We took a side trip today to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, considered “the king of medieval German cuteness” by our constant touring companion, Rick Steves. His Far Eastern counterpart must have likewise determined this is a must-see destination, as most of our fellow travelers today were Asian.
But you can’t blame them. This town had its heyday from 1150 to 1400, as it was a key stop on the trade route between northern and southern Europe. The Thirty Years War and the plague did it in, but led to it being frozen in time. Tourism is now its main industry, and we were fortunate to be here off-season, as it must be packed in the summer.
Every corner had a new treat, after we passed through the city walls. Most buildings were in place by 1400, and were built around the city fortress, circa 1142. Yes, it does ooze charm.
Our trip had two parts. The first was a bearable late winter day, enlivened by spring flowers bravely emerging into the cold.
We then took a long visit to the ultimate Christmas shop, Käthe Wohlfarte, which had a numbing display of every type of holiday ornament and accessory one could imagine. We were brave and resisted buying.
However, when we came out, the weather had turned with a vengeance, and we found ourselves in the middle of a blizzard.
We joined our Asian co-tourists at a café on the market square for some warm drinks and nourishment, which included the obligatory local treat, schneeballen – snowballs being an apt choice for the weather.
We then trudged back to the train station for our return to Wurzburg. No snow at all here, making our trip to Rothenburg seem even more like a visit to Brigadoon.