One of the great features of the city is the ramparts. We hiked up to the top of the wall and made our way around the town. To repair the damaged wall, people have donated money, and in return they have plaques thanking them for their donations. Each of us was looking for our hometowns on the wall. Some of us came pretty close. Later that day, we heard a story from a local about his personal experience with the wall. To celebrate his anniversary with his wife, he bought a piece of the wall as a gift. The problem was that his wife was afraid of heights and didn’t want to go up. He finally convinced her to go, and she was shocked when she saw their town up there. Once she read the names above the town, she was even more surprised.
The best shop we stopped in was Anneliese Friese’s gift shop. She has a fun mixture of Christmas decorations and Rothenburg souvenirs. The best part about this quaint little store is Anneliese and her son (who told us the story above). She is a bubbly little grandma full of stories that she can’t wait to share. She shared her pictures with her and Rick Steves, and talked to us about Rothenburg and whatever else came to mind.
A group of us decided to explore together. Our list of sights included the wall, biergarten, crime and punishment museum, a climb to the tower, and the Christmas shops. We achieved most of the items on our list, but were not completely successful. The town seemed to close up early due to the big soccer game. I guess this means we will just have to return.
Before we put on our game faces, we took a local tour in Rothenburg with the Nightwatchman. With his hellebarde in hand, we walked with about 100 other people down the streets. His voice immediately hooks you with its fluctuating tone. We learned about protecting the city and other local history. We even learned about hell (which is a bar).
As the evening approached, it was time to put on our game faces. I felt my German blood bubble through as we cheered for Germany in the football game against Italy. I had purchased a Germany shirt and was wearing my face paint proudly. Although they lost, I wasn’t too disappointed. We went to Italy next, so we got to cheer them on. Yes, I’m one of those fans.