Saturday, 7 July 2007

Romantic Road and the Black Forest

This post covers our time spent on the Romantic Road and the delightful Black Forest city of Freiburg.

Leaving Bacharach we embarked on a 2 and a half hour journey to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This is one of the most visited stops on the "Romantic Road" - a tourist trail which leads from Wurzburg in Northern Bavaria all the way down to Fussen near the Austrian border. We parked Ace in one of the car parks where motorhomes were allowed to spend the night. There were no great views or facilities of any kind here, except for a toilet which was probably last cleaned in the middle ages! The fee for spending the night was €10 but the pay and display machine wouldn't work and there were no other machines on site. I copied a German coach driver and wrote a note in our window saying "Automat defekt" which we hope would stop getting Ace wheelclamped!

Left: Nightwatchman of Rothenburg
Below: Rothenburg

After dinner and some lovely French rose (from our first vineyard stop a few weeks ago) we headed in to town to look around and to go on the nightwatchman tour at 8pm. I had been on this tour 11 years before and remembered it to be very amusing. A bearded man dressed in black with a halberd (big spear kinda weapon) and a lantern takes you on a tour of the town. Unfortunately about 200 other people had the same idea and it was very hard to hear anything after a while. What we heard was very entertaining, the nightwatchman has a very dry sense of humour and got a lot of laughs from the crowd. With 200 people at €6 a go, I bet he's laughing all the way to the bank! After 20 minutes we left the tour and walked around the town walls back to Ace. (You have to pay at the end of the tour so we hadn't lost out!) Sarah was petrified the nightwatchman would jump out and demand money off us!

The next morning we headed back into town to visit the Medieval Crime Museum. I have never seen Sarah so interested in a museum before! The museum is quite large and has many displays on torture and other forms of punishment dished out in the good old days. Gossips had to wear an iron shame mask with huge ears, long tongue and big bulging eyes. Drunks had to walk around town encased in a beer barrell! If you argued with your wife, you would both be put in the neck violin, a wooden aparatus where you were stuck facing each other until you resolved your differences. No divorce back then! Immoral young ladies had their hair shaved off. Wife beaters had to pull a plough through a field driven by their wife. Bakers who sold underweight bread were locked in cages!

Left: Freiburg
Below: Sarah climbing the huge hill in Freiburg!

We left Rothenburg happy to have had a free night! Yippee! Next stop was medieval Dinkesbuhl, a town just as pretty as Rothenburg but without as many tourists. Unfortunately, it rained non-stop the whole time we were there. We did some more shopping in Penny Markt where we discovered that every time you buy a plastic bottle in Germany, they charge you an extra 25 cents per bottle as a deposit until you return a bottle! The mineral water we bought was 19 cents, so the deposit was more than the water! We had a quick look around Ace and managed to get 8 bottles for the automatic plastic bottle returning machine which gave us €2 back!

That night we headed to a crappy campsite that claimed to have wifi internet access but didn't. It was 6pm and we were tired so we paid €20 to stay at this dump. The next town we passed had a stellplatze, where you can stay for a few euros a night, typical! We drove on through the Black Forest to the delightful town of Freiburg. The campsite was only 20 minutes walk from the old town and even had wifi! We spent the afternoon exploring the old town and then came back to Ace for some sunbathing and dinner.

At 9pm we walked up the hill near the campsite which promised a panoramic view of the city. This hill was pretty steep and we were knackered when we got to the top! There were no great views from the top so we kept walking and walking. In the end there were good views of Freiburg but by then we were just above the old town! I thought it would be a 20 minute outing but we got back at 10.30pm! Off to Switzerland today, we hope the weather will be warm and sunny and the wifi access will be abundant!

1 comment:

Big sis said...

HI guys you look really well. Thought i would offer a word of warning matt sounds like sarah may have been too interested in that museum i should make sure no instrumenhts of torture left with her!!!! Could read your stories all day!!! Take care. Miss you so much love rach xxxx