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Published: April 14th 2008
I love this entrance to the city!
Spring is here. The trees are regaining leaves, flowers are blooming, its raining...a lot...oh wait thats just Germany. :-) As spring approaches and the idea of Summer is infecting this town, I can not help but realize that my days here are numbered. So much to see, so little time!! I have lots planned over the next 3 months, trying to squeeze in everything I can, see friends again, and try to just take in the beauty of a German Summer. (Beergardens, beach bars, Swimming Pools)
I am in amazement at how fast this year has really gone. It is already the middle of my 8th month here...unimaginable. Don't get me wrong, I miss everyone very much and am excited about returning home, but its nothing like a light at the end of the tunnel to wake you up to what you have around currently. I plan to take advantage of every moment. In blogs to come...
Last weekend, a bunch of kids from my program had planned to meet up "in the middle" so to say at Rothenberg ob der Tauber. Rothenberg is one of the best preserved Medieval Cities in the world. I believe it might be
The city hall
the only one left with a complete outer city wall. (Its actually the city that you see out of the Glass Elevator at the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - the original one) It lies just on the border between Baden-Wurttenburg and Bavaria, a pefect meeting place for our Erfurt East German group, the Munich Bavaria group, and all of us from Stuttgart, Pforzheim, and Karlsruhe in Baden-Wurttenburg. 😊 In total, we ended up as 10 (had some last minute drops) which honestly is larger than any group of Americans, none the less people, I have traveled with in a LONG time. It was a long 5 hr total train journey for me from Karlsruhe, through Stuttgart, up to Ansbach, and on to Rothenberg ob der Tauber, but I was in good company and it was nice to catch up with everyone. We all surprisingly ended up on the last train together into Rotheberg so that made a nice arrival of a mass group of Americans (and one German - Justus's Flatmate).
So, Jill, Brooke, Rob, Pat, Justus, Elizabeth, Stefan, Lisa, Ben, and I set off in a clan to check into our hostel and see
Brooke and I
the town. We reached the entrance to the Altstadt, the moat, and the gate to the city and were in awe. I've seen castles, and ruins, and what not, but this was a perfectly intact city wall. I know, they told us that before we got there. But really, you have to see this in person. Our Hostel was on the west side of the city from the entrance (i have no real sense of direction). I had not stayed in a German hostel in a while as I have been crashing with friends and couchsurfing, and I had forgotten how nice and clean they were. I should be used to that by now. 😊 We put all of our stuff down, were busy catching up, but decided to get out and see the city. We went first in search of a great place to eat lunch, but on the way took our time to look around, take lots of pictures of old buildings and touristy things, and even try a famous Schneeball. This means Snowball in English, it was basically like they had taken a bunch of pieces of little dough, put them together in a ball and cooked
The Whole Group
All 10 of us crazy kids!
it, maybe baking? Then they cover it in all kinds of things. I tried the Zimt (Cinnamon) one, which I could only eat about a half of because it was so sweet. After checking out the other gate and the view on the backside of the city down to the Tauber river, we finally chose a restaurant and of course interrupted the quiet peaceful afternoon that they were having.
I of course tried the Kase Spatzle - a southern German specialty I have become very fond of, think mac and cheese but better, with a potato type pasta and a fabulous cheese sauce, sometimes grilled onions on top. It might have been the best Kase Spatzle I have eaten thus far in my adventures. I had forgotten how loud Americans can be and how easy we get caught up in conversation. I finally got over my paranoia that we were annoying the whole world and just joined in to conversation. It was nice to kind of give up the profile of 'fitting in and being quiet' and just not care for a weekend. After lunch we walked over to one part of the wall where you could climb up
In the stocks
Pat and I in the stocks
the stairs and proceeded to walk about half the city along the top. You could imagine all the people up on the walls, fighting away large armies, well who knows, but thats what it felt like. It really was a step back in time.
We came down from the wall and decided that since everything had shut down and most of the few tourists that were in town had gone back to their hotels, we should find ourselves a nice cozy bar to sit down in and have a drink...or two. We went on a good search for a while, me being over nervous not to disturb a nice restaurant with our crazy group and finally found a hole in the wall, back alley bar that had just opened for the evening. And they even had a table for 10! With the music and other people, we could be just about as loud as we wanted and not worry about disturbing the German peace. Later that night we clammored through the rain to a local club (didnt think it would have existed there) to enjoy some more drinks, dancing and good times. We discovered later that night that we
Everyone up on the stairs to the outer wall.
either arrived on gay night or perhaps that it was just the only club in town. We settled on 'just the only club in town' and just went with it. 😊 The music was horrible, like worse that normal German club music, and it was entertaining because you just watched the crowd attempt their best moves but most realizing it was useless. I ended up blabbering off in German to Justus's flatmate Stefan for ages about Texas culture, etc. I was just happy to speak some German for a while. Overall it was a fantastic night and surprisingly I was one of the ones that didnt want to go home, SEE im not so old afterall!
The next day, we all got up, checked out, and had some fabulous German breakfast. You know, cold meat, bread, more bread, more bread, nutella, soft boiled eggs (my personal fav), and cheese. We discussed our heafty schedule for the day and packed our stuff into lockers. First it was off to the Medieval Torture and Punishment Museum, yes, thats right. It was really enteratining and they showed all kinds of ways that they punished criminals, overly chatty women, you know all the
Town from below
This is the whole city from the River below.
normal bad people in the world. We all took turns in the stocks checked out the Chastity Belts, and then decided to head over for some lunch. After lunch, Justus took us on a lovely hike down the hill behind the city to the Tauber river. I believe that the bridge down below was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (i know the city was in general, but honestly dont remember the last time I saw the movie). The views back up to the city were beautiful and the sun even tried to make an appearance for a few of my pictures, that was nice of it, i know it was exhausting, it had to go hide again for a week. 😊
It was then back to the hostel, off to the train station, and on the 6 hr journey home. Rob and I ran for our train in Stuttgart but unfortunately it pulled out right when we pulled in. We went to Jill and Pats for some dinner and then headed back for the later train. Overall, it was a fabulous weekend, great to catch up with everyone I had not seen in a while and be a little
Old tower in the inner city
loud for a change 😉
I am very much enjoying the news lately, protests, olympic torch, polygamist colony in texas, and the end of the world (or just a recession) haha. Makes for good conversations. Enjoy your recession, I will be back soon. - Paige
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