I was so excited to have my sis’ and niece come visit me in Germany! They arrived in Nuremberg Airport looking refreshed and sporty, not at all like they’d just flown for twelve hours. My sister smiled as we exited the airport terminal, dressed in her cute hat, moss green T-shirt, and a trendy coat. Once in the car, my niece pressed her all natural and open face against the dark window, snapping pictures of the rain and the imaginary countryside outside. “What are you taking pictures of?!” my sister and I both queried.
I expected them to want to sleep in, but they were up early the next morning, so we prepared ourselves for our first stop, a bus tour to the medieval city of Rothenburg (pronounced Rote- in- berg). What a cute German town! We walked the streets, passing the best little shops and opportunities for souvenir shopping. The buildings were painted in bright colors with boards in the traditional patchwork design. The city fountain was decorated with tons of Easter eggs, as is the Bavarian tradition. Each town decorates the fountain, celebrating both the Christian holiday and the spring, as water is life giving.
After a walking tour that highlighted a medieval torture museum (Michelle wanted to visit but we refused to accompany her—oh well!), an explanation of the name, (“rot” means red, “berg” castle over the Tauber River, which was really a creek), and a look at small museum and Lutheran church, we were free to walk around on our own. This meant two things, food and shopping!
We discovered tasty looking Schnee-balls (snow ball treats), only made by bakeries on special occasions and holidays. They were large and small, white, dark, brown, nut covered, looking all delicious in the sparkling clean windows of the Backereis. Chocolatey heaven. Uhmm.
After buying out half the store in souvenirs, the shop keeper gave us all chocolate bars on the house. We took a break at a restaurant that looked closed, but when Rowena took a closer look, a woman dressed in a low-cut dirndl appeared. She took our orders quickly, looking slightly to the left of each of us, and then reappeared with a garden plate
straight out of the medieval story books. There were mixed greens with spicy arugula, melon slices, kiwi, carrots and cucumbers and a zinging balsamic vinaigrette. We ate it down, along with our pasta, sandwiches, and Schnitzel with potatoes.
The owner appeared and brought us chocolate covered rabbits to thank us for stopping by. By now the restaurant was full, and we took credit for this. We think people had been passing it by earlier for the reason we almost did, it looked closed and no one was outside. When we sat down, others followed.
As we continued, we stopped at a unique leather shop filled with one of a kind treats. Shell boxes, owl and fish backpacks, paper purses, leather rings, belts, necklaces, etc. My sister was shocked at the craftsmanship (or womanship, the artist was female.) We chose fun items and headed out through the medieval walls to ride the bus back home.
Sunday was rainy and sunny, alternately, and after a service on base, we ate with a friend and went to watch Batman vs. Superman, a very strange movie for non-comic book readers. Monday we went in search of a castle ruin, entering the town of Bad Becken. It was once a vibrant spa town nestled against the hills. After laughing at the family of hay rabbits in the center square, we hiked up the hill to the ruins.
Tuesday was fun shopping and a school event. And Wednesday was a trip to the cute town of Pottenstein, where we visited the Devil’s cave. I loved the cave bear skeleton, completely assembled in the center of the tour. The stalagmites weren’t bad either.
Thursday found us thrift shopping. When I suggested we takeoff in a few minutes to reach Prague, I was met by the stony stares of my family. “But we love thrift shopping! This is our thing. Thanks for bringing us, and we can always call the lady again to tell her we’re late.”
“The lady” was the woman we had rented an apartment from who was waiting on us in none other than the beautiful city of Prague. We planned to spend the night and sightsee the next day. This mythical city looked gorgeous when we drove in that evening. Rosy colored in the setting sun, everyone was out and about. The sculpted baroque buildings looked fancy as ever. When we entered our sweet apartment, found on my favorite Airbnb, we fell in love with its high ceilings, cool updates, deep tub.
The next day we visited the castle district in the rain and cold. I thought, “Noooo!” of all the days. The one bright spot was a man who yelled at us from outside his restaurant, “Where you from, America? Michael Jackson, whew hoo.” He moon-walked backward. “Whoo!” We heard him singing as we laughed ourselves down the street.
We entered the castle district and saw the Church of Prague, a basilica, the Golden Road which was set up much like it would have been back during the castle days, the Defense Museum, filled with weapons of war, and the old castle, where we saw a throne and crowns of the nobility. Inside the square we watched a man make silver jewelry on a hot anvil. Then we walked down to the Charles Bridge. We bought some jewelry there, ate a hot lunch, and tried out a mountain cake of some kind.
After this we headed back home, the sun now shining through the clouds. The next day they left for the States. A very fun, very fast trip!