We have Rick Steve's guidebook to Germany and he says that Rothenberg is really touristy but so worth it. He's right. Chopper took a day off of work and the kids stayed home from school -- originally we thought we'd use that day to do the Nuremberg market but changed our minds and drove the hour and a half to Rothenburg ob der Tauber -- a medieval walled city along the Romantic road and pretty much the Christmas capital of the country. They have like 6 Kathe Wohlfahrt stores -- they're the big store that sells everything Christmas and everything you think of as traditionally German. But the stores are not what made this trip amazing -- the Christmas market was great -- not too big and not too crowded (well it was a Tuesday), but the city is amazing and I'm so glad that we went!
Side note -- some pictures may be out of order -- trying to rearrange them from both what Chopper and I have taken to be a chronological telling is kind've a pain. Also, there's a lot of pictures!
You enter the city through one of several gates and also have access points to go on the top of the walls. You can walk 90% of the wall at the top. We did a little bit at the end. But see that gorgeous blue sky? We had about 4 hours before the fog started rolling in -- which was also gorgeous!
Inside the walls
Rothenberg is not only known for the German romantic architecture, it also has the narrow, winding, cobbled streets. Adorable!! I could totally live here!
We love the details!
Both churches charged an entry fee (the result of having a lot of tourism I guess) so we didn't go in.
The Christmas market was not only in the market square (thats the Rathaus in the front), but stretched down alleys and side streets. I'm positive that we missed something!
I love the look of wonder on William's face here! Might be the bubbles that were coming from a toy store's second story.
Happy Anniversary to us one day early!!! No babysitters so it was a family date!
Tried to take a kissing selfie -- it didn't really work.
Abby and the kinderpunch -- theirs was the best we've had so far.
We just wandered, shopped, caught bubbles, went inside cute little shops, and kind've stared open-mouthed. I guess one of the benefits of being touristy (I mean not just Germans and people at Christmas markets but lots of Asian tourists!) is that I didn't really feel like I needed to blend in as much -- we could whip out the camera and stare in awe freely!!!
In our wandering we came upon the Crime and Punishment museum -- although we referred to it as the torture museum. I had read that it was good and that all the artifacts on display are actual medieval artifacts so we decided to see it! It was morbid although not too graphic by virtue of all pictures either being drawings or carvings that aren't too detailed but we actually enjoyed it -- and the kids did too!
We all tried the stocks although the kids had to borrow some legs in order to be tall enough.
I love that Abby has her tongue out!
The hanging cage thing
Ok that's a crazy chair!
An actual iron maiden
They had a big display of shame masks -- I had no idea this even existed but each mask represents whatever "sins" you've committed -- but most of the sins that a shame mask covers are things like not being able to keep a secret, gossip, drunkenness, etc. More social issues. Megan was really fascinated by these and looked at them for a long time but I don't know if that's because of what they are or from an artistic standpoint.
They didn't just cover torture, it also had extensive displays on the court system and law and government. This is a replica but still a pretty impressive crown!
Oh and a section on army and defense
After the museum, more wandering, and we found this wonky little leaning corner house that is featured in many postcards and pictures of Rothenberg. Yep it's cute. But the blue skies are gone! We came out of the museum and the fog had started!
We were all hungry so we decided to eat at a restaurant that was advertising pizza and had gelatto in the window. William loves bratwurst and Abby's pretty good with schnitzel but Megan has gotten picky again and says she doesn't like German food. When we walked in, it was completely empty and the decor and atmosphere was pretty much cocktail bar but we stayed and had a really good meal!
The girls had really good pizza, William got his "hotdog", Chopper had Nurnberger bratwurst and I had a delicious cannelloni. And yes, we ended it all with ice cream. We would go there again!
Back onto the streets, getting dark and foggy, we wandered around some more.
I thought Abby was just looking at the grapes but then she went right up to the door and I had to yell at her -- that's someone's house!! It probably isn't fun to have your hometown inundated by tourists all the time.
Ok this guy was just wandering around the streets -- he had something on his shoes so that as he walked he clopped like a horse but the funniest thing about it is that he looks like Zorro which is Spanish? Maybe Mexican. But not German!
Abby and Chopper, always posing
Oh there's the ice cream picture! I knew I had one. So after eating Eis all summer (most shops close down for the winter months) the kids have their preferred flavors: Megan is peppermint (pfefferminze), Abby is chocolate (schokolade), and William is lemon (zitrone)!
Oh yeah!! That's a Nimbus 2001 that we found in a shop -- only 299 Euros!
They close in the fountains -- I guess to keep the from freezing and bursting
The view from the top of the wall was pretty amazing!
Another side note -- I saw a post about this on the military spouses page and found it one day when I ran to Amberg to get a few things. It's a roadside house to buy raw milk and honey. It's right in front of the farm where the cows are. It's an honor system for paying but the milk comes from a dispensing machine. I had to try it! The milk was good -- a little sweeter and creamier than store-bought. The honey has a different taste to it -- just from wherever the bees are getting their pollen I think, but it's good!