Monday, July 21, 2008


Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a sweet morsel of a town, conveniently located on our route as we headed east towards Nurnberg. The "ob der Tauber" is often left off the name for brevity, but it aptly desribes its lofty position "above the" Tauber River. It is another medieval town surrounded by a wall and situated for safety on a hill with great views, we found it as "impossibly charming" as our guidebook said it was. The town was small enough to consume in a long afternoon of walking.

The ancient wall was rebuilt in sections after being bombed in WWII, and strict preservation laws dictate that the town retains its character.

Portals at various points along the wall provide access into the old portion of the city. At this particular entrance, hot oil was poured from the mouth of the face on the wall onto intruders unwelcome at the gate.

Our visit was a contrast from our previous night in the small town of Schrozberg. Delayed by rain we stopped at the local gasthaus to stay for the night. It took a few exchanges with the proprietor to establish that we needed a room and place to park our bikes for the night. I felt a bit disappointed that my German was not better until later when I found out that he was immigrated from Croatia. He had problems understanding my American-accented German, and I had equally as much problem understanding his Croatian lilt.

The establishment was clean and decorated in high 1960´s style. We seemed to be the only guests, and we were the center of attention when we came downstairs for a bit of dinner. As we ate, the locals enjoying an afternoon beer in the other room periodically looked our way as the German version of the Lawrence Welk Show played on the TV. We went to the bar to pay our meal, and they gathered around with questions about our trip. They were all already a bit pickled, but they brought out the pear schnnaps anyway and proceeded to pour us a couple of shots. I could not finish my portion, but John did, perhaps as a show of American pride. As attention focused away from us and to a discussion of exactly how many kilometers it was to Nurnberg, we made an escape upstairs to our room. The sound of accordian music from the TV drifted late into the night. We wheeled out our bikes out the next morning and cycled off without a stir from our hosts.
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