ob der Tauber
One Day in Rothenburg:
Towers, Walls, & Shneeballs
As we arrived near the city center of Rothenburg,
we came upon a narrow, stone gate.
Because we're with a Rick Steves' tour (and we're so cool),
we had special permission to drive through this gate into the old city center.
Wow! What a thrill!
Dirk, our driver, was so suave and cool getting us through the gate and around some narrow turns to drop us off at our hotel.
After dropping off our luggage, we had an orientation tour by Matti before we were set free for the afternoon.
We met up later that evening for a group dinner, followed by the
Night Watchman's Tour.
Views of the Plonlein.
The Rathaus Tower!
One really exciting thing I did to begin my free time was climbing the tower at the Rathaus.
There was no mention of how tricky this climb was going to be...
Let's just say, there were many, many steps--each getting narrower and narrower the higher I went.
And then, just when I thought it couldn't get any crazier, I had to skillfully climb the very steep, narrow, and uneven stairs (not quite a ladder...yet...).
Now that I reached the end of this insane staircase, I needed to climb the vertical ladder and
pull myself up onto the tower landing. (Oh, and going back down was even more thrilling!)
If you're fit and brave enough, you'll get spectacular views like these!
"Ich bin fix und fertig."
Literally: I'm quick and ready.
German meaning: I'm exhausted.
A Rothenburg specialty,
this is a shortcrust pastry deep-fried and covered in powdered sugar.
I had a Schneeball mit Zimt und Zucker.
(Schneeball with cinnamon and sugar)
Delicious and fun!
Above: Click the snowball to learn more about Schneeballen!
Castle Gate leading to the Burggarten.
The Night Watchman's Tour
Following a full day of discovering all the treasures of Rothenburg, our group met for a traditional dinner.
Our evening culminated with the Night Watchman's Tour, giving us a taste of what life was like centuries ago in this medieval walled town. He wears a black cloak and carries a lantern, a horn, and a hellebarde (a long, hooked spear used for protection).
He points out evidence of the harshness of medieval life: the attic pulleys residents used to haul up the year's supply of food and the windows in which they
tossed waste down onto the street.
Eventually, that didn't help when the plague made its rounds. Not to mention the smell in the hot summer months...eww!
A Night Watchman would make rounds while everyone else was sleeping. He would light the lamps and check for fire. He'd keep watch for invaders or any incoming threats. On the hour, he would sing a song, alerting townsfolk to be mindful of fire--and that he was still alive.
By this time, I was quite wiped. So, I went back to my room and watched a German movie on TV until I fell asleep. It felt good to get caught up on some zzz's!)
*Schneeballen are very popular in Rothenburg and
there are many varieties to choose from.
Pop into one of the bakeries and get
yourself one...or two!
Hover or click the pictures to view descriptions and see them larger.
My Favorite Rothenburg Things!
Altes Brauhus - Our hotel for the night. Lovely views of Rothenburg!
Teddyland - Germany's largest teddy bear store.
Käthe Wohlfahrt - Weihnachtsdorf - German Christmas store and Museum. Any Christmas ornament, village, or decor you can imagine is here! They do offer shipping back home.
Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum - Huge collection of Medieval punishment and torture devices. All the signs are in English.
Church of St. James - St. Jakob's Church. Home of the Holy Blood Altar. A Lutheran church, which serves as a church on the pilgrimage route to St. James Church in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.