Today we got up, ate our final breakfast at the Goldener Falke and said goodbye to Heidelberg, hopping the train (well, series of 4 trains) to the tiny and allegedly adorable town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg is on every single one of those “Most Adorable Villages you MUST VISIT!!” lists and is apparently the inspiration behind Geppetto and Pinocchio’s home town in the Walt Disney animated feature Pinocchio. We pulled into town on a small milk train, stepped into a cab and also into the past.
Rothenburg is even more adorable than we expected it to be. Cute laneways, half-timbered houses, bakeries, Christmas shops, cobblestones, town squares, medieval walls and much more were preserved in this decadent slice of German heaven.
We checked into our little Bed and Breakfast (I think it was at one point a monastery) and headed into town to soak in all of the glory.
One regional delicacy that I insisted that we try are a sweet snack called “schneeballs” (snowballs). They were originally made from leftover pastry dough in an effort to not let any of it go to waste, and there are dozens of different flavours. The town is littered with bakeries that sell this little apple-sized delights, so we found one with a nice patio and picked our flavours – I chose caramel, Pa and Argie had rum-marzipan and Ma had dark chocolate. They were definitely not what we had expected – we were all under the assumption that they would be soft and sweet, like a giant Timbit, but they were crunchy and crumbly, a lot like a fortune cookie. They were also extremely filling!
After our schneeball experience we decided to amble around, explore some Christmas shops (nutcrackers, steins, decorations, woodart!) and just enjoy how sweet this little town is.
After dodging other tourists to take photos of the most famous and probably most photographed intersection in the city, we headed for the town wall.
Ma and Pa decided that they wanted to walk the town wall, but Argie and I opted for something a lot more sinister in this adorable town – The Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum.
We walked past the stocks and into a building with an arrow pointing into the basement which immediately immerses you into the punishment part of the museum, more specifically torture. The museum housed hundreds of medieval torture instruments as well as shame fixtures including the aforementioned stocks and shame masks, different masks decorated differently depending on the crime. The museum also had documents and descriptions of trials and law in the different areas of Germany.
After our fill of torture (and the museum was closing), we met up with Ma and Pa and headed to a recommended inn for dinner where we dined on soup and schnitzel.
The dinner was delicious and after we settled up, we headed back to our inn to rest up for the night, wondering why we decided only one night in Rothenburg would be sufficient.