Reluctanlty, we paraded our luggage back to the bus and departed Bacharach after too short of a stay. It was such fun to be in the Rhine valley and in Bacharach. We were soon on our way to Rothenberg a fully walled medieval town.
The tour group was bonding and we were so lucky to be with so many like-minded people. All set for the many adventures to come. We chatted about Baccarach, Saint Goar, Amsterdam, and Haarlem. Comparing notes and sharing our experiences. We stopped about every two hours. This broke up the 4 hour bus ride which seemed to fly by as we watched the German countryside pass by our windows. We arrived in Rothenberg before lunch time and made our way from the parking area to Hotel Gerberhaus just outside the city walls. It was a quaint and comfortable hotel and the breakfast was great.
Dimitri gave us a quick orientation to the city at the sqaure and we had the afternoon free to explore Rothenberg. We started at Saint Jakobs to view Riemenschneider’s altarpiece which was located behind the very impressive Twelve Apostle’s altar piece by Rogier van der Weyden and easy to miss if you don’t venture beyond the main altar. Riemenschneider’s Holy Blood altarpiece is wood carving at it’s best depicting the Last Supper complete with Judas who is removed each Easter Season. St. Jakob’s also has an impressive organ located in the nave.
Afterwards we met up Frank and Jane and decided to take a break for lunch. We went to Braustuble Cafe Restaurant just off the main square and were quickly seated. The owner greeted us warmly. We pereused the menu and the owner suggested we start with a family style salad followed by minestrone soup and we each chose an entree. The food was FANTASTIC and only exceeded by the service and the fact the prices were about half of what we expected to pay. We felt so welcome in the restaurant. To top it off we were served complimentary liquere on a platter inscribed “for our new friends.”
Phil, Sharon, Veronica and I continued to tour the town’s shops and sites including the Crime and Punishment Museum which was quite extensive covering several floors. It included some very interesting devices used to torture people. We couldn’t resist the campy photo opportunity below. There was a huge store full of Christmas Ornaments that seemed to be very popular and we stopped by a small family-owned store and were treated like royalty when we mentioned that we were on a Rick Steves tour. The owner pointed out photos of Rick on the wall and gave us a free map as well as a discount on our purchase.
The highlight of the Rothenberg visit had to be the Night Watchman tour. A visiting US choir had the Night Watchman a bit overwhelmed by the size of the crowd. He walked us through the town stopping here and there to provide historical references which included many hilarious one liners which had the crowd laughing all around Rothenberg.
To top off the evening we walked along the wall of the city before heading back to the hotel. To raise funds for the upkeep of the town Rothenberg allows people to have their names placed along the wall. Rick Steves has donated but we were unable to find his name . . . Next time.