Webbed toes and superfluous nipples

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August 1st 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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Funny that a German advertising poster for hot air ballooning says "Ballonfahrten".
Geo: 50.3118, 11.7712

I was actually the only person in the room last night, and had trouble sleeping because it was eerily quiet. I need to start requesting rooms with Spanish senoritas in them so that they can sing me lullabies until I fall asleep. I'd gladly pay any price for such a service 😊

It absolutely POURED this morning - hopefully it keeps things cool for the rest of the day. I quickly forced down breakfast at the hostel and left for the train station, once there was a break in the rain. Rotherburg - the hostel is located in a neat building, a former horse mill. The receptionist told me that I was in the building "next door", but I had to go back for directions because I had almost wandered into somebody's house. Turns out that "next door" actually means "across the street".

Funny moment - a group of German teens were hanging out at the hostel entrance, and they had VERY thick German accents as they spoke English. But one kid was able to say, in perfect English "I am sorry for your mother" as I walked by. I don't think he was saying it to me, but you

Neat buildings in Rothenburg.
never know ...

There were a few Spanish tourists around town, which is always a nice thing 😊 First stop after lunch - St. Jakob's Church, it's one of the stops on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Another sign that I once more need to return there ... St. Jakob's Church is famous for its incredible wood carving, the Altar of the Holy Blood.

After, I wandered around town - through the Convent Garden, and along the town wall. It was reminiscent of Orvieto, as I walked a section that sloped downhill, and enjoyed views of the lush valley below (see blog entry entitled: "A bad combination - cheap wine and limoncello", http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/europe_2006/1159993920/tpod.html?tweb_UID=pwong )

Next up - the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum. The content was quite good, but too repetitive (how many shame masks and neck violins do you need to see?) The focus of the museum seemed a bit scattered, too - exhibits were all over the place.

Back to the hostel for a siesta - for some reason, this town smells like horse manure! One of the bunkmates said they were probably discing wheat (whatever that means), and therefore spreading a lot of manure. That

That teddy bear looks a bit backwards - its butt crack appears to be in the front, not the back.
made me feel better, because the smell seemingly followed me all day long, and I worried that I had stepped in something or had somehow soiled myself.

A father and son (or, so I thought ...) were staying in the room, and mentioned that they had an incredibly cheap dinner at the hostel - 4.50 Euros! I was tempted by the price, but it was probably too late to reserve for it, anyway. Instead, I went to Pizzeria Roma - they had an interesting menu item, pizza bread with ... potatoes??? Only in Germany ...

There was no outdoor seating available today (or rather, they didn't want to waste one of the tables on a single diner like me), so I was stuck in the hot interior. I had a glass of Bardolino - I don't think I've had this since I was in Verona, two years ago. I remember the wine being great, but tasting even better because of drinking it inside of a 2000-year old Roman arena (see blog entry entitled: "She had the firmest breasts I've ever touched!" http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/pwong/europe_2006/1154881080/tpod.html?tweb_UID=pwong ) The bardolino wasn't the greatest idea, since it made me sweat even more.

I chuckled as I watched

Lunch was a kebab, perfectly layered, with the ingredients and sauce nicely distributed inside the bread. It's such a simple thing, but you'd be surprised at how many kebab guys screw it up, and you end up with a kebab that has all the meat, or all the sauce on the top, so you end up eating the kebab in layers, and don't actually get to sample all the flavours with each bite. The bad thing was that there wasn't enough sauce today, and the meat wasn't that great, but the skill in assembly was impeccable. Feeling run-down, I chugged some of the multi-fruit juice you find everywhere, with the meal. Though it was a cloudy and cooler day, I was still sweating like a pig as I sat and ate on the market square.
three North American girls eating dinner across the restaurant. Not a single word was spoken for several minutes ... they had the undeniable look of people that had been traveling together for TOO long!

I was so hot and sweaty after dinner that I briefly considered dunking my head in the toilet to cool myself off. But then I realized that only one thing would bring my dangerously-high body temperature to a safe level - gelato! Too bad it was crap - it didn't taste much like blueberry, and it made me crave a blueberry milkshake from Peter's Drive-in. Mental note: gotta visit that place when I get home.

The most famous thing to do in Rotheburg is the Night Watchman's Tour, so that was the plan for tonight. While waiting in the market square for the tour to start, I ran into Brad and Logan, the father/son from the hostel. Earlier, they were very excited about the cheap buffet at the hostel, so I asked how it was. Brad replied, with a huge smile "It was SHIT!!!" Logan described the hot dogs as tasting like dog (being Chinese, maybe I would like that?), the potatoes as being "liquefied", and the

The carver of the Altar of the Holy Blood, Tilman Reimenschneider, is considered to be the Michelangelo of German woodcarvers. The altar holds a scrap of tablecloth that was miraculously stained in the shape of a cross by a drop of communion wine. I really don't see how miraculous that is; I've stained many white shirts and khaki pants over the years with ketchup, wine, you name it, but no one has ever built an altar to showcase them.
dessert as being runny yogurt or pudding. There were absolutely no vegetables, either.

The tour was awesome - the guy was friggin' hilarious, and sounded a bit like Borat. He makes a killing - there were probably 70-90 people on the tour, at 6 Euros each. And he does this every night during the summers. You do the math ... but keep in mind that this town is dead during the off-season.

Turns out that Brad is a teacher from Ontario, and that he isn't Logan's dad, but his half-brother! Logan got a kick out of that, because many have confused Brad for the father. The guy's actually 4 years younger than me, but because of his salt and pepper hair and lack of Asian anti-aging genes, he looks quite a bit older. Upon first meeting them, I thought Brad was a bit young to be the father, but figured he looked a bit too old to be the brother.

Logan started making all these weird comments about how he had webbed toes when he was a kid, and how it was surgically corrected - I thought it was all a joke at first, but both of them told me

The detail is truly remarkable. The figurine of Judas can actually be removed from the altar.
that it was true, so we all started making jokes about it. When Logan left for a moment to find a bathroom, Brad told me that it was all a lie, that at the beginning of the trip he had convinced Logan that he was born with webbed toes, and asked me to continue the charade. Brad told me that Logan has always been sensitive about things like this because he's got a superfluous nipple, and asked me not to tell him the truth about his feet. This is for real!

Seeing as how I love a good joke, I told Brad that I'd make some random reference to superfluous nipples later on. So when Logan returned, I said "You know Logan, you shouldn't feel bad about this whole webbed-toe thing - it could be worse, after all. At least it's not as bad as having a superfluous nipple!"

Logan's face went white, and he stuttered "Wh ... wh ... why do you mention superfluous nipples?" Brad was about to burst out laughing, but he managed to hold it together. It's a good thing that I never had a younger brother, because if I did, that poor kid would have been

Cool stained-glass window in St. Jakob's.
SO traumatized by me ... it's a good thing that Logan's a good kid, who has obviously been toughened up by Brad's jokes over the years!

Wanting a drink, we returned to a bar named Hell, one of the final stops on our walking tour. It was a little pricey, so we went to Restaurant Glocken, where they offered a sampler of five wines for 4 Euros. It was ok, but nothing memorable. Looking for some cheap beer, we thought about going back to the hostel, but we realized that the reception was already closed. We wandered over to a kebab shop hoping that it would still be open, but not this late in a small town like Rothenburg.

There wasn't much else open at this hour. We came across a wine garden, but it didn't look that appealing, so we kept wandering, until we found a restaurant/bar with a nice patio. Unfortunately, the patio was closing up, but the waitress told us we could have a drink in their wine garden. Leading us through the building, we ended up back at the wine garden that we deemed unappealing, only moments before. I guess the restaurant/bar and wine garden are all

The Convent Garden - a number of herbs are grown here, including poisonous ones. The poison level is indicated by the number of crosses. The Convent had a lazy Susan embedded in the wall, so that nuns could serve the poor without being seen. Intersting fact - hotels all across Spain are now installing lazy Susans, in order to keep their hotel receptionists safe from me.
a part of a big hotel!

Figuring it was fate, we decided to stay and have a drink. I had some pretty mediocre beer, and we just hung out. We've all got the same sick senses of humour, so it was a fun evening, filled with inappropriate jokes. As the night wore on and we started to feel the effects of the earlier wine samplers, Brad leaned over to me and said "So ... tell me more about Spanish women ..." Oh ... I could do that, but we'd be sitting here for hours ...

Additional photos below
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A bunch of apples that had fallen off the tree. Had I found these in expensive Scandinavia, I undoubtedly would have eaten them. Hell, I probably would've dug through that trash can looking for food, too!

The Castle Garden was spectacular - the clouds provided shelter from the sun, and a slightly cool breeze was quite refreshing, and also gently rustled the leaves ... sigh ... Rothenburg is a cool little medieval town, but I wouldn't have any reason to return here. Unless I encounter a hottie hotel receptionist!

One of Rothenburg's gates.

Eye of the needle door - the main door was closed at curfew, but one could enter though this tiny door if a bribe was paid. It was small enough to let a man in, but he wouldn't be able to bring any weapons in. Spanish women use this door on a regular basis, just because they can, and because they are so tiny that they easily fit through. I'm serious!

The face near the bottom of the picture was used to pour hot oil on invaders.

Memorial to Jews killed in a 1298 slaughter.

A high school band from Michigan was giving a free concert on the market square, so I stayed for some of that. I guess that they do the same 16-day trip through Europe every year, and Rothenburg is always the last stop. You could tell that the parents were in attendance because while the performance was good, it wasn't THAT good to elicit the types of cheers that were made! I'm sure that a trip like that would be an amazing experience to have when growing up. As I watched, I munched on some wicked watermelon and pineapple that I picked up at a nearby fruit stand.

Interesting display in an art gallery - that's not a real woman.

And I'm really not sure why she would be carrying fuzzy dice in her purse.

Rothenburg is considered the best town in all of Germany for souvenir shopping. This store is famous for selling all things Christmas.

Schneeballen - considered the most famous of Rothenburg pastries, they're supposed to be pie crusts crumpled into a ball. There are tons of different flavours, with different coatings. Not sounding too appetizing, I never did try one; I was especially turned off when I read that they would keep in a cool, dark place for a couple of months. You can also see a specialized tool they have to retrieve the Schneeballen. Or perhaps I'm wrong and it's not a Schneeballen device, but a castration tool!

Before the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum, I grabbed an apple gelato, but not because I wanted one, only because I was bored! A big portion, it was very refreshing, with a hint of tartness that perfectly captured the green apple flavour.

This device was used to clamp down on somebody's tongue.

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