Another big breakfast of cheese, cold meat and rolls this morning, plus there are boiled eggs, meat spreads and baby cheeses on offer. No chance of starving here and knowing that we’ll spend a good part of the day on trains and changing trains we make the most of the food. We also purchased pastries and coffee from a local bakery prior to breakfast, the pastries were for late and the coffee we were hoping would be good and strong, not so much. So far the best coffee we have had was from a cafe next to the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, that was good coffee.
Multiple train trips take us to Rothenburg ob de Tauber, the best being from Bacharach to Mainz because we were able to sit in 1st class and chat to the young conductor whose English was much better than he thought. He wants to drive trains but is not yet 21, he talks of visiting Australia and driving trains or trucks as he heard the money was good and he’s not into the history that surrounds him and fascinates us. Mainz to Wurzburg was packed, there were few seats and Marty ended up standing for the majority of the trip, two rude women in the middle of the carriage were hogging four seats with their bags and they wouldn’t let anyone else sit down until the conductor forced the issue. We vowed there and then that we would check the seating and make a reservation for the trip from Munich to Lucerne.
Rothenburg ob de Tauber is out in the country, rural Germany or so it seems. The two carriage train that delivers us to the Rothenburg station sounds like a bus and we are taken past farms and small towns, the horn sounds twice leading up to all roads that cross the train line. Today I have seen more solar panels on roofs during the train journey than I have ever seen in Queensland which seems crazy considering Queensland is supposed to be the Sunshine State (or the Smart State if you can believe it). Arriving at the Rothenburg station is a bit like arriving at Wauchope station in NSW, it is only small and there is only 1 platform, an elderly lady points us in the direction of the old town, she is disappointed that we have accommodation booked because she has a room available, doesn’t stop her from helping us though. Our walk from the station only took about 30 minutes, up a gradual slope and on cobblestone paths, it seemed much longer thanks to the not so helpful map I had however the locals were happy to help, even those that said they didn’t speak English.
The Hotel Schranne, our home for the next couple of nights is in a great spot, not far from the fortress walls and a couple of towers, we can also see the steeples of the St James Church from our room. Our room is located right under the roof so the ceiling slopes and in a couple spots Marty cannot stand up straight, the room is a decent size and well kept, the bathroom is not much bigger than our ensuite at home which we consider to be on the small size and not much bigger than a wardrobe. It is beer o’clock so we dump our stuff and head to Markt Place, the main square in the old town and a favourite haunt of tourists. A beer and wine consumed at a table on the square is 6.50 euros, not a bad price for the location and comparable with what it had cost elsewhere in Germany. The medieval buildings are fascinating, already I am clicking away with the camera and of course I have to get the obligatory photograph of Marty enjoying a beer in Markt Place, looking around I could see that other visitors were doing much the same and I felt better about being such a tourist.