April’s weekend road trip

IMG_4194It’s a pity how poorly I’ve been keeping up with the blog. In many ways Facebook has been the quicker solution to capturing some of our happenings, but it lacks details. So here’s a few posts, out of order, but still worth keeping for posterity.  This one is about our family’s weekend getaway in April to a few cities close to us: Augsburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Nürnberg.

All four of us have lamented the fact that we have not been exploring more of Germany while living here. It’s true that we are not on target for the lofty goal I set of one international and one national (to Germany) per month. For the Germany-specific goal we are WAAAAY off.  There are a couple of reasons for this lapse. First, Munich is really, really pretty, and there is a lot to keep us occupied and entertained here.  Hell, there are still neighborhoods/areas of Munich that we have not explored yet. Second, when we have time to travel, I’ve been really eager to go to new countries. Third, life gets in the way of play. Between Larry’s work/travel schedule, school and community obligations, and general responsibilities that come with adulting, we sometimes need downtime. Lastly, and I feel a little sheepish saying so, many of the other German destinations within a few hours’ drive all start to sound alike in the guide books (sights to see include: City wall, arch, city hall, amazing churches one, two, and three, the main market square, and some interesting fountains or statues thrown in for good measure.)  Because I really want buy-in from the whole family when we travel, I like there to be something that they will all enjoy seeing.

Our latest road trip last month fit the bill. My parameters were that we were to drive no more than 3 hours away, and only stay away for one overnight.  We managed to get a taste of three cities in that range: Augsburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Nürnberg.  We left on a Saturday morning, not too early, and drove to Augsburg, one of the oldest cities in Germany. There, we walked through the main pedestrian area and looked at the old guild houses, the onion domed church, and the striking architecture all around us.  It was a clear day, a bit chilly, but everyone was happy to be out of the gray weather we’ve been plagued with.  We ate lunch in the Ratskellar, peeked in at the Golden Roof, and wandered through an exhibit on the Bible and its history in print before making our way back to our car and onwards to our final destination for the day.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an amazing destination town. I was warned that it can get mad crazy crowded in the middle of the day in season, but we were lucky. Even though there was a town festival/concert going on, it was still early enough that the crowds weren’t too bad. Even better was that we chose to stay overnight. Once the tour busses depart, the town is absolutely delightful. We enjoyed the Night Watchman’s tour, and I especially enjoyed going out in the early morning for photos and a quiet walk.  It really was over the top charming, and we hope to get back again for another visit.

The next day, the weather was absolutely beautiful. After enjoying a stroll all around the city’s parameter on the ramparts, we headed to Nuremberg. The boys wanted to visit the Nazi Documentation Center. Luckily, the city’s spring festival and carnival was set up literally in the lot next to it, so Meredith and I passed a couple hours riding rides and walking around the carnival.  Once we all reunited, we drove down to the old city center. There we sought out the Albrecht Drürer house (the only remaining original 16th century European artist’s home).  We wandered through the beautiful city center, enjoyed a beer in a popular, scenic spot, and then drifted over bridges and through pretty neighborhoods before making our way back to Munich.

I plan to get back to all three towns between now and when we move back home, but if it doesn’t come to pass, at least we got a little taste; I hope that I can provide that opportunity for as many countries and cities as possible between now and then.

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