Monday, September 24, 2007

My Birthday Field Trip

It's fall!! Since I'm from south Texas, I have never really had the opportunity to really experience autumn. It's so gorgeous. The crisp air, the warm colors springing up puts me in such a good mood!

Saturday was my 26th birthday (ugh, 26, I know) and originally, we were going to a nearby town of Bad Windsheim. We changed our mind at the last minute and decided to go back to Rothenburg. There were a bunch of places I wanted to go to that we missed the first time we went.

Here's Josh looking at my "German for Travelers" book I purchased at half price books in the states before we left. It's a bit old but it was only like 75 cents! He was looking at the restaurant section, trying to find dishes that sounded good. He asked me how I would pronounce the "what would you recommend" phrase, and I horribly attempted it. We ended up in a fit of giggles. The german language is by no means easy! There are alot of words that roughly resemble some english words, so that helps.

Rothenburg is extremely interesting. I snapped a bunch of photos and as soon as we got home, I looked up what it all was. Above is a map of the city. A wall surrounds the city (approximately 3.5 kiliometers or 1.86 miles). It has a covered walkway on majority of the wall, which you can sort of make out in the photo below. This is the North wall of the city and this particular photo is of the GalgenTor (Gallows Gate). In medieval times, executions took place just outside this gate, in front of the tower.

All of the streets are cobblestone and every so often you hear the "clop clop clop" of horse drawn carriages taking tourists around the town.

It's rare to see just a plain building, whether it be a home or a store. You almost always find the building facade decorated with plants and flowers. Even when you don't see that, there is some architectual or ornamental details like the door below.

This time around, we actually went into the Rathaus, or Town Hall. We climbed up the 65 meter tower(about 213 feet high)...with the kids. I don't know what we were thinking!! At first, it wasn't a big deal, but the higher up we got, the narrower the stairs and stairwell got. My thighs were burning by the time we got to the top!! We were so high up, but it was a beautiful view of the mostly pastoral german landscape.
(Obviously, this is not one of my photos. I did not have one that showed the height of the Rathaus tower.)

Here's a bird's eye view of the market square. Note the fountain in the bottom right corner. It is St. George's fountain above Herterichs Well. This well, which is 8 meters deep, is the largest of the 40 wells in the city of Rothenburg. The decorations on the fountain date back to 1608.

Here you can see the clock tower, also known as the City Councilors' Tavern. The main clock on the building shown in the photo above was installed in 1683. The windows on each side of the clock open on the hour and the scene of the Meistertrunk is played. Former mayor Nusch is shown drinking 3 and a quarter liters of Franconian wine from a huge tankard, while General Tilly watches in amazement. According to legend, Nusch saved the town from destruction by performing this feat on October 31, 1631 during the Thirty Years War.
When you first enter the Rathaus, there is this wonderful spiral stairwell. I really like the way this photo came out. It's probably my favorite from the day.

Next blog will feature the Criminal Museum! Lots and lots of interesting information!!


**melissa lee** said...

I just LOVE all these pictures you have been posting of Germany! Makes me wanna come over there and see all the beautiful architecture!

Happy Birthday (belated tho it may be!!!)!!!!!

Michelle said...

Happy Belated Birthday! It just means oyu have people thinking of you on more than just your special day. ;)

Your photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for all of the historical info along with the photos. I get so excited when I see you've posted something new.

That photo of the stairwell is incredible and you should be completely proud!

krystyn said...

Wow - great pictures. I especially like the cobblestone street pic, specifically how you took it at the level of the street. So awesome!!

Boriquaz said...

Those pictures are amazing!! I love the last one of the stair case. And btw happy belated birthday!!!

Happy Traveller said...

OOH I can help you with "what would you reccomend"
it's: was konnen sie empfahlen.
pronounced: vas co-nen zee emfailen.