Aaaaaannnnddd……we’re off! The journey begins!!!

We are off on our 5 week journey across Europe!!! We left Tuesday for the very long flight across ‘the pond’, landing in Frankfurt first thing Wednesday morning. The four of us fared rather well, and soon our luggage and rental car were retrieved – allowing us to be on our merry way!

Our first stop was Wurzburg. After a quick coffee and snack to revive ourselves at one of its cafes, we visited St. Kilian’s Cathedral and toured the town for a bit. Dirk Nowitsky was born in this town – an appropriate first stop for us Dallasites after the recent (VERY recent) NBA title the Mavericks snagged…

We left Wurzburg for Rothenburg by late morning…and this is the part it got a little tricky. Despite my husband’s ‘extra-OCD –special map planning’ and all of his back-up plans to assure us of a speedy (think autobahn) and non-eventful drive, it wasn’t exactly as smooth as planned. Oh, speed was definitely involved (again, think autobahn), but smooth? Not as much. We circled around several times after realizing we had programmed in the wrong Rothenburg town into the GPS. Arguments ensued about who knew which direction we were headed, and which Rothenburg town we needed to find…they were all so convinced their way was the best way…I sat back and tried to watch the scenery as it flew past, hoping not to get one of my headaches from all the noise…So for those of you out there planning a trip to Germany, there are several Rothenburgs in this country, and you should make sure you know which one you want to visit. Lesson learned for us!! And we eventually made it to the correct town, mild hearing loss and slight tension the only signs of the previous battle…

Rothenberg is a beautiful walled-in town and very well preserved from waaaaayyyy back when. Parts of the town were bombed/destroyed in WWII; however, the city center and most of the town were saved from much damage.  We arrived to our hotel, Hotel Herrnschloesschen, by 1:00PM and were able to check in early (thankfully…we we so tired and in need of freshening up!!). This was one of the nicest places I have ever stayed! Everyone we encountered was so friendly and welcoming and ready to help in any way we needed. Upon our arrival they guided us to their stunning garden in the back of the hotel and provided us with complimentary drinks (beer for the boys; German sparkling wine for me) while they took our luggage to our rooms and gathered our keys (real keys, not cards!!). It was a welcome treat after such a long flight and drive.  Although the hotel is set in one of the original buildings of the town, the inside has been recently renovated and the rooms have most modern amenities one might be seeking. Our rooms did not have air-conditioning; however, I believe a couple of the rooms do. Although I admit, that evening was beautiful and sleeping with the windows open allowed us to wake to the chirping birds in the morning. Who wants A/C with that option???

After a short nap to refresh ourselves, my husband I headed for a stroll around town. We grabbed a pretzel to tide us over until dinner, and then meandered through the cobblestone streets of town. We stumbled upon a beautiful garden when we peeked through one of the several gates located in the town walls. Soon, it was time for dinner…we gathered the boys and went straight to Hell! Ok, the restaurant was ‘Zur Holl’??? which we later learned means ‘The Hell’…it is a beer garden and restaurant offering decent German food…Following dinner we headed to the town center to meet up with others for the daily Night Watchman’s tour. The Night Watchman shows up clad in his watchman attire (robes, hat and carrying a special axe-like weapon, horn and lantern). He took us around town pointing out historical details which occurred at various places – all with a bit of a comical twist! It is well worth the Euros spent to take this tour…we walked a bit of the town’s wall afterward. It goes completely around the city (hey, it is a walled-in medieval town!), and one can walk the perimeter of the town on top of the wall. There are openings built into the wall to allow the city to be defended – slits to shoot arrows and holes to pour burning oil on ones enemies…perhaps this place hasn’t always been as friendly as now…

Sated from a lovely dinner and the tour now over, we headed back to our rooms for a much longed for night of rest. Breakfast was included with the hotel, and we chose the option to have it served in our room (no extra charge). This was one of the best breakfasts I have had in a very long time. My eggs we perfectly cooked, sunny-side up as requested, bright orange yolks staring up at me…we also had ham, fresh fruit, yoghurt (plain, unsweetened, and fresh – so yummy!), muesli cereal, fresh squeezed orange juice, and an assortment of breads. The boys added meat and cheese platters to their list of selections – also fabulous!

Thursday morning we visited the Criminal Museum and took one final stroll around town before heading on to our next destination…tata for now…Ingolstadt and Munich to follow….

Please share with your friends, thank you!

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