10/12/2011 Rothenburg day 3 - Rich
Great day in Rothenburg. After excellent breakfast at our hotel we went to a house that dates back to the 1300's that is a museum and looked around. We then took a walk outside the city walls to a public pool and swam for a while and took long hot showers. We had lunch at our favorite coffee shop then the kids took off on their own while we had a long conversation the the strange but amusing tour guide Charlie. Charlie is a guy from Pennsylvania who moved to Germany a number of years ago after his divorce. He has long curly white hair, weights 110 lbs with bricks in his pockets and is dressed in women's clothing that reminds me of Mick Jagger in the 60s. He gives us a rundown on the German education system, pharmacy practice in Germany (which he is an avid consumer), as well as other strong opinions of living in Germany
. He says the best thing in Germany is being able to drive his AMG Mercedes 180mph on the Autobahn. We then go on a long hike out of the walls down to a beautiful green valley and tiny village where there is a summer castle of one of the city governors a few hundred years ago. We meet up with the kids, buy fruit for a snack and go back home for some homework. The night watchman tour starts at 8pm and is lead by George who has been doing the tour almost every night for 20 years. George is a strange quirky guy with unruly facial hair, in a cloak, carrying a wicked looking pike (7 foot pole with an ax/spike combo) and a candle lantern. His comic delivery of the city history is entertaining and educational at the same time. We walk the city with the group of 40 or so in the misty rain. It is really well done and an excellent presentation and delivery. We then head over, via Rick Steves recommendation, to the English speakers club of Rothenburg for a late dinner. It is held in a 600 year old pub and organized every Wednesday for the last 27 years by "Herman the German". There is no room at the main table so we sit down at another close table, order food. Herman a older grandpa farmer guy who sits down with us, hands us his business card which is a tiny piece of paper that says,"If I had some of your business I could have a bigger business card, Herman the German", and we talk a while. We have a great meeting the other 6-8 people that have dropped in. One young lady works at the youth hostel and here to practice her English and talk with people. Herman is a farmer and has some dairy cows, his wife works at he crime and Punishment museum. He is friendly and gregarious and we have a great time talking with him until Jack is about to fall asleep so we head home, a good days work.