Now my feet really hurt
At breakfast the New Zealand couple joyfully told us how Australia had qualified for the second round in the World Cup. They seemed quite excited by this news, the BOSS showed a passing interest but I couldn't have cared less.
The old town was only ten minutes walk from the hotel so we set out early at a brisk pace. Upon reaching the old wall, we mounted the stairs and began to circumnavigate the town.
Digression: During World War II one of the German Generals decided to hide out in Rothenburg to avoid the approaching American troops. The Americans bombed and destroyed 40% of the city before intervention by an American General. This General's mother had visited Rothenburg years earlier and had had a painting hanging in her dinning room of the beautiful town. The General had grown up with this painting and intervened before the town was completely destroyed.
After the war Rothenburg was so broke it couldn't afford to repair the bombed part of the city. Some ingenious person dreamed up the idea of selling sections of the wall to generous sponsors. For 80 Marks in 1946 (the equivalent of 1000 euros now) the "purchased" section of the wall was repaired and the sponsors were entitled to put their name and their home town in a stone plaque in their wall. As we walked around the restored wall there were hundreds of these plaques from generous people all over the world including Australia.
After completing one half of our circumnavigation the BOSS and I visited the Imperial City museum and were very impressed with the displays and the explanation printed in English. We also visited the Crime museum which had many exhibits of torture implements and graphic details of the medieval punishments inflicted on the citizens. In contrast to the City museum, this one had too many displays and too much information and after two floors we were tired of reading, skipped the third floor, sought a seat and rested our weary feet.
The city map that the BOSS had acquired was also full of detailed information on all the interesting buildings and sites to see around the town, so we followed the marked route with the BOSS giving a running commentary. It is such a pleasure to have ready access to the historical information - it makes a town visit much more enjoyable.
After about three hours wandering around town we decided to complete our circumnavigation of the wall. It's approximately 5 kilometres all the way round on very narrow uneven flagstones but the view of the town is excellent and it's well worth the effort.
We headed back to the town square and had a very average apple strudel and a less than average coffee. (I miss Italian and Greek coffee). Rothenburg has the most bakeries I have ever seen in one town and all of them sell schneeballs, the sickly sweet pastry we had come across in Fussen. I don't know how all the bakeries stay in business if they rely on sales of schneeballen to stay afloat.
Our feet were not quite screaming for mercy so we finished off the day with a visit to the Rothenburg Christmas museum which was really just a shop, selling thousands and thousands of different Christmas decorations. The BOSS was quite delighted to see real decorations as we don't tend to make any effort at Christmas time. The shop also sold the most enormous carved wooden cuckoo clock I have ever seen. I have fond memories of growing up with an authentic Bavarian cuckoo clock my mother had acquired in the 1960's. It had always made a very sick cuckoo sound since my brother, aged two, had pulled it down onto his head.
Our feet had decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. It was a slow half hour trudge instead of the ten minute brisk walk of the morning. As we rounded the last corner, Ruth drove past on her way to hijack more tourists. When we finally reached the hotel we collapsed onto the bed and forgot all about dinner. Ruth returned half an hour later with two more motorcyclists.