Day 10: Kitzingen and Rothenburg

IMG_1836

The old bridge at Kitzingen

The 7th November was a busy day. We went to two quaint medieval German villages! First stop was at Kitzingen, where the ship was moored a short waddle from the heart of town. Yes, cobblestones.

Flood levels and the mayor

Flood levels and the mayor

At 9:15am the town’s mayor greeted us, accompanied by the Wine Queen, who arrived late in a Jeep, wearing a black duffle coat over her dirndl. No crown, not even a tiara. Oh well. The mayor conducted the passengers on the short walk to the oldest wine cellar in town, to enjoy a glass or two of the local brew. We passed. It was a bit early in the day, even for me. We had a big trip to Rothenburg that afternoon, and it wouldn’t do to fall asleep on the bus. However, I was interested in the flood levels marked on the building. Nothing for 2013, which surprised me. Maybe they had some flood mitigation in place.

The old wine cellar

The old wine cellar

Main street on a Saturday morning

Main street on a Saturday morning

This place had kerbs and footpaths and everything

This place had kerbs and footpaths and everything

We could use a few of these toad wranglers for the cane toads

We could use a few of these toad wranglers for the cane toads

As with so many German towns, there had been a settlement here centuries before any of the present buildings were constructed. We wandered around, took pictures, bought a tee shirt and were back on the boat for lunch before the hour long drive to Rothenburg.

The view from the town walls

The view from Rothenburg’s walls

The walled town of Rothenburg is perched on top of a hill in the mountains and the usual bus tour of the main sights wasn’t an option. You walked or you saw nothing. The place was bustling with tourists. In fact, crammed with the blighters, especially in the Christmas shops.

IMG_1864 IMG_1866Rothenburg is home to the first original Christmas shop where you could buy Christmas tat (sorry, my bias is showing) all through the year. These days there are eight such establishments in the town. Our new friend Vicky was beside herself at the prospect of all those shops, all those baubles.

Actually, I almost got lost. Yes, I did. There was an old lady running one of those shops who had lived in Australia when the Snowy Mountain scheme was being built. She’d been everywhere, telling detailed stories about Perth, Albury, Melbourne… about then I realised the rest of the walking tour had disappeared. I’d turned off my headset. The tour guide on this one occasion drove me bonkers. She talked to us as if we were mentally retarded three year olds and she spoke in a monotone that droned in my head. Anyhow, I was on my own. There were tourists everywhere, so I took a punt at where I thought they might be. I was wrong a couple of times, but eventually I saw this rather flustered white-haired man looking this way and that, so I waved. Fortunately he was the right white-haired man. Frowning, he shook his head at me. Meh. I have no sense of direction, and he knows that. He should have kept an eye on me.

IMG_1902 IMG_1901 IMG_1900 IMG_1897 IMG_1876 (1) IMG_1868We left the tour guide to it as soon as we knew where the meeting point would be and strolled through the pretty little town admiring the window displays – especially the food. All tuckered out, we drank a coffee in the main square watching the good burghers setting up for a marathon.

It was dark when we left. We couldn’t see a thing out the bus windows. Even so, the guide persisted in pointing out the “yellow building on the right” which was a cow shed or something.

Hey ho. Tomorrow we’re in Miltenberg.