This weekend we paid a visit to the town we got married in, Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria. We hadn't been in years and the children didn't remember ever being there before.
A picturesque but tourist-ridden town, Rothenburg can be a sea of American and Japanese tourists, but we were lucky to visit on a relatively quiet day. We spent a few hours strolling through the wide shopping streets of the centre of town, stopping at gorgeous boutiques and peeping in the windows of the bakeries before taking a wander through the narrow cobbled lanes that surround the town.
The boys were amazed at the walled town and the buildings dating back to at least the 16th century. Within minutes they went from moaning about visiting a boring town to excited exclamations of "Look!" as they spotted the moat, turrets and arches that may once have housed a portcullis.
Over the years, we have learnt to avoid the tourist traps, like the Christmas shop that is open year-round and the Steiff teddy bear shop. But we have also discovered shops we love like Living Paper, a boutique paper shop in which I could easily spend an hour despite it being so tiny, or the various hunting shops The Bavarian likes to browse.
As we pottered, the boys had to stop and examine every sword and dagger they noticed, every piece of chain mail and armour we saw, so you can imagine their delight on seeing this display in the vault of one of the shops selling medieval paraphernalia.
With bakeries dotted all round the town, many with inviting-looking outdoor seating, we had to stop for a coffee and some traditional German cake. The boys opted for apple strudel while The Bavarian and I went for something nutty - an almond crescent for me and a chocolate nougat ring for him. Rothenburg's famous pastry, the Snowball (Schneeball) is a delicious ball of rich, biscuit-like pastry deep fried and tossed in icing sugar. But they are huge and were just too much for us to try out yesterday.
All in all, we had a wonderfully relaxed family day taking in the history and scenery and, for The Bavarian and me at least, it brought back many memories of our wedding day almost nine years ago.
|The church we married in, in the valley below the town walls.|