Monday, May 27, 2013

Romantic But Real

Romantic but real, these are the words used to describe Rothenburg ob der Tauber. No, but really it's all over their brochures, their city's phrase. My lovely friend from England was visiting for the week, so we decided to go to this romantic but real city. It is known for many things, but mostly for being like Christmas all year round. And well it was March, so it sounded nice. Christmas is nice and all, but really what caught our attention was that it was one of the cities used to film the last Harry Potter (right there I was sold!), if anyone remembers the town used in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (my personal childhood favorite but utterly strange when watched as an adult- the whole child kidnapping thing is more dark than I first realized at the age of seven), and the city Walt Disney based the town in the movie "Pinocchio" (and by our former Disney jobs you know this is a big deal to us). Oh ya and they are known for their world famous torture museum, but unfortunately we didn't dive into that one. But really it is a fairy tale town, just like a fantasyland. Harry Potter: the scene where Grindelwald steals the Elderwand, the main village for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Pinocchio in the movie and at Disneyworld.  Picture up top- Walt Disney World Pinocchio village- can't even tell the difference. Picture right below, tower in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (I climbed that tower!), 2nd the scene from Harry Potter (the scene were Grindelwald steals the elderwand), and the last is the main village used in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- the main square in Rothenburg.

I can honestly say that I never would have thought I would write those three words together in my life let alone in a public blog. Those are the main things when visiting Rothenburg. It is an extremely easy place to go for a two day journey, but really you don't need any longer than that I promise. I'll even pink promise which is a big deal as you all know. Anyway lets start with the first one- schneeballs. They are the delicacy of Rothenburg. The only way I can think to describe it is pastry dough stretched out and then wrapped around each other to make a softball sized pastry. I never took creative writing, so I'm sure that didn't do it justice in the slightest, so heres a pic:  They are good, but very filling and really get the small ones because the big ones have enough sugar to feed an army for a week. Something to try of course for the culture of Rothenburg and oh darn its sugar.

Onto the next- the night watchman tour. It is about 5 euros and very worth it. I believe it to be one of the only tours in
Rothenburg and when you add a man in a costume, haunting voice, and a weapon it really is worth the money. We learned about how the town was saved in WWII (a general's mother was the hero in fact), how to dine at Hell, what happens when fire hits dynamite, and more. The interesting (I say interesting because it is both tragic and well, interesting)- there is the main church that has two steeples. One made by an architect and the other by his apprentice. Well the apprentice's steeple received a much more positive reaction from the town's people and the master was so depressed about his own work and being shown up that he threw himself off his own steeple to his death. That must be good lookin steeple.  Again, tragic yet interesting.

Kathe Wolfhart. Not many people know of that name until they come to Europe. Actually I don't totally know if thats true since I didn't know of the company until I came to Germany. Kathy is a Christmas location with stores all around Germany and Europe and has excellent crafted gifts all having to do with Christmas. Smokers, ornaments, etc- everything! Well her head store is based in Rothenburg (again, the all around Christmas city) and lets just say its as if Christmas hurled all over this three story building. And then every tourist store (and thats every other building) has her collection as well. I'm telling you there is nothing more disorienting than it being March and being surrounded by Christmas. Mind you I'm not saying it was bad in anyway, but wowza it was disorienting.  Oh my... to that picture.. oh my.

What the city is also known for is the wall surrounding the Old Town. Mind you this is no picket fence, but a very tall stone wall that did a great job protecting the city for many many years.... and then that mistake with the fire and dynamite happened. Anyways, nowadays you can climb the stone wall and walk around it. This is a very fun, pleasant walk and view of the city, really very relaxing.... unless you are afraid of heights... then climbing on hundreds of years old stone is more terrifying, seeing the tops of buildings is frightening, and nothing to hold onto is downright miserable. But other than that it was lovely.

Rothenburg was a great relaxing, beautiful town to explore. It truly was as if we stepped onto a movie set in a fantasyland. A place that you can't help but feel happy- a great two day trip!

I know there are big cities to cross off the list, but traveling is all about finding adventure even in the small towns. And well, I want to go everywhere. Wanderlust. 


  1. Your blog is very enjoyable to read. Funny yet informative. Keep it up Debra!

  2. Thank you so much Will! I am in no way a computer person, so it has been quite the learning experience but always fun.