Germany Day 1—Rothenburg ob der tauber

Rusty and I were so excited for our get away.  Thanks to points on an old company credit card, we had a very fun, very affordable trip to Southern Germany.  We drove the kids to Utah on a Friday afternoon, spent the day with family on Saturday and our adventure began on Sunday morning.  We flew from SLC to Houston.  In Houston, of course, our flight was delayed due to mechanical trouble.  They kept assuring us that the plane was going to go, but the hours were just ticking by.  We got up to stretch our legs and noticed a flight that was leaving to Frankfurt in about an hour.  Rusty said, I’m just going to see if there is room on that flight.  He asked, and there was room!  We decided to change our flight and we are so glad we did!  While the attendant was booking our tickets it was announced that the Munich flight had been cancelled and only passengers with connecting flights in Europe were allowed to transfer to the Frankfurt plane.  We were lucky to get a spot!  With the other passengers transferring the Frankfurt flight was delayed as well.  But that was ok because it gave us time to flip flop our trip.  Since we were flying into a different city we basically needed to rearrange our whole itinerary. And we did it all from our smart phones.  An entire trip to Germany—flights, hotels, and rental cars were all booked and/or rearranged in the hour we were waiting for our plane to take of.  Technology for the win!  And another win: no one sat in the seat next to me.  We could stretch out on the whole row.  Heaven!
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At one point during the night I stretched out on the floor for a few hours.  I actually slept pretty great down there! 
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10 1/2 hours later we landed in Frankfurt.  After waiting FOREVER in line for a rental car we were finally on our way to Rothenburg ob der tauber. Rusty absolutely loved flying down the Autobahn in our Audi.  The roads are so clean, well kept and free of advertising.  It’s easy to just cruise along at 100+ mph along with all the other Audi’s, BMW’s, and Mercedes.  What fun! 
In no time at all we were at our hotel.  It was adorable.  And had no air conditioning, which kind of took away from the whole adorable factor.  But the shower was awesome. And hotel keys in Germany are hilarious.  I can’t believe we didn’t take pic.  the key was attached to a huge tassel that probably weighed 3 lbs.  Rothenburg
We loved exploring this little fairytale city.  It was utterly charming.  Our first German meal was a classic: Weiner Schnitzel with potato salad for me, and pot roast and orange Fanta for Rusty at the Goldener Greifen. I know some people love Schnitzel, but once was enough for me. Our meal here was a shadow of things to come. We ate every single meal outside except 2 breakfasts.  It was so fun.  We loved that part of Germany.
I kept seeing tons of BYU shirts, and women in Shade shirts who were clearly Mormon.  I was chuckling to myself that so many Mormons were visiting this one little city.  Then we head this unearthly music coming from one of the churches.  We stepped in to listen for a bit and enquired about the performers.  Lo and behold, it was an honor choir made up of the best high school singers in Utah.  We got a good chuckle out of that.  And they really were amazing.  We stayed and listened until the concert was over and I had goosebumps all over my body. 
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One of the best things in Rothenburg are the Christmas Markets, with The Käthe Wohlfahrt store being the biggest.  I could have stayed for hours looking at all the hand carved nutcrackers, beautiful music boxes, ornaments, tea sets, and Christmas Pyramids. 

Display of Christmas pyramids at the German Christmas Museum in Rothenburg.2015-07-20 17.34.29
This is totally a tourist town.  Although some people do live here, it thrives on all its trinket shops, markets, and idyllic pitched roofs and gabled houses.  Everything you imagine when reading a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale is embodied in this town.
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At 8pm we met the Night watchman for a tour to learn about Rothenburg in the middle ages.  It was fascinating!  And, I’m so glad I didn’t live in the middle ages Smile. The tour guide was hilarious and told so many fun stories.  Rothenburg used to be at the crossroads of the East and West and was a very rich city.  It survived 100’s of years without being conquered until it found itself on the wrong side of the 30 years war. The town was left in total poverty, which interestingly enough, is the reason it is so well preserved today.  No new building were constructed for 100s of years, so almost the whole town is exactly as it was in the middle ages.
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The next morning we walked around the famed town walls and then had an amazing breakfast at our hotel.  I had a omelet with ham, salmon, and other delicious fillings.  Rusty loved all the crusty breads and homemade preserves.  Apricot was our favorite and we ate it all over Germany.  I also loved the meats, pickles, and fresh honeycomb.  Perfection!

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