If it seems like this blog had devolved into photos of all the places we visit on the weekend, you would be right. Between work, child-rearing, and traveling in the spare minutes we get, we haven’t been up to much around here…except watching for hints of Spring, and starting to plan for our move back to the States.
We’re at just over a month away now, so we’re trying to figure out what we send in advance, what we ship through our allotment, and what gets left behind. Somehow the things we’ve accumulated in the last six months seem to have multiplied. I know, I know! We made careful decisions on everything we’ve brought over and bought here so far- but I still find myself debating on how many towels we should ship home, and what we’re going to do with the one left the day we leave. Stick it in our luggage? Throw it out? Leave it for the next renter as an unexpected “gift”?
Back to the weekend traveling though. (Cause I know you’re only here for the pictures, right?) Every weekend until we leave? Booked up! It’s exciting, but a bit exhausting to think about.
Last weekend was the area my father’s relatives came from in Germany, and then Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Considering we were only gone a day and a half, we really packed it in.
Learning a bit more about my family’s heritage was interesting. My maiden name was greeted by the local Germans with a shrug of the shoulders…I guess we’re like the Smiths in that corner of the German world. It turns out though that beer is in my blood- or at least my extended blood- my extended family has been the owners of a brew house in Germany for over 200 years.
Keeping in the beer theme, we then headed to Bamberg which was about 20 minutes away, and contains nine breweries in it’s city limits. The beer there is a special “smoked” beer.
It…was interesting. This “delicacy” tasted like smoked sausage to me. I guess it has to grow on you?
At least the beer hall was neat.
They were also all about the architecture and embellishments in Bamberg. Especially for their city hall- conveniently located on an island in the middle of their river.
How, exactly, do you get the job of organ grinder? Is it a family profession?
The next day we headed to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg is a perfectly preserved medieval German city- it wasn’t touched by the war- and has a medieval wall that you can walk on. It’s beautiful- and I would have loved to stay the night. I hear they have a great night-watchman’s tour.
Basically- “Any accidents on the wall are not our fault!”
No cars are allowed within the walls (except for the ones of the residents? I think?), which was good for a toddler insistent on running. It was also very picturesque. I had read somewhere that 75% of the population work in the town’s tourist industry. It was pretty quiet the day we went- but then it was colder than I thought it was going to be, so our wandering wasn’t as meandering as I had hoped.
The cold provided good excuse to get some coffee to warm up, and we were able to check out the local hobby of choice.
We also had forgotten Li’s hat- but we found a suitable alternative.
Yes, that’s my scarf wrapped around her head. Yes, she got a few strange looks from the Japanese tourists we encountered.
My only complaint with the weekend (other than the crummy weather)? With the exception of a couple of restaurants and gas stations, all the shops in Germany are closed on Sunday! It’s tough to really get the flavor of a town when everything is shut down on one of your prime traveling days….
We’re agreed on the Sunday German shopping options…
Next weekend? Another 2 for 1 weekend- we’re heading to Brugge, Belgium and the Netherlands. Any suggestions on places to see or eat?