A picture-perfect fairy tale town

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Oct 01, 2007

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Since we're here in Bavaria, and it's Mayu's first visit to the area, I thought it only natural to make a stop somewhere on the Romantic Road. The last time I went was back when my brother was studying in Freiburg im Breisgau, when I was maybe 13. I remembered Rothenburg being especially picturesque, and have read since then that it's a major point on the trail. So, I thought we'd take a daytrip up from Munich since it's not so far away.

Though the distance is not huge, Rothenburg sits on a spur line off from a relatively minor rail hub. Because of that, it takes a number of changes to get there quickly from Munich. Oddly enough, with fewer changes, it actually takes longer (because of the slow, local trains). The fastest way demands three changes - a train to Nürnberg, a change there to Ansbach, another transfer to Steinach, and then one last switch for the remaining 15-minute leg to Rothenburg. It sounds like a pain in the tail, but it actually went smoother than I expected. The connections were within about five or ten minutes of arrival at each station, so in total it only took two and a half hours to get there. Not too shabby.

Thanks to our Eurailpass, we got to enjoy the spacious luxury of first class for most of the trip. The weather started out fairly hazy, if sunny, but it still was quite beautiful overall. Across the day the haze burned off, so by the afternoon it was fantastic. Rothenburg itself was a pleasure to walk around, and actually less heavily-touristed than expected! After a few days in Munich, we could really notice the difference in prices. Despite its "tourist trap" reputation, Rothenburg was considerably more affordable across the board, reaffirming that Munich is indeed Germany's priciest city.

For being in such a tiny town though, we did more than our fair share of walking. The town map gave a couple suggested city walks, so rather than just choose one, we thought we'd take in everything and do both. That meant loads of photo ops, but the two of us were fairly tired after a whole day of wandering. It was interesting seeing all the American and Korean tourists throughout, with the occasional Japanese tour group here and there. Probably not all that surprising given Rothenburg's cutesy "fairy-tale town" atmosphere. At times the place can be a little too picture-perfect, but it was worth a day's excursion all the same.
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