Monday, January 15, 2018

Rothenburg ob den Tauber: Part three-- Shopping, sausages, Schweinshaxe, Schneeballen, and strolling the wall...

Saturday morning, I woke up with a red wine headache.  After taking some Advil, drinking some fluids, and eating a little breakfast scored at the very closeby Edeka, I was ready to go see this famous town I'd heard and read so much about over the years.  Since my purse strap broke, I decided to simply bring along a few bare necessities.  I have to admit, it was weirdly liberating not to carry my big purse with me.  I tend to overload it with all kinds of junk and it rarely gets cleaned out.  That's probably why the strap broke.


This tower is located very close to Anno 1499.  You can climb the stairs and walk along the wall, which will pass the back of the house.  You get a bird's eye view of the little courtyard.


This archway is to the senior assisted living center where Anno 1499's hostess works as a nurse.  It's just across the street from the rental house.

We walked just a short way down Spitalgasse when I spotted a shop that had a few nice looking men's sportsjackets on display.  Upon closer inspection, I recognized the jackets as being from Scotland.  Since I am a sucker for all things Celtic, Bill and I decided to go inside the shop, where we were helped by its proprietor.  I don't know for certain, but I think he might have been a fellow American who now lives here in Germany with his wife and their kids.  He certainly spoke like an American.  The name of his shop, which he said he and his wife took over a couple of years ago, is Der Schottenladen.


Der Schottenladen... great Scottish goods in Germany!


It's not so often that I go crazy shopping in retail stores anymore.  Like so many other people, I tend to buy a lot of stuff online.  But it wasn't long at all before I found myself fingering a beautiful wool sweater.  I didn't actually need a new sweater, but I am a sucker for certain shades of blue.  I also picked up a handmade purse made by an artisan in Aberdeen, and a pair of earrings (again, not something I needed, but simply couldn't resist).  The proprietor turned out to be interesting to talk to. He said he goes to Scotland at least once a year.  His small shop was crammed with authentic fashions, bottles of whisky, kilts, and lovely gifts.  Almost everything was on sale, too!  Although it was a little weird to be buying Scottish stuff in Germany, I have to say I enjoyed that shop very much.  Bill also tried on a few jackets, but unfortunately, they didn't have any in his size.  Maybe next time.

Scottish loot from Der Schottenladen in Rothenburg.

We decided to take my new duds back to Anno 1499, even though the proprietor kindly offered to hold them for us.  Afterwards, we walked back toward the Marktplatz.  I happened to notice something that looked promising-- a view of some sort.  We turned down an alleyway and within seconds of encountered a lovely pastoral view, we were joined by a huge group of Chinese tourists who seemed to have a distinct herd mentality.  They all kind of crowded in and didn't seem to want to yield so Bill and I could get out of the group.

Once we got to the Marktplatz, we hung a right and walked down another busy street full of cute shops.  We walked until we encountered what was probably the eastern edge of the impressive wall that surrounds Rothenburg.  You are allowed to climb the steps and walk the wall.  It costs nothing and offers some great views of the city, as well as the names of people who donated to the cause.


Every time I see this town advertised, I see the famous building to the right.  It's now a brewery.  We didn't have a chance to stop in.  Maybe next time.





I managed to take a few pictures before we were enveloped by a large tour group...


Bill looks amused...


As I sneak a shot of the big group of tourists who overwhelmed us...

Here are a few more scenes from Rothenburg on Saturday.  I could have spent a couple of days just checking out the cute businesses everywhere.









A view from on the wall.  It's covered and protected from winds coming from outside of the town.





I imagine these people donated money to repair or restore the wall...





This is the courtyard in the house we rented.  Too bad the weather didn't lend itself to sitting out there with a beer.


We followed the wall all the way to the tower that appears first in this post.  That was the one located just outside of our rental house, Anno 1499.

You can't come to Rothenburg and not notice a local specialty pastry called "Schneeballen".  There are a number of Konditoreis that make these.  We picked up a couple of mini versions of them so we could try them.


Schneeballen (snowballs).  Speciality in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

After we walked the wall, it was time for lunch.  I was wanting German food for some reason, so we decided to stop in at Roter Hahn, which is also a hotel.  The restaurant is kind of quaint, with stereotypically charming Bavarian decor.  As soon as we sat down, it became obvious that we were not the only Americans in the place.  A couple of American ladies, also evidently living here in Germany, were at the next booth having lunch.  One of them apparently never learned about using her indoor voice.  

In the course of an hour, I learned all about the house she owns in San Antonio, her decorative preferences, how much the house cost, her favorite San Antonio communities, her husband's nursing job at Ramstein, her many travels in Europe, and her request to split the check, which was apparently denied.  Seriously, people, I don't mean to be bitchy, but please have a little situational awareness when you go out to eat.  Voices can carry.  Besides being rude, that kind of inconsideration for other people can put you at risk by making you conspicuous to those who are up to no good (like obnoxious bloggers, America haters, or petty thieves).  On the other hand, we did move here from San Antonio, so in a way, hearing about that town was kind of nostalgic.  


Bill listens to the American ladies who lunch talking about their design choices...


I decided to have my pork knuckle.  It tasted okay, but I paid for it later...


And a little potato salad on the side... more than I could eat.


Bill went with the Frankish sausages.  They were very good and came with fresh bread and sauerkraut.  I think I liked his sausages better than my Schweinshaxe, which was a bit overdone and tough.


We split a "Schneeball" for dessert.  Unlike the local pastry, this was simply vanilla ice cream with a cookie topping, forest fruits, and a little whipped cream.

I had an okay impression of Roter Hahn until I got up to use the restroom.  The ladies room reeked of stale urine, which I found very off putting.  I had to go into the hotel lobby to get to the bathroom and it smelled of stale cigarette smoke.  Also, when we asked for a box for my inevitable leftovers, the waitress acted like it was an imposition.  When she brought it to us, she said it was the last one they had (and this is my problem?).  I don't think I'd eat at Roter Hahn again, especially since we apparently missed the best restaurants in the city.  


The outside of Roter Hahn.  Directly across the street is the Criminal Museum, which we visited on Sunday.

We thought about visiting the Criminal Museum, which is across the street and is open daily from 1:00pm until 4:00pm during the off season.  Unfortunately, lunch was sitting kind of heavy on my stomach.  It was also kind of cloudy outside, which makes me feel like hibernating.  So we made our way back to the house, with a few stops on the way... 



First, we went inside this sign shop because I had to have the sign directly over the Corn Flakes sign. It says in German, "In Heaven, there is no beer.  That's why we drink it here."  


Next, we stopped at a bakery to get some Schneeballen and a piece of cake, which I still need to eat.

After we bought our pastries, we stopped at a wine shop and bought some locally produced wines as well as a pretty stoneware wine pitcher.  Right after we bought the wine, we were treated to a surprise performance by a group of Cuban drummers.  I took a video.


They have the beats down...



Finally, we stopped to pick up some local beer.  I am drinking one right now.  Not bad!

That about did it for Saturday's adventures.  Unfortunately, the heavy lunch made me feel kind of bloated and icky and I didn't eat or really drink anything for the rest of the day.  Fortunately, I was much better on Sunday and we had a great sunny day.  More on that in my next post.

Part four.

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