Monday, July 29, 2013

Christmas Ornaments, Teddy Bears and Snowballs: Rothenburg, Germany

Day six was one of my favorite days on our German tour.  We stopped and visited beautiful Rothenburg, Germany.
Rothenburg, Germany
Rothenburg is a medieval town with towers, cobblestone lanes and century-old houses.  It was the picture-perfect image of what I expected a German town to look like.  The city is surrounded by the Town Wall, which was used to keep enemies out of the city years ago.  It was partially damaged in World War II, but was restored to its original structure.
People can walk out to the top of the Town Wall to get a glimpse of the entire city and surrounding Bavaria.  We did not do this, but did step out onto a walk area to take in the views of vineyards and hills.
Valley surrounding Rothenburg.

Our tour group leader led us through the small, cobblestone streets to the Town Square.  In the Town Square vendors had a farmers market set up selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, wine and more.  The Town Square is directly in front of the City Hall, known as the Rathaus in German.  JC tried walking up the 241 stairs to the top of the Rathaus, but wasn’t able to because it was closed for lunch.
Our first stop after being set free from the group was to go shopping at one of the biggest Christmas stores, the Kathe Wolfharht Christmas Village.  Rothenburg is known for Christmas ornaments, so we wanted to make sure to bring home a small Christmas souvenir.  Outside of the store was an old-fashioned truck with presents loaded into the back.  Life size nutcrackers also greeted us as we entered the store and Christmas trees were decorated in all colors and sizes.

After we had our Christmas ornament we walked through the streets to get a feel for the city.  We stopped in at another shop selling Rothenburg Teddy’s and bought a couple small, stuffed animals for the baby.
When we felt like we had a good feel of the city, had seen a great deal of the beautiful fountains and checked out all the shops we wanted to, we stopped for lunch at an Italian pizzeria and had delicious bruschetta pizza.  We sat at a table on the street to enjoy our lunch.  I was surprised at how many Italian pizzerias there were in Germany.  There seemed to be one at every stop we made and the food was always delicious.

Before we left we had to sample the dessert popular in Rothenburg, snowballs.  Traditional snowballs are hard balls of dough with powdered sugar.  Now bakeries have a variety of different flavors.  We tried a chocolate flavoring with nuts.  Snowballs are somewhat difficult to eat as they are very hard, making it difficult to know where and how to begin eating the treat.  I would not say this was my favorite treat.  But because it is a specialty of the town I enjoyed trying the dessert.
Rothenburg was the beginning of our time in the Bavarian region of Germany.  This region is especially picturesque and what I imagined Germany would look like.  Is this your idea of what Germany should look like?

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