We left Mainz in a rental car and headed to Rothenburg on the Tauber River. Our car was an Opel Astra turbo diesel wagon. Not a bad little car, but I had been hoping for a VW or BMW since we are in Germany. Oh well, I put it through its paces.
Along the way we traveled mostly on the autobahn. Comfortable cruising speed is 140-160km/hr or high 80s to 100mph. We had one wide open stretch with no cars and no rain, so I decided to see how fast the car would comfortably go. I decided to slowly apply the brakes at 200km/hr as the car just didn’t feel stable enough to comfortably travel any faster.
Upon arrival in Rothenburg we parked in a public lot. Our guide book suggested that this particular lot allowed for free parking on the weekends, but no signs could legibly confirm this for us. I watched tourists come and buy parking tickets from the kiosk and then I decided to check the cars with local license plates. In Germany a license plate begins with the province that the car is registered in. Doing this saved us 5 euros as none of them had parking tickets on their dashes. Our guide book also advised against walking the city wall if you’re taller than 6 foot. Again, Rick Steves was right, much to Layla’s disappointment. We had to walk a few sections for her, but I couldn’t see myself walking the entire perimeter hunched over.
We stopped for Kaffee und Brotchen (coffee and rolls) and Darcy snapped this one picture before the girl behind the counter yelled at her for taking a picture. This was our first encounter with a less than friendly German. It was also about our 3,000th encounter with really good looking freshly baked bread. Our selection back home pales in comparison to Germany.
After walking the city and listening to a concert band from Kansas play in the mainplatz (town square) we headed for the gardens where the old castle used to be. Evidently it did not survive the invasion. In the footprint of the old castle was a shrine built to remember Jews killed in the 1920s and 1940s. I decided against taking pictures of the long list of names out of respect.
After leaving the gardens we made our way back to the car. Along the way were a few Gausthaus (guest houses or hotels). We both really liked the charm of the grape vines and other greenery set against the cobbles.
Here you can see one of the many sets of steps up to the wall.
“Come on mommy, hurry up!”
From Rothenburg we headed south to Langenargen. Britta’s aunt Rosemarie and her husband Manfred hosted us for a night in their home. We had the most delightful time there. Both of them treated us far nicer than we could have ever imagined for being unknown guests. Manfred gave us a tour of their home and brought us Bavarian white beers Weissbier (white/wheat beer). Layla had her own room complete with Legos to play with. Rosemarie cooked an excellent meal of pork, potatoes and carrots; the kind of meal you’d have at home, if your home was Bavaria. It was just excellent.
Hopefully we can repay the favor one day.