We arrived at 12:50 p.m. and walked up the hill towards our hotel (Garni Frei). We soon realized that there was some sort of festival going on in town with people cooking outside and dressed up in old costumes.
I recognized our hotel right away from the photos I saw online. What a cute building, huh?
The view from our room! I liked that we were across from a "Schuhhaus" since I love shoes and all.
The area around our hotel. Basically, we realized right away that this town would be so picturesque and cute. I knew I'd be snapping lots of photos there!
We freshened up a bit and headed out to explore Rothenburg ob der Tauber. These guys were singing in the middle of the street, so we stopped to listen.
We found the Christmas stores and museum right away! More on that later. Here's my mom in front of one of the stores.
On our search for somewhere to eat lunch, I found a cute kitty in a window. It was the first time I had seen a cat on our trip and I was really missing Tanzi at this point. So, being the cat lady that I am, I sort of squealed with excitement upon seeing him and people sitting at the cafe below looked at me strangely.
Displays outside of the stores were even so endearing. The smell of the lavender sachets at this place was enticing.
More towns people dressed up.
The main town square area was "sehr schoen." Just look at these classic German buildings!
The town hall.
We discovered that like a lot of cities all over the world, Rothenburg had it's own specialty food, a schneeballe or snow ball. It's a pastry made from shortcrust pastry and covered in confectioner's sugar. Some are covered in nuts and filled with marzipan.
Rothenburg has a small criminal museum. I was actually interested in seeing it, but my mom wasn't, so we took this silly picture instead.
I love the pretty doors in Europe.
And I adore these signs above businesses.
After looking at numerous menus (I was being picky because I was attempting to find a vegetarian meal), we finally found a restaurant, Zum Schwan, to sit down in for lunch.
Mom started with a big beer!
I ordered spaetzle, which is one of my favorite German dishes, and it came with a salad. I was really missing vegetables at this point in the trip, so a salad tasted amazing.
Mom ordered a classic meal--bratwurst and sauerkraut. It came with delicious bread and mustard on the side.
We walked off our meal by exploring the town. This scene is used a lot in German tourism ads.
By 4 p.m., this sign for Kaffe and Kuchen was exactly what I needed to see. My mom spotted that they had one of my favorite German cakes, Bienenstichkuchen (bee sting cake), on their menu, so we popped in to check out the display of desserts. I started to speak German to the waitress and she seemed to assume I spoke fluently. If I can brag a little bit, this was the most I was able to speak and understand the language on the whole trip and I was so happy.
I wish Americans took more afternoon breaks for coffee and treats like the Europeans do. I recently read that the Swedish do this and it's a social thing, which is good for the mind.
The cake did not disappoint and neither did the coffee.
The interior of the restaurant was adorable. Check out these wood-carved chairs.
Near the restaurant was an exit to these gardens. My mom's friend told her not to miss this area and I am glad we spotted it on the map.
I found another kitty in these gardens, but I'll write a separate blog post about her. She is that special of a cat.
We got this great view from the garden wall.
More cute scenes to take pictures of in town...
I stopped in a tourist shop to find a Christmas ornament, since I started collecting them when Craig and I honeymooned in Europe. I picked this one out at the salesman at the counter told me it was a gift. I thought he was kidding so I insisted I would pay and he insisted back that I didn't need to. Well, that was a weird surprise. So, this is the ornament I ended up with for free. Danke schoen to the nice salesman.
I was excited to visit the Kathe Wohlfahrt store, which is known for their Christmas ornaments. The Christmas Museum was across the way (green building below), but we didn't go in. We did shop in the store, which had every ornament imaginable.
Back at the hotel that evening, we took short naps and woke up to music playing in the street. There was a parade going on down below our window!
The next morning, we woke up to a huge breakfast, which was provided by the hotel. Before packing up to leave Rothenburg for Munich, we walked around town some more and discovered the wall to walk on, which offered views like this quaint house.
I think staying for one evening in Rothenburg was perfect. I wouldn't have minded another day to explore the various museums though.
I knew I would love this town and it didn't disappoint me or my mom. Add Rothenburg ob der Tauber to your next trip to Germany!
Miles walked in Rothenburg: 5.88 on May 20th.