You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone

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Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Rothenburg ob der Tauber
December 24th 2013
Published: January 12th 2014
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The little girl is about 7 years old or so. She looks bored waiting for her train. Her mid 20’s mum is busy with her smartphone, so her daughter was trying to entertain herself. She was curious on the mechanics of a luggage, how come such a big bag can roll easily? So she moved it back and forth. “What’s wrong with you?!?”, yelled the mum while grabbing the little girl arm roughly – as if she just robbed a bank or something. The little girl stunned, and started to chuckle in tears. “Stop it! Shut up!”, her mum yelled again. This time the little girl try to sit down quietly, her head face down and I can see tears running down the corner of her eyes. Somehow my heart cries with her.

The mum then gets busy again with her smartphone. I wonder how in the world she can think that commenting her fb friend’s having for lunch is more interesting than the greatest miracle that she got right beside her. I guess it’s true that often times than not; you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I don’t know whether I’ll have a chance to be a mother again or not, but if I do – I promise myself I’d be the best mum that I can be. At least I’ll die trying…

Today is train day. I need to catch 4 different trains to get back to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from Munich, only to catch another 4 trains to get back with a quick stopover in Nuremberg. My train came earlier than the little girl’s so I don’t know what happened to her further – but I hope she’ll be fine. As winter days are very short; unfortunately I can’t just rely on Bavarian pass (23 euro, very value for money if you’re traveling in a small group) which allows free rides on regional trains starting 9 am.

Since visiting Freiburg earlier this year, I want to visit more quaint little towns. And when I read more about Rothenburg ob der Tauber; I’m sold. The thing is, it’s actually quite far from Munich for day trip. Indeed it was a gamble, what if it rained after that much effort? But I just went for it, while bringing a small umbrella with me. Often times in life, you just have to take a chance.

I was contemplating whether to take organized tour or not; but decided just to go myself so I can stay as long, or as short as I want. What’s challenging is not the 4 different trains itself, but finding which platform you should go to. The connections are rather short, and in smaller towns they don’t always have translation in English. I almost missed 2 train connections, literally had to run & the train moved just as I sat down.

Rothenburg lived to all of the hype! It was very colorful, pretty, quaint. Not to mention it was blue sky towards noon. As it was winter, there weren’t many tourists around too. I enjoyed just walking around, entering different Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shops and try to sneak in pictures (apparently there are like 5 just in this town, their Christmas ornaments are so cute but so expensive!) and queuing at bakery that is filled with locals (always a good sign). I treat myself a nutcracker wooden doll & tried the famous snowball pastry. The Christmas market at the Marktplatz already closed the day before (I knew about it, so it wasn’t a surprise) but it looks small anyway. To my surprise the famous Plonlein looked just… so so… Like I don’t understand why it’s so famous although I took pictures of it anyway. If you’re in the mood for an easy hike, a quick stroll would lead you to the city walls. It was a sunny day when I was there so looked enjoyable.

I love Rothenburg so much that I stayed about 4 hours there, from my initial 2 hours plan. On my way back to Munich, I stopped over at Nurnberg who supposedly has the biggest Christmas market in Germany. As I overstayed in Rothenburg, the Nurnberg already closed few hours ago as it was Christmas eve (again, not a surprise, I knew it would be the consequence for overstaying in Rothenburg). Not knowing a lot of Germany, to my surprise, Nurnberg is a very big city. Passed by the St Lorenzkirche and Frauenkirche, but the most interesting part to me is walking up to one of restaurants viewing deck and see the sea of red & white Christmas market’s tent.

As I was snapping away, I met a couple who were sightseeing as well. The gentleman was in a wheelchair and seemed to have had a stroke or something as he can’t speak; he was just grunting. The woman who I assumed is his wife, patiently took him around and still trying to have a conversation with him even though he can’t really reply. I looked down to my feet & hands, and thank God that I have my health; cancer free & still fully mobile. I guess it’s true, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. No matter how hard things are, I still have lots of things to be thankful for.

Additional photos below
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12th January 2014

I agree!
"If you have nothing to be grateful for, check your pulse"... I'm not sure who said this, but it's so true!
13th January 2014
inside kathe wohlfahrt


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