Sunday, 9.17.00 – Jagsthausen, Germany to Rothenburg, Germany

Today had everything – steep, slippery hills, dirt paths, loose stones, and wet weather! We awoke to rain and this time it didn't let up. The wet weather continued all morning. We generally experienced mild showers, but sometimes they were a little heavier.

Judith and I got a late start because I needed to fix the cable to my rear derailleur. I decided to piece two shorter cables together with some ingenious knots and tape. It actually worked so well that I ended up using it for the rest of the trip. Ah, the challenges of life.

We spent most of the day climbing toward the continental divide of Europe. All of the rivers we have been following empty into the Rhine and eventually the North Sea. Starting tomorrow, all of the rivers we will ride along empty into the Danube and then flow to the Black Sea.

As we started up the last hill, the scenery changed dramatically. Beautiful trees appeared, and the sun even chanced a peek. The magic of Rothenburg can be felt from a distance as you catch your first glimpse of the town wall, towers and church steeples. What a magnificent sight.

As we entered the main gate and proceeded into the city, we felt like we were crossing the drawbridge to the castle. Should I prepare to save the damsel from the dragon? Inside it was bustling. The stores have special permits that allow them to be open on Sunday. Narrow cobblestone streets led us to our hotel.

   

Rothenburg is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. It sits atop a hill surrounded by many-towered walls and is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany. It's history dates back to the 9th century, and many of the current buildings, walls and towers are from the 13th and 14th centuries. In fact, the hotel for tonight was originally built in 1264 as a customs house placed within the city walls.

After a change of clothes we ventured through the town. It was like a real life Disneyland. We had a great time looking around and shopping. We also purchased a schneeball – German for snowball. It is a unique pastry with a powdered sugar covering. It’s sort of like taking all of the scraps from mom’s piecrust, and rolling them into a ball. You could buy them anywhere here.

After another great dinner, we prepared for the next day and hit the sack for the night. We wish we could remember all of the meals we were served. We mostly recall the beautiful presentation, and the incredible sauces. Most of the vegetables were also marinated before final preparation.