From the Rhine Region of northern Germany we headed south along the "Romantic Road" to the medieval town of Rothenberg ob der Tauber before traveling west to the infamous town of Baden-Baden, which lies between the French border and the Black Forest. Both Rotenburg ob der Tauber and Baden-Baden have pretty fascinating histories (although extremely different) and I encourage you to take a moment to look them up.
Rotenburg ob der Tauber's enticing preserved wall and fairy tale dreamscape ultimately ruled our decision to add this Bolvarian town into our itinerary. Despite the extra long travel time and many train changes we arrived without any delays and as soon as we walked through the walls, we were transported back in time. After grabbing a quick bite to eat and a glass of wine, we checked into our Airbnb and headed for the wall. The one and a half mile wall encircles the medieval town and offers great views of both the town and surrounding countryside.
Our second day in Rothenberg fell on Good Friday and we soon learned our plans of renting bikes and riding out to the countryside fell to the wayside. After trekking out of the walled town in search of the bike rental we slowly realized that everything was closed, well everything except for cafes, and so we wandered back through the cobblestoned streets and found a lovely little wine shop with an even lovelier outdoor garden and this is where we happened upon our new friends- a German couple on holiday to Rotenburg for the weekend, he an architect and her a music teacher. We shared a lounging area with them for the better part of the afternoon and while my husband and I received great service from the waiter, our German friends were completely overlooked. They had come for kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake- an afternoon German ritual). Although they had very little English and we had next to no German we spent a very endearing afternoon together. Our friend, the engineer, did have one particular English sentiment that he repeated throughout the day in reference to the particular service he was receiving (or lack thereof), "Time is Money." On our way out, we covered their check hoping to return our gratitude to them for a very sweet afternoon.
A few of Rothenburg's highlights we enjoyed- the Baumeisterhaus with the seven virtues and seven vices Renaissance facade, the castle garden, the 12th century architecture, the endless shoppes, and the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum.
On our last day in Rotenburg we hiked down into the Tauber Valley to explore the village of Detwang built in the 10th century. On the way back, we stopped at our first German Biergarten set along the Tauber River.
On Easter morning we made the long trip to Baden-Baden. Once arriving, we met with our AirBnb host and checked into our swanky room in the cobblestoned old town. Baden-Baden is a resort spa town known for its Roman thermal baths and Kurhaus casino with an overall Parisian feel. Every morning in Baden-Baden we strolled the beautiful gardens of the Lichtentaler Allee park and enjoyed the architecture of 19th century mansions lining the park. We soaked in the baths, meandered through shoppes, savored some wonderful meals and engaged in some very interesting conversations with the locals learning all about the rich history of Baden-Baden. Overall it was a very relaxing couple of days.