June 26-29, 2004
Guten Tag, Germany!
Bacharach and St. Goar in The Rhineland
Two nights at Hotel Kranenturm in the medieval village of Bacharach in central Germany. History-laden walking tour of the town by guide Herr Rolf Jung. Rick Steves' original "back door" of Europe. Eating at the oldest building in Bacharach (Altes Haus).
Shopping for engraved wooden knickknacks in the Woodburn House. Ivy-covered ruins of Burg Stahleck castle in Bacharach. German dinners in Bacharach of veal with noodles and chicken stuffed with spinach. Introduced one another--and honored Bruce and Fran for 40 years together.
Dark dungeons and mine tunnels in ruins of the once-mighty Rheinfels Castle above the town of St. Goar. Looking down on the busy Rhine River with its commercial barges, ferries and tour boats. Mingling with riverside bicyclists. And cruising the castle-studded Rhine from St. Goar to Bacharach.
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Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Traveled some of the 180-mile-long Romantic Road in southern Germany to the walled Middle Age'd Bavarian town of Rothenburg, heyday from 1150-1400. The charming Plonlein, or Little Square, with the Siebersturm (Siebers Tower) from 1385. City Councilors' Tavern (Ratstrinkstube) in Market Square with one clock dating from 1683.
The 500-year-old, 35-foot-high wood carving by Tilman Riemenschneider, Altar of the Holy Blood (1504), in 14th century St. Jakob's Church (St. Jakob-Kirche). Stained glass church windows rise 56 feet and date from 1400.
A walk along the 14th century wall overlooking red tile roofs and laundry-filled backyards. Fascinating but gruesome Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum (Kriminalmuseum). Amusing but informative Night Watchman's Tour starring Hans Georg Baumgartner.
A handmade cuckoo clock as an anniversary gift from the Friese shop. Prints and etchings at Ernst Geissendorfer's print shop. A suspect lunch with schnitzel and German potato salad, and a beer-garden dinner with bratwurst and live German pop music by Die Vagabunden (The Drifters). One night at Hotel Gerberhaus.
On the road again to rest stops with self-cleaning toilets. And toilets at most European stops with water-conserving buttons for No. 1 and No. 2.
Photo of group members in Rothenburg.
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To Germany II: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Wieskirche
Bacharach | Rothenburg | Dachau | Wieskirche
Copyright Gary and Donna Larson, Seattle, Washington. Updated Feb. 17, 2007.