Now THAT was a tour !!!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Today we rode. It was the one day where we had the most distance to cover so we just rode. The temperature had dropped by 10 degrees and although it was overcast it was perfect riding weather. At one stage it spat tiny drops of rain - enough for us to stop and put on our wet weather gear. And then it promptly stopped again. So we stopped and took off our wet weather gear.

As stated before, I hate motorway so we covered most of distance on "B" roads. Even the 'B' roads were sometimes full of trucks so we sought out a route on the 'C' roads which was much nicer as we got to go through all the tiny villages. At around 4pm we finally got to Rothenburg and pulled off the main road to a hotel information booth. As we were perusing the many advertisements for guest houses, a lady drove up, introduced herself as Ruth and said she had accommodation for us for 40 euros. She seemed lovely and not at all creepy, so we agreed and followed her into town. The house was fine and close to the old town and it meant we could avoid the tedious "hunt" for a room. Also staying there was a family from New Zealand who were in Germany for the world cup. They also said they had been "hijacked" by Ruth at the information booth, so we figured she waits there on afternoons when she needs guests and hijacks them instead of advertising. Good for her - shows initiative.

Our washing situation had once again become critical which is the dilemma when traveling with panniers, three t-shirts and the minimum of underwear. We found a laundromat who graciously stayed open past 6pm so we could have clean clothes.

We had been told of a walking tour starting at 8pm so we had a quick dinner and met the rest of the crowd - 150 strong - in the town hall square.

The guide, dressed as a night watchman, had a booming voice - enough to carry to the entire crowd. He orated the history of Rothenburg in a very interesting and entertaining way, then moved off through the town, with the crowd following en masse - just like the Pied Piper. The tour took an hour and we stopped about six times at interesting and unique places, all the time being highly entertained by our guide. He worked on trust, and with a 150 people in the crowd he couldn't collect tickets so at the end of the tour he simply asked for his payment to be put into his hat. He had been such a good guide that very few welched on the payment and his hat was overflowing with cash. Not a bad little job.

01 The squished bean bag
The squished bean bag
02 A closer shot of the squished bean bag
A closer shot of the squished bean bag
03 Ferrero Rocher in pastels
Ferrero Rocher in pastels
04 Rothenburg town hall
Rothenburg town hall
05 Rothenburg town hall clock
Rothenburg town hall clock
06 Rothenburg town square
Rothenburg town square
07 One of the many towers
One of the many towers
08 Rothenburg sunset
Rothenburg sunset
09 Our great night watchman guide
Our great night watchman guide
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