I love to travel, especially in Europe, and several years ago I discovered the world of river cruising. It’s a fun and easy way to see some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The Rhine and Danube rivers formed most of the northern frontier of the Roman Empire and in early centuries towns were built along these rivers that were a crucial part of carrying trade and goods throughout Europe. I took a two-week cruise in October that began in Amsterdam and ended in Budapest, the capital and largest city in Hungary. There were so many cities that I couldn’t wait to visit, and at the top of my list was Rothenburg. The city was founded in 1274 and is one of the oldest and best preserved Medieval walled cities in Europe. It was like being in a fairy tale: cobbled streets, half timbered buildings, ancient walls that surrounded the heart of the towns, awe inspiring churches (how was it possible to build those towering spires with no modern equipment?). Rothenburg is a magical place that I hope to visit again someday. I loved it.
The name “Rothenburg ob der Tauber” means, in German, “Red fortress above the Tauber”. This is so because the town is located on a plateau overlooking the Tauber River. There are several Rothenburgs in Germany so if you plan a trip make sure you travel to the right one. If you love to shop, especially for Christmas related items, you will be in heaven in the many small shops in the city center. Our favorite, and the most well- known, is Kathe Wohlfahrt . It’s a Christmas fantasy land and the place to buy anything related to the holiday. I’ve never seen so many exquisite ornaments. An eight foot wooden Nutcracker will greet you at the door.
We stopped in so many beautiful little towns as we cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest. Each place was unique in its own way and every day we had a new port to discover. I hope you enjoyed this little tour through Rothenburg. I have so many pictures I want to share in the upcoming months. If you have any questions about river cruising or the fascinating town along the route, please drop me a line and I’ll try to answer your questions. I’ve never taken an ocean cruise and really don’t have a burning desire to do so. Part of the allure of a river cruise is passing through so many beautiful little towns . Rivers are very narrow in places and we had the fun of going through almost 70 locks along the way. (But that’s a subject for another post) There are so many reasons to take a river cruise and here are a few good ones. I’m already planning the next one and can spend hours reading catalogs and day dreaming. Next post: Nuremberg.