Woke today to a loud bird outside Hilary’s apartment. We did a simpler breakfast of cereal and MG lost her phone privileges because she failed to put her socks away for the umpteenth time (and insubordination). We loaded up the rental and moved the loaner Golf in to the garage then struck out for Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Michelle put on her headphones as the rest of us finished the Masterminds audio book. Traffic easily added another hour of travel just to our first destination. We adjusted routes and ended up on the Romantischer Road, which was pretty, small, and windy.
When we got to Rothenburg (ob der Tauber), we were all hungry. We parked outside the city walls and walked through a gate. It’s a medieval walled city that is incredibly charming. I think Hilary described it as “looking like Germany threw up all over the place.” It had all the “German” charm you could hope for and not have it be Christmas. We ended up having lunch in the street outside an Italian restaurant. It was a mix of pastas and pizza, which thanks to our hunger, really hit the spot.
After lunch, the girls and I went to climb the tower at city hall while Hilary and Michelle went to visit the Museum of Crime & Punishment (a.k.a. the torture museum). We climbed some very rustic stairs and ladders to eventually peak out of the top of the tower from a small walkway. The view of the town was excellent and I think the girls have a knack for climbing and being up high. By the time we got down, Hilary and Michelle still hadn’t gone to the museum because they had been enchanted by the streets of the town itself. So we split up again. The girls and I walked along the wall, looking out through the archer holes, and stopping to visit shops. We did our best to look with our eyes, not our hands.
Once the ladies had finished the Crime & Punishment museum, we got some Eis (gelato) and stopped at some ATMs to get some more walking around money (geld). Then we exited the charming walled town and got back in the car (next to a Russian Federation license plate) and continued on towards FÃ¼ssen. There was more traffic, and I learned that Waze really doesn’t work very well in Germany. Plus, it had totally eaten up a bunch of my data plan trying to load things because it doesn’t let you pre-download street data for places you know you’ll be.
Anyway, several hours later, we watched as the flat lands turned in to rolling hills and then we could see the Alps jutting up on the horizon. We continued past rich green pastures with forested hills and eventually saw signs directing us to either FÃ¼ssen or to Reutte, Austria. We had arrived.
We stopped in town at a grocer to pick up food (and Bier!) for our stay. I have no idea what the food shopping was like because I was overwhelmed at the options for beer. We were in Bavaria now and there were so many delicious looking options. I had to pick things we couldn’t get elsewhere, but also wanted a wide swath of options to see what was best. We checked out, bagged our food (having to purchase an extra bag for all the heavy, heavy beer), and drove towards Halblech. We passed Hoenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles in the setting sun and the girls were appropriately impressed at the beauty and whimsey of the situation. The light was excellent as we approached Gasthaus Fritz, our AirBnB.
We were given a tour by Herr Fritz to the apartment above their home. It was a spacious loft with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a kitchenette (well equipped), and a living room with a small deck overlooking the alps. Fritz showed us all the idiosyncrasies of the home (don’t turn the key left, the stove stays hot, this part of the fridge freezes, here’s the heater because sometimes it snows in July) then wandered a few blocks down by large dairy cows to a restaurant that served local faire. I had the suckling pig (excellent), Michelle the local schnitzel (which she didn’t care for, sauce-wise) and we all had spatzel.
On the walk back home (or piggyback rides for the girls), we wandered past and spoke with the dairy cows as an amazing thunderstorm rolled in to town. The thunder lasted all night, but the rain was relatively minimal.