenburg.
More streets from Rothenburg.
An old car on display in Rothenbur…
An old car on display in Rothenbu…
Large building in center of Rothen…
Large building in center of Rothe…
Hotel sign in Rothenburg
Hotel sign in Rothenburg
Colorful facades in Rothenburg.
Colorful facades in Rothenburg.
A grocery store in Rothenburg.
A grocery store in Rothenburg.
A sidestreet in Rothenburg.
A sidestreet in Rothenburg.
Mother and daughter going home.
Mother and daughter going home.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
photo by: novabelgica