Day 09 - Rothenburg ob der Tauber

We checked out of our fancy hotel in Munich and boarded our tour bus bound for Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Big surprise - about 30 minutes outside of Rothenburg our tour bus got pulled over by a pair of German police officers for a “kontrolle” (aka inspection). They REALLY wanted to charge our driver for too many hours on the road but he had JUST come off a two-day break and had the documentation to prove it. Drats! When THAT didn’t work they proceeded down their ENTIRE checklist looking for anything - they even pulled out our fire extinguisher to check the inspection date. A half hour later, two very frustrated German police officers waved us goodbye. This got us into Rothenburg a little later than planned which was a small problem in that the city just happened to be holding its annual medieval “Imperial City Festival”. Our bus was a big hit when it met up with TWO medieval bands marching the other way down the narrow one-lane downtown street leading up to our hotel. Luckily the band members were already feeling no pain... they parted into two columns and marched around our bus, smiling and waving at us as they went by. Spending the day and tonight in Rothenburg, leaving tomorrow morning for Dresden!

Traveling down Germany’s “Romantic Road” toward Rothenburg when we happened to pass this sign. Angela’s father was an Air Force fighter pilot stationed at Fürstenfeldbruck airfield back in the early 1950s. He went down to Garmisch one weekend and saw the ice skating show (Casa Carioca) in which Angela’s mother was performing as a soloist. They met after the show and... how romantic! A view of the old city walls as we drive up to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rolling into the old city center, the medieval marching band coming right at us... ... and getting closer...

... and even closer... ... then they waved and went right around us!

Imagine our surprise when this band marched into our restaurant and proceeded to regale us with a selection of loud but mostly unintelligible German drinking songs... We cheered them nevertheless (some of them were heavily armed)!  Walking around downtown after dinner.  Here is the Rathaus decked out in decorations and flags for the festivities.  Looks like a small stage had been erected in front.

View of St. Jakob church in Rothenburg, built between 1311-1484. It was consecrated in 1485. Interior view of main alter/apse. The church sustained no damage in WW II, all the stain glass windows are original.

As part of the medieval festival the local falconry club was showing off their birds. We think the guy in the back is holding an eagle!  Yep, pretty sure that's an eagle...

For some reason they put us in a big suite on the top floor of the hotel - three rooms, a walk-in closet, a full bath, and a balcony overlooking the old city. Here a photo of our “sitting” room, I sat on the couch while writing this post...  We even had sort of a desk area...

One of the old city towers with steps leading up to the city walls...  Part of the city walls and ramparts... cool!