We started the day with a visit to massive fortress Festung Marienberg in Wurzburg. Festung Mareinberg sits on the hill on the other side of the Main River overlooking Wurzburg. The fortress has rings of massive
walls, huge moats, draw bridges, and massive doors that really make it look impregnable. The interiors of the buildings were not particularly impressive, perhaps because the original structure was bombed out during World War II.
It was time to head off to our last stop on the journey, Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber. Rothenburg is further south on the Romantische Strasse, although we did not take the Romantic Road itself but instead took the autobahn. Becky claims that she set her personal land speed driving record at over 200 kph (over 120 mph) on the way down. Dave did not verify the speed either because he had passed out from the g-forces or he was too fearful to take his eyes off the road to look at the speedometer, particularly if Becky was motoring down the autobahn at over 200 kph with her eyes fixed on the speedometer! Maybe we will take the Romantische Strasse itself on the way back.
In any event, we arrived safely in
Rothenburg in virtually no time. At the start of the trip, we had entered the address for Hotel Eisenhut (we think that means Iron Hat), our destination, into the Ever Lost navigation system in the car. The system faithfully guided us to our destination but, towards then end, it guided us through what appeared to be a pedestrian mall for the last mile or so. As we were weaving amongst the pedestrians and café tables, we were wondering whether the navigation system had lost it. In the end, it appears that the Ever Lost system was correct as we later saw large tour buses taking a similar route. The buses were going slower, however; Becky, still amped up from the drive, took to the pedestrian street at near autobahn speeds laughing with glee as the pedestrians scattered like pigeons. OK, we are exaggerating a bit here. She wasn’t laughing.
Rothenburg itself is an amazing museum of medieval houses and structures tucked away in a confined area behind its largely intact city walls. What distinguishes Rothenburg in Germany is that it largely escaped the bombing at the end of World War II and the buildings are well-preserved original structures without reconstructions or modern infill buildings. It is truly something to behold (you can behold in the pictures) and it is easy to spend the day wandering around and drinking beer.
At dinnertime we decided to head off to Hotel Mittermeier for an excellent dinner at its Michelin-starred restaurant. While not as elaborate as the meal we had at Schwarzwaldstube at the beginning of the trip, it was quite good. Interestingly, Mittermeier served distinctly German food in the modern fancy restaurant style with many of the flavors of the region coming through (smoked meats, pickled fish, local cheeses, and game) all paired with local wines. Although we would probably choose the French restaurant Schwarzwaldstube as the better restaurant, Mittermeier was more interesting, food-wise, as the flavors were very distinctive and unique. It is by far the best German restaurant that we have been to.
Tomorrow is our last full day of sightseeing before we head back.
Pictures from Festung Marienberg and Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber: