Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Remarkable Rothenburg

I picked our 17th century hotel in Rothenburg since it was very old, but also had a spa, and rooms available on a peak season Saturday night. We never used the spa, but enjoyed our stay and the Bavarian-styled breakfast room.
Rothenburg lived up to our expectations. In fact, I couldn’t stop taking pictures…it was that picturesque!  One highlight was walking along the top of the medieval wall that surrounded the city. Another was finding a building that Sally’s father, an amateur artist, had once painted. Since the painting is now at the home of a niece, Sally purchased a version of the picture to be embroidered at some time in the future.
Food plays a big part in the life of the Germans, and we had remarkably good meals throughout the trip. While not everyone loves sausages, I do and am returning to Canada looking like a sausage. A very fat bratwurst! Or maybe a weiswurst. Or maybe more like one of these deep fried balls of dough that are the Rothenburg equivalent of a donut!

On Saturday night, this quartet was entertaining large crowds in the market square. I was interested to note they were not from Germany, but rather from Poland, according to their website. There was room in the town for many more musicians
I was intrigued by the amount of attention given to Rothenburg’s Jewish community, since Jews had been officially banished in 1520 and the 20 Jews who lived there in 1938 were driven out of town. However, Rothenburg was once home to the famous 13th century Jewish scholar Meyer ben Baruch (who I had never heard of) and next to our hotel was a small commemorative garden and cemetery with tombstones dating from 1266 to 1395, that were in remarkably good condition.

Rothenburg is one of Germany's top tourist destinations, as evidenced by the boat loads (literally) and bus loads of tourists, inlcuding a large number of Chinese and Japanese tourists who were swarming the town on Sunday morning. Just as the Americans were famous for their whirlwind tours of Europe in the 50's and 60's (If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium), I was told it's now the Chinese visitors who regularly do a 2 week tour of Europe with Rothenburg good for a 2 to 3 hour visit. There were Americans around, but they appeared to be in the minority. There didn't seem to be many Canadians, so if you're planning a trip to Germany from Canada, I highly recommend Rothenburg.


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