Looking for answers to life's questions

Aschaffenburg had us hoping for more real German delight. Right away I knew where we needed to go. My daughter found us a hotel right at the entrance to the fairy tale world of Rothenburg. It’s on the Romantic Highway. My sister and I visited here as well in 2006 during summer; falling in love with the town.  My daughter and I were able to park the rental car in a free lot and it never moved again till we left.

Entrance to the walled city

We were told after showing our vaccination documents and passports that we were getting an upgrade room. I wasn’t sure what that meant but our room was quite spacious and very old world looking. We had everything we needed there.

Breakfast was included and we were seated a safe distance apart from other diners. Disposable gloves were offered free to keep all utensils germ free and as long as you were near the food, masks remained on. Once you retrieved your food and sat to eat, masks could come off. Again, the hotel population was sparse. Was it covid or winter?

Lots of glitz in old hotel. No one else in there

Masks and gloves required.

After breakfast we walked into the old section of Rothenburg where the tourists are drawn in to shop. We did our fair share and of course had to check out all the bakeries along the streets. There were gift shops and luggage shops. My daughter bought another small suitcase to check since she had done a fair bit of shopping already in Köln so the suitcase was going to be necessary. Hard sided and bright so it would be easy to find in the crowd.

Stickers added in case we couldn’t see it.

There was a mini-Christmas market but all the shops welcomed you in, only if you had vaccination certificates. We found delicious pastries and then we located the Christmas shop.

We saved that for the next day as we knew the restaurant would stop serving at 2 pm and we would want linner. (That’s a late lunch, early dinner). The restaurant owned by the hotel was as old world as the town. The food there was indescribably delicious. I moaned as I failed to finish my first meal. Portions were substantial and perfectly cooked. The beer was perfect of course. The second day the  meal was equally as scrumptious and I refused to leave even a bite of it. We waddle out with grins that expressed extreme satisfaction in any language. Fortunately, language was no barrier here either.

Our hotel itself had such modern upgrades as motion sensor lighting everywhere and the room key tucked in its inside slot allowed the room lights to go on until we turned them off. On leaving the room and taking the ‘plastic card key’ all lights in the room turned off. Since we planned several days visit, we ask that our room not be serviced until we left, saving water and wear. We spent only three days and wished we had stayed longer. If I only had one place to visit in Germany, it would be here.

Put in your key card for lights. Take card, lights out

We were directed to a good-sized grocery store in walking distance for a few things like mineral water and found a very handy gas station for later. Then we walked the whole walled city and shopped at the Kathy Wolfart Christmas store. This was an expensive trip. My daughter had gifts shipped from there.

I wanted this guy to come home with me.

I don’t think this car ever moved.

The contrast in old and new was very apparent in this little town. I struggle with seeing the old disappear and the new swallow it all up. We need the modern but also the reminders of what was and the beauty of the old architecture. More on that later, I think.

How do you feel about the destruction of the old to be replaced by the new?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Comments on: "Real Old-World Charm" (59)

  1. I’m old, so I hate the destruction of the old for the new. 😉 From your wonderful photos, it looks like Rothenburg was the highlight of your trip!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh wow…. love that you were so comfortable Marlene and that you so enjoyed your stay at that hotel..
    I loved the German Christmas Markets, and Austrian.. All have that unique gift of something special.. And their Christmas decorations often wooden for the Christmas Tree .. So many memories your post brought back for me as we spent many late Autumn visits near the Rhine and loved their Markets…
    Those old cobbled streets.. and Unique fronted buildings….
    Thank you for bringing those memories back… And the good food… and Beer… LOL…

    Sending Oodles of Love… Hugs and Kisses..
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Favorite post of all on the trip! No matter where the country location, this type of old-world adventure would be what I would choose over and over. This is what allows you to really learn about the country and the people. I am so glad you got to experience this again Marlene. And- can I just say: THAT BEER! When I scrolled down the post and that picture popped up I laughed out loud!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I always have such a hard time finishing a beer and even here, I only drink a good German beer but split a bottle with my daughter. Those glasses are HUGE! I’m glad it gave you a good laugh. 🙂 I love the old cities and am so glad they are working to keep this one intact. I wish more people would brave the inconvenience to keep those businesses alive during this crisis. They were being so careful and I appreciated that. There are several old towns on the Romantic Highway but this is the only one I have visited. You will get in all your steps and a days exercise there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Marlene, what a beautiful town you visited. Thanks for sharing the pictures and your adventure!
    It’s great that you had the chance to visit, peruse all shops, enjoy good food and drinks and do some shopping. Those yummy homemade spaetzl look quite different from the usual shape, it must have been a local tradition?
    I very much love the photo of you with the weissbier glass! Is that weissbier for you and dunkles weissbier for your daughter? It’s my favourite beer. And your sweet face reminded me that of my beloved grandma ❤ I felt like leaning in through the screen and hugging you 🙂
    I feel strongly about old architecture and generally places being "erased" or "sanitised". Old things have a history and character – they tell us something about our culture too. What a pity that they're often carelessly destroyed. Perhaps it's greed, like in the case of property developers making a fortune out of selling awful homes. Or maybe it's that some people don't see beauty in old. I have never wanted a new flat – it's lacking of the texture of history. Also, is it really necessary to keep building? We think the world is ours to do as we please, but we're simply borrowing it.
    I hope you're slowly settling in your new flat, and starting to unpack 🙂
    Alles liebe xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words, G. The hotel essentially made new inside the old as they must now have upgraded power for all our electronics and wifi as well as making a way to use the power more wisely. That part did impress me. They kept the structure intact and the old restaurant stayed the same. You are correct on the beer. My daughter likes the dark and I prefer the light but will drink most good German beer and even some Australian. I will not drink American beer even if it’s free.
      As for settling in, I am but unpacking isn’t called for just yet. Everything is still in storage in Oregon and we have to either go get it or have it shipped. It could be a month or more before I have any of my own things. I bought a second hand table and chairs this week for the kitchen and two cast iron skillets to cook in. Heavy but I’m going to need the extra iron to build red blood cells for this altitude. Not moving very fast up here yet. 😉 That’s ok though. Needed a bit of down time to do some writing. 🙂 Stay well and happy. Hugs, m

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so happy you were able to make this trip and build a store of great memories, with the photos to keep it all fresh. Fun to follow along your trip with you, thank you for these posts. I doubt I’ll ever be able to get back to Europe for a visit, it would take a lottery win to achieve the kind of travel my bad back requires these days… So I especially enjoy this window onto a little bit of history and culture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you could join us, Kate. It was a now or never deal for me as well. So, pandemic and winter had to get out of my way so we could do this. I’m grateful that we did it. More to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going to write a lengthy comment here but then decided to update a post from years back when I visited Rothenburg, the Rat’s town! Such gorgeous architecture and you may like to see what it was like pre-Covid. It was so busy around Christmas time in 2011.
    As for destruction of the old, there should be some heritage value in all old centres. Especially in Europe, I suppose most are protected. The destruction from the war means a lot of areas weren’t rebuilt to the original style or they are but a reproduction. Eg. Frankfurt. One gets the impression of the genuine old style in Rothenburg and Heidleberg, which weren’t bombed and it is like a window into history. I am always conflicted though by being dragged back to the modern era with folks walking around with cameras, phones and the like. I am envious that you got to stay there but so glad you did! Here is my post if you would like to compare: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/part-5-euro-scandi-odyssey-rothenburg-travelogue/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was amazing, Marlene! Thank you so much for taking us along with you. Derek and I both read and viewed the photos several times. It made me sad to see the hotel and restaurants so empty. Derek enjoyed the photo of your with the extra large beer! If I drank that dark beer, I’m not sure I’d find my way back to the hotel. I’m so happy you and your daughter took this trip together. I’m not a fan of tearing down the old. I loved the photo of the gift shop. That would make a fun jigsaw puzzle. By the way, thank you for your lovely review, too! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome for the review. It was such a pleasant read in the middle of all the chaos now. I’m too German to let a beer like that go to my head. I got beer in a baby bottle growing up and every night for dinner. I don’t drink it much in the states because good beer is so hard to find. I won’t touch an American beer. They don’t have any flavor. Thanks for joining our trip, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love these photos, Marlene. How wonderful! I detest destroying the old to make way for the new. So much history and understanding is lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a lot of reconstruction going on to try and rescue the old buildings but that takes skilled labor and these days, Skilled craftsmanship is in short supply. The hotel kept the exterior intact while upgrading the interior for modern needs. A nice balance, I think,. Rare those. Thanks for the visit, Becky.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love Rothenburg and I miss the food and The Christmas markets and everything!! We stayed inside the walls twice, once in a truly ancient place. I am so happy you are there and enjoying yourself!! Good for you!! Have some spatzle and schnitzel for me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister and I stayed inside the walls when we were here, It was a newly renovated place and I couldn’t find it again. I had a hard time finding real German food. In the entire month, We only found it for 3 meals! Guess I’ll have to start making my own. Everything is missing now. Wait till this crazy pandemic is over before you go again, Cindy.

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  10. Rothenburg looks like a real old gem. I love how the old and traditions are venerated. So glad you had fun and good beer🍺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Val. It was a real study in human nature there. I’m all for progress which is absolutely necessary, though I truly believe we need reminders of where we came from. It’s also a cultural study. We all see the same thing differently.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my, that place looks like something out of a fairytale. I’m enjoying your travels, Marlene! Are you getting settled in your new home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Missy. It does feel fairy tale like. I’m as settled as I can be with all my stuff in Oregon still. Still having a hard time with altitude. Another week or two maybe will have me better assimilated. It’s interesting how much you can live without. 😉 How are you doing where you are? Miss seeing you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re living in Bend, and are looking at Tucson as a place to retire in a couple of years. When we are camping, in our travel trailer, we’re reminded of how little it does take. I hope you continue to feel more at home each day. Take care, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. nice article

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What an adorable place. Definitely romantic and picturesque looking. I couldn’t get over how spacious your hotel room last night. Maybe it was covid or winter that kept people away but less crowds for you to deal with. Interesting to hear how other countries are dealing with covid regarding masking and social distancing. Enjoy this post and the pictures very much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you are enjoying the journey. It was a very interesting study in human nature. I was grateful for the lack of crowds and the lack of bad weather our whole trip. I would go again if I could regain enough health. It was worth it. Thanks for joining us.

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  14. What a charming place this was, Marlene! I’m glad it wasn’t crowded and you could enjoy it without all the usual jostling. I don’t mind the new replacing the old, but as someone who studied historic preservation, I do like preservation and adaptive reuse of old structures. And I really dislike the loss of landscapes. At one point, I thought about writing a picture book called Lost Views. Some of the prettiest cities here in the States are those that didn’t have the money for urban renewal, so now they have a lovely stock of beautiful old warehouses and other buildings to repurpose. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There is some old that is just begging to be put out of its misery then, there is some beautiful architecture that should be preserved and I so appreciated the way the hotel incorporated the new into the old. Serious ‘green’ features and all the comforts of the modern world while still keeping the old world facade. The song “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchel kept running through my head in so many bit city. The line ‘they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ said so much about what I see in so many places. We are going to have to pay to see trees even more, I so agree with you there. I’d like to see that picture book. We will really miss those trees and the landscape.

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  15. I love, LOVE Rothenburg! The old world charm and architecture is beautiful. Thank you for the many photos and for this virtual vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The problem in many places about “keeping the old” is that some of the old wasn’t built correctly for things like environmental issues. And those that were built well, had limitations when developers want to build sky high… here many developers can demolish what is behind a facade but must restore the frontage to a presentable use…

    What a wonderful time you’ve had visiting your homeland and again sharing it with your daughter…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Catherine. I do like the idea of revamping the interior and keeping the facade of the old. Some of the old is begging to be torn down and out of it’s misery. The timing for this trip wasn’t ideal but it’s when it had to be. It was a very different world than the one she grew up in and it gives some perspective. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Aspen said:

    Great pictures sis.
    Looks like you got some good walking in.
    Love your talk on Covid experience.
    I am glad your home.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was great, Marlene! Personally, I wouldn’t mind ‘new’ so much if it had some charm and actual skills put into the design and execution; instead, it’s so often just boxes with holes in them . . . When I travel, I’d rather stay somewhere that’s just as things were way before I was born than in a new place. I can live with inconveniences. I’ve often thought I’d love to go to Japan, not to see the cities, but to stay on an old-style farm, in an old-fashioned farmhouse, eating traditional foods, etc. Same anywhere, really . . . in this ‘New World’, we don’t really have much in the way of history or historic buildings by comparison to Europe. Walking on ancient cobbled streets, seeing Roman aqueducts . . . nothing beats it.

    I’m glad you are home again safely. I expect you’ll acclimatize faster than you expect.

    I loved the photos, by the way. That food and beer . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would fully agree with you, LInne. But the reasoning behind the newer places was that it was essential that my daughter have rapid and accessible internet. She had to work any day we were not commuting from one place to another and get there by 4 pm. which was 8 am Oregon time. She worked 6 hrs a day and had to be able to take calls on her laptop. Otherwise, I could have stayed in a barn too. My daughter has a more delicate nature and her comfort a higher priority than mine. Right now, I’m sleeping on an (old) sofa bed that belonged to my last MIL. I do not like box buildings either but someone obviously does since there were so many. Japan is where my daughter wants to go next and she’s even been learning the language. I suggested a tour. I’m not going anywhere. Another couple of weeks and I should be much better here. Keep staying well.

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  19. Rothenburg does look like it is right out of a fairy tale. How delightful, just to walk around and look at things. The walls, the cobbled streets, the half-timbered buildings, the holiday decorations. Oh my goodness the food looked so good you made me hungry, and I’ll always be in the mood for a good beer. One thing that makes me happy is how much the two of you decided to enjoy the food in Germany. I know that being health-conscious is often your focus when planning meals at home, so I worried that you might deprive yourself in Germany. That certainly turns out not to be true. I am so enjoying the glimpses of you in all these photos. I’m glad that H got this experience in another country, and will now have more confidence when she heads off on her next trip someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was the basic reason for this trip. To give H confidence that she could do it without me. I left it all on her instead of my usual take charge of everything. She will do well on her next go round on her own. This was not the time to diet but we did watch it to some degree. I could eat one or maybe one and a half meal a day. That included sweet treats. I still have little appetite eating part of one meal today and a cookie. I can taste most things and be done. She has a place and moves in Thurs. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh! Thank you for the good news about H’s place! I am relieved. Tara and Cameron just got a new place too, and move in the 24th. It was SO stressful because there is such a shortage of places to rent. I assume you and H also suffered during your search because of this. It was quite smart of you to leave the details to your daughter. Good for both of you. Love you, ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Congrats to Tara and Cameron on finding a place. The only reason I have one is because E&E worked hard to find it while I was in Germany. Signed the lease from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Parts of Germany, like parts of France, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy just look like cuckoo clocks. Love this post. Your delight at the room lights made me smile, quite commonplace in the UK, but come to think of it I don’t recall them in US motels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never seen them here either but have not traveled as much in the last 10 years or so. I think it’s something we need to look at. Our hotels mostly need upgrading, big time. For a progressive county, we are sadly lagging behind. Thanks for the visit, Cathy. Hope you are well and crafty. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. That Spaetzle looks amazing! What a lovely place. So glad you enjoyed it there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Luanne. It’s the one place I can recommend though off season without covid is probably best. I’ve been there during the summer crowds and I don’t care for crowds. Spring or fall would be best and as soon as restrictions are more lax. I’ve never had handmade spaetzel quite like that. It was incredible. I felt like Phil Rosenthal that day. So indulgent.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, that does sound indulgent! My mouth is watering. I wish you had had a better time on the trip, though, in general. At least you got to spend it with your daughter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was aware ahead of time that the trip would be difficult. I have no illusions about life, especially given the circumstances. My daughter also knew that it would be challenging. She rose to it and now she is fully aware that she is competent to travel on her own. That was my main intent. She also wanted for years to see what made me so different for others. I was an educational trip for her.

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