On Saturday morning, we finished our Legoland experience with a round of mini golf at the Feriendorf and a round of play grounds for the kids. We could have whizzed to our last destination in about an hour on the autobahn, but took our time driving on the Romantic Road.
It’s lovely countryside, punctuated by small towns with a sea of red roofs that got progressively cuter the further north we went. We stopped in Dinkesbuhl for a wander and a leisurely lunch. It had some lovely buildings and the display of vintage cars in the town centre made it feel like we’d gone back in time.
We decided not to have any more stops en route as we had heard that Rothenburg ob Der Tauber was the loveliest of all the towns and we were keen to get to our house. This was the accommodation I had most looked forward to – a house in the old Jewish area of town, built in 1397 but totally restored over the last two years. It looked amazing on the internet, but at NZD130/night, it did cross my mind that it could be too good to be true. Everything seemed to stack up though and I put the lack of reviews on the internet down to it being a newly available property.
Nav-Madame was invaluable for getting us to the house without a hitch. Like Lerici, only cars with a permit can drive in the town, but our house came with a private park and the parking permit had been emailed to us by the owner. The only hiccup was that the pin code we had been given to access the house didn’t work. I phoned Johannes (the owner) and he was able to reset it online.
When we entered the house, we were blown away. It was even more impressive than it had looked on the website. It’s a beautiful mix of the original house and super modern decor. I’m a bit mystified why anyone would charge such a low price for such a luxury property, but I’m not complaining! The kids were so excited about having a four storey house that all sadness of leaving Legoland was forgotten.
The lowest level is a wine cellar with a selection of Franconian wines for sale. The ground floor has two bedrooms and a very flash bathroom complete with whirlpool bath, starry night ceiling and colour changing lighting. The first floor is the lounge, kitchen and dining and an outside patio area. The original beams have been exposed and it’s beautifully furnished. The top storey is a loft with couch which has been turned into a Lego playroom!
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the beautiful medieval town. It is completely surrounded by walls and every building inside the walls is beautiful. It is certainly touristy, but with very good reason. The camera worked overtime yet again. Germany is famous for its Christmas markets and Rothenburg has one of the most famous markets. The Kathe Wolfhart Christmas market opens all year round, so we got to enjoy a Christmas
market without visiting in the depth of winter. The displays were amazing and the number of decorations for sale was quite mind boggling.
We had dinner on our balcony then went for an evening walk.
Our aim was to walk around the city walls. The first 2.5km were amazing walking up high on the walls and under cover. Some parts were very narrow and we passed through lots of gates and towers. The views of the city and over the Tauber Valley were beautiful. We found some major fortifications to explore that used to be part of a castle that the wall joined up to. The last kilometre of the walls couldn’t be walked on, so we walked back through the old town instead.
Rothenburg is the perfect finale to our Europe adventure. We are staying only a couple of minutes from the Market Square, so it is easy to pop out for a few hours then go home to relax (or pack – bad thought!). The kids finished the day with a soak in the bath beneath the starry night ceiling.