After lunch on Good Friday, we left the ship and drove by bus to Rothenburg. The route we took is known as the Romantic Road. It’s a narrow, winding road that follows the path of the Tauber River through green valleys and forested hills, passing through a number of small rural Bavarian villages.
Approaching Rothenburg, the road began to climb steeply. Rothenburg is a medieval walled city, dating back over one thousand years of human history. We passed through a gate in the wall and entered the old town. Like other historic German towns we’ve visited over the past week, Rothenburg is a spider’s web of meandering cobbled streets and lanes. There are many cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a local snowball treat or a traditional Bavarian sausage or strudel, or, of course, a refreshing Bavarian beer.
Being Good Friday, there were no souvenir or regular shops open, as the law forbids it here, but it didn’t stop the tourists from flocking here for the holiday weekend.
The houses in Rothenburg span several centuries and building styles, although several features were common. Many were half timbered. A large number had installed a pulley near the peak of the gable, which was used to haul sacks of grain up to the highest level for storage in an attic. If the city was ever besieged, the residents could survive on over a year’s food held in storage in every house. Many of the pitched roofs had rails above the eaves to prevent the snow from falling onto the ground in front of the house. There is a law that says you must have cleared the snow from out the front of your home by 7am (8am on Sundays) or else you risk a heavy fine.
The streets were kept immaculately clean. Students who misbehave in school here are taken into the town to clean the streets and town squares of litter (not that I could see any) as a punishment.
Marg and I stopped to enjoy a strudel with a glass of the local beverage in front of a statue decorated with Easter eggs. The temperature was 24 degrees and there was not a cloud in the blue sky. Germany just continues to delight us with its friendly people, its beautiful natural scenery, its historic towns and its amazing spring weather.