24th September 2016. Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Altmühlsee, Germany.

We surpassed ourselves this morning, we actually left the van at 8.01 a.m. (it was 8.00 a.m. when I took the first photo but it was out of focus so it held us up, lol!)  We wanted to walk the city wall before it got very busy and we did, it was great!

Part of the way around the wall, we wandered back down to the street, to visit the bakery we’d seen earlier.

We had intended getting a takeaway coffee and roll for breakfast but it was so nice in the little bakery we stayed in and ate there.  I had fancied an egg roll but didn’t know what egg was in German so I asked the young waitress.  She told me it’s ei (pronounced eye apparently) and cheese is kasse (kaahsa).  I also learned that bread is brot and bread roll is brötchen.  The bread rolls we had were very different from any we’d had before, the actual roll was made up of layers a bit like puff pastry and the top was smothered in seeds and they were absolutely delicious.  German bakers make superb bread and cakes.  I discovered recently that my mum’s great granddad was from Germany and he was a baker by profession.

Although we’d given ourselves a pat on the back for getting into town before the crowds appeared it wasn’t long before we were shot down in flames.  In the rush to get out I’d forgotten to put a spare battery for my camera in the bag and the battery ran out.  Wonderful!  Luckily Darren had his camera, which he uses infrequently.  He calls it the Mandycam (I got it to take photos of Mandy because she kept complaining about not being in any!).  I commandeered that and used it until the battery ran out on that too!  As a last resort we had to use Darren’s phone for the final photos, I’ll probably forget they’re on there.

At one point we were standing looking at the clock on the tower at the city gate when we suddenly heard the chimes of Big Ben!  When we heard them a short while later, for the second time, I looked round and discovered it was the doorbell to the pub!   While we were there Darren watched a man walking past the pedestrian gate when suddenly some pigeons flew out and the man let out a loud squeal and danced around.  When he’d recovered from his shock he looked up sheepishly and saw Darren grinning.  The man walked off with a big grin on his face too.

We walked round what we thought was the last part of the wall and were just about to turn round and walk back up the street when we heard some Americans discussing whether the wall continued.  They wandered under the arch and went inside the tower we’d seen the night before but assumed (when will we finally learn NEVER to assume!) that because there was scaffolding inside the tower and over the dark entrance that it was closed to the public.  It turns out it was the entrance to a large tower we’d photographed the day before from the outside.  It was brilliant walking round it.

The Americans walked back up the slope towards us and told us we couldn’t get out at the bottom then discovered a little door further up the slope.  Darren thanked them and said we should follow our new tour guides and one of the men said “It’ll cost you!” and walked off laughing.  We walked along beside the moat and came to a pretty area we had missed the previous day where we could see right across the Tauber valley.

We’d had a marvellous time exploring the beautiful town but decided it was time to return to the van because our parking ticket was running out and the town was filling up with people.  With hindsight it might have been less stressful if we’d stayed because the journey to Dinkelsbühl turned out to be ‘interesting’!  However it was well worth visiting Dinkelsbühl.

We eventually arrived at Dinkelsbühl without mishap whereby Mr Hartfree-Bright demonstrated his amazing ability to park the van.  He couldn’t have got the van any closer to the car park wall if he’d tried!

Our original intention was to stop off at Dinkelsbühl for a quick look around.  This, however, turned into a rather long look around, lunch and an equally long chat to an English couple who were there in their campervan!

It appears as though I’ve glossed over the part where we spoke to the English couple but here it is….. when we got back to the van Darren saw a van opposite us with a UK number plate so he wandered over to say hello.  My nosiness finally got the better of me and I nonchalantly saunter across to ‘sticky beak’.  They were a very nice couple called Christine and Graham and they’d been touring on and off for years.  They were having to cut this trip short because their fridge had just broken, which meant returning home a week early.  We chatted to them for ages and they gave us some ideas of places we could visit, particularly at Christmas when our children come out to visit us.

After we’d finished chatting we carried on to the stëllplatz that we were hoping to stop at.

We were disappointed when we arrived at Wassertrüdingen.  The book said it was small and quiet.  It was definitely small but surprisingly Darren managed to find a space to park the van.  We were intrigued to notice that every so often people (wearing t-shirts with a slogan saying ‘Tough Mudder’ on them) walked past covered in mud and we could hear music across the fields.  We stayed there for a couple of hours until it suddenly dawned on us that it wasn’t just a day time event as we’d thought it was and we decided we needed to find somewhere quieter to stay.

We drove half an hour away and found a stëllplatz overlooking a huge field near a lake, much nicer.

Darren squeezed the van on to the end of a row and as soon as he’d parked we walked up to the lake where we discovered a café.  Unfortunately they were just closing, however one of the ladies who worked there said she could sell us bottles of beer which she then proceeded to pour into glasses for us.  We though that was an exceptionally kind gesture.

We sat beside the lake watching the boats sailing serenely by and people cycling past as the sun set, then we scooted back to the van before we became mossie fodder.

We thanked our lucky stars that we had chosen to move on to this beautiful location.


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