The next part of the trip was traveling along the Romantic Road. We had a nice Turkish breakfast at Simit Sarayi, before having a really nice cup of coffee at this place Wackers Kaffee.
What we ate at the Turkish breakfast place:
Coffee at the cafe:
Fantastic coffee at this cafe that is full of character. We were walking around Frankfurt after coffee.
Then we went to collect our car, and we almost did not make it. It seems they will only hold the car reservation for us for only 2 hours, and we collected the car with 15 minutes to spare. Just when we thought we can finally get onto the road, we realised the car they gave us was a manual car, even though we specifically asked for automatic one. In the end, the only automatic car they have is a van. Since we did not want to delay any further, we took the van.
The fastest way traveling along the Romantic Road is to use the Autobahn. There are almost no speed limit on it, and together with the fact that this was the first time I was driving in right hand traffic, i.e. steering wheel is on the left hand side of the car, it was especially stressful initially. Driving at 180km/h and most cars still overtake you is not something that happens often in Singapore.
The starting point of the Romantic Road is the city Wurzburg. It is a beautiful city, and a wonderful place to start the Romantic Road trip. The first stop when we reach the city was the majestic Marienberg Fortress (German : Festung Marienberg). It is located on the left bank of the Main river in Wurzburg, and on top of a hill, providing a very nice view of the city. The fort itself was very quiet, and because it was winter and on top of a hill, we were freezing.
Then we drove to our hotel for the night, Mercure Hotel, though we had to make a few turns to find it. It was not a bad place to stay, the staff were friendly, the rooms were clean, tidy though quite small. After checking in and putting down our luggage, we walked across the famous Alte Mainbrücke (Old Bridge) on our way to the Christmas Market.
There is the bridge in the background as we walked along the river bank.
We finally reached the Christmas Market of Wurzburg. It feels less commercialised than the one we went to in Frankfurt and was almost as big.
Dinner was at the Nordsee restaurant, a chain of restaurants that serve really nice seafood. Besides, we were getting sick of the usual sausages that are found almost everywhere in Germany.
After dinner, it was time to head back to the hotel.
The next time, we had a quick breakfast at a small cafe before heading to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wurzburg Residence. I am not sure why it is called a ‘Residence’ when it is clearly a palace. We reached before they were open, so we spent the time taking photos of its exterior.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside the Residence. However, it was definitely worth the visit. We then went back to the hotel to check out, before proceeding to our next location for a bit of shopping, the Wertheim Village Outlet.
It was not as good as the outlet shopping in Japan, but it was not too bad. Unfortunately, it was winter, and so it was selling mostly winter clothing. We managed to buy some additional winter wear, just in case, that was really cheap. It proved to be the correct decision in the subsequent days of this trip. We had this fantastic burger in one of the restaurant for lunch.
We then head off to our next location, Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is a very well-preserved German medieval old town, and was the inspiration behind the village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio. It was almost dark when we reached our stay for the night, Hotel Klingentor Garni. It was a nice bed and breakfast place, just a short walk to the medieval town. We found that the accommodation outside the medieval town tend to be cheaper than those within. The town is surrounded by old walls and towers. We wanted to walk around the walls but was told by the owner of the B&B not to do it after dark. We asked if it is because it was dangerous since there is no light, he said no and mysteriously left it at that. We eventually did walk along the walls for a short distance before we decided to move on to the town.
The famous shop in this town is the Käthe Wohlfahrt, which sells Christmas decorations and items the whole year round. The shop was brightly lighted, and was filled with every kind of Christmas decorations and toys.
Then we went to the Christmas market. It was not big and does not feel very commercialised.
We also tried the town’s food speciality, Schneeballen or Snowball. It tasted quite good.
Then we decided to head back to the B&B to retire for the night.