Monday, November 10, 2014

Germany November 2014 Part 1

November 10 - Johanna departed Calgary

November 11 - Cam, Nicole, Sam and I departed Istanbul

November 11 - Everybody arrived Ibis Hotel Airport Frankfurt (Our hotel was filled with Turkish speaking staff and although they sent us to a local restaurant serving German food, it was run by Kurds)

November 12 - Parapark Locked Room Mystery and Lego Shopping in Frankfurt

When I was in Munich, last spring, I read about a Locked Room Mystery game. The idea is that you and your team mates are locked in a room and have one hour to escape by following the clues and solving the puzzles. Nicole and I really wanted to give this a try.  It was great fun and I'd do it again. It was good that there were 5 of us because we needed everyone to bring their skills to the game. The first link is for the place we went to in Frankfurt and for my Canadian friends there's links to game rooms in Calgary and Edmonton.  If you live somewhere else search "locked room mystery game" and you'll find options in your area.

Oh if you're wondering how we did?  We got out at the very last moment!

Afterwards we went shopping for Lego which was about the only reason Sam agreed to go to Germany and a couple of us started our Christmas shopping. Shh!

November 13 - Train from Frankfurt to Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

The kids were looking forward to train travel in Germany, but it wasn't as stress free as I'd hoped. It took me a couple of days to figure out how to reliably make connections using the yellow arrivals/departure posters at each station.  DBahn ticket agents make the process easy, but they don't all speak fluent English.  The most difficult ticketing experience was on the last leg of our journey from Speyer to Frankfurt.  I had to buy tickets from a machine. The machine offered an English option for which I was grateful, however, with a line growing behind me and the knowledge that the train we wanted was imminent, I was beside myself! Of course it all worked out, thanks to help from Johanna and a couple of German fellows.

November 14 - Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber was at the top of my list.  I could have stayed longer than a single night in this medieval town. We stayed at one of the hotels inside the walls.  The Kruezerhof Hotel Garni was an excellent privately owned hotel.  The rooms were well appointed and clean.  The breakfast was ample with lots of variety and good service.

There are about 2000 residents living inside the walls of the town today.  Half the town was destroyed during WWII. Restoration work and upkeep is continuing  From the train station, the medieval village is about a 10 minute walk.

Wheeled suitcases + cobblestones not much fun.

Rathaus or City Hall A group was singing Christmas carols on the steps when we arrived.
I cried; it made me instantly homesick.

A Rothenburg city tour.  We missed out on this one but did the walking tour with the Night Watchman.

I have mixed feelings about taking photographs in churches.  This church, St. Jacob's commissioned an altar to hold a relic which contains the blood of Christ.  I thought that's what we were looking at here, turns out we missed the actual altar piece entirely. However when the man who sold us the entrance tickets came to ask us to leave at closing time discovered we'd missed it, he took us upstairs and let us see amazing woodcarving.

The door to St. Jacob's.

Sam and the Night Watchman ready to make their rounds.

Nicole and Cam

The wall from outside.

Johanna and Sam walking and talking.

We love the big doors and their really big hardware.

After lunch, we picked up our bags from the hotel and retraced our steps to the train station.  Rothenburg ob der Tauber has very helpful staff at the train station.  I bought our tickets for Heidelberg on the day we arrived.

Three more days to go.  They're in part 2.

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