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Rothenburg Christmas

December 24, 2005


Dear Friends and Families,


Christmas this year is hard. Our house project has us staying in Germany, far from our families. No matter how rationale this decision has seemed, emotionally it was difficult. It's the first Christmas in years we haven't been with family, last year here in Germany but, normally, in the the States. To compensate, we treated ourselves to a night out in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, perhaps the most touristic town in all of Germany. Normally, we probably would only go there with visitors, since it's "so touristic", but this year it seemed right. Joining tourists seemed the next best thing to being home. (The only wrinkle in this was that the tourist we ran across were mostly Japanese!)

Please share our pictures.

Rothenburg is filled with quaint little ... (hotels, shops, bakeries, restaurants, etc.) For hotels, Marianne searched the internet and then threw darts and came up with the Hotel Klostersteuble. It turned out great. Our room was huge, the view was spectacular and our Christmas Eve dinner was good local cooking.


Every other time we'd been to Rothenburg, the streets were filled with tourists. On December 24th, after 2pm anyway, the place was empty. Even the Kathe Woehlfart store, the original venue of this ubiquitous Christmas kitsch store, was almost deserted. I have to admit it was both pleasant and a bit disconcerting. I had almost counted on bustling crowds.


Still, we did manage some window shopping as well as checking out some local, old buildings for ideas for our own projects.

In the evening, we strolled through even emptier streets.

Across the street from the Klosterstuble, the Franciscan Church is the oldest in Rothenburg, dating from the late 13th Century. The quiet of the courtyard and the creche seemed particularly right for this Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, our first choice for restaurants, the hotel Restaurant, IS the oldest building in town, a couple hundred years older. Unfortunately for us, it was closed on this holiday evening.




The streets of Rothenburg were empty but fun. The cold and wet had left a clean surface and we had the whole place to ourselves -- except for the occasional Japanese tourist. The square in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) reflected the night lights.



Even window shopping was special, with lights shining for the few stragglers on Christmas Eve.

So, if you must visit Rothenburg ab der Ober, try Christmas Eve. It's quiet and calm, as Christmas should be.


John and Marianne

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