6 Hours in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

This will be my last post of my little Euro Trip series. When I was planning my time in Nuremberg, I had only planned on staying for 2 days with the hopes that I could fly to Edinburgh for one night before returning to London before returning home. However, when that plan fell through, I planned it so that I was in Nuremberg for 3 days and that left me wondering if there were any day trips I could take that would help me fill up some of that time. Not that I couldn't have spent a little more time in Nuremberg, but I just felt like it was a good opportunity to experience a little more of Germany.
That's when I found out about Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, which needs to be specified because there's another Rothenburg and if you're like me and choosing to go by train, you have to pick the right one for the route planner.

I bought a "TagesTicket Plus" for a single rider to get to Rothenburg (you can type in your destination on the ticket machine and choose appropriately) and it cost €20.30 and this ticket would've allowed me travel all day as long as I stayed within the appropriate zone. There are options for couple/groups tickets that would allow family and friends to travel together for much cheaper.
The journey to Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber required two transfers on the trains. The route was really efficient and I never had to wait more than 5 minutes between connections, which was good because it was kind of a chilly day.
From the train station, the walk into the old town was barely five minutes.
I immediately allowed myself to just get lost and meander around because everywhere I looked, it was just the most fairy tale-esque views.
I loved the pastel colors, the cobbled streets, and the quiet charm of the town early in the morning.
I eventually made it to the main area of town and the famed Plönlein, which is the site that pops up when you Google image "Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber" and has also made an appearance in Disney's Pinocchio.
I had to wait for a huge tourist group to clear out before I could get a decent shot but shortly thereafter, some Instagram influencer-looking b*tch in an orange sweater, white pants, and black over-the-knee boots hopped in and took over.
I had bookmarked this bridge with no intention of going (it was way too far from the old town limits to walk to in a reasonable amount of time in the snowy cold conditions) but I did happen to see it from a viewpoint in town. It's on the left in the photo below.
The main Christmas market was set up in Marktplatz. It was really pretty because of the surrounding architecture, though rather underwhelming compared to the Nuremberg Market. However, I think it just felt a little more unassuming because there were some indoor markets set up that weren't immediately visible. The indoor bits were great when it started to drizzle.

Just behind Marktplatz, in the square adjacent to St. James' Church, the Christmas market continued on.
I ended up getting some spaetzle & kasse, which was basically mac & cheese. I opted for the version topped with crispy fried onions and it was so good.
For dessert, I got a schneeball, which honestly was just whatever. I'd read mixed reviews about them, and though I didn't hate it, I wasn't particularly fond of them.
Visiting the flagship Käthe Wohlfahrt store was a lovely experience. It was gorgeous inside, though, beyond the little welcome area with the mechanical Christmas display there were no photos allowed. So if you want to see the magnificent Christmas tree, giant spinning German pyramids, gorgeous ornaments, and everything else, you'll just have to go.
The visit to the Christmas shop put me in such good spirits that I decided I needed to dry gluhwein, which I'd first learned about from Dwight Schrute on the episode of The Office where he does Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas and dresses up as Belsnickel. I feel like a lot of what I've know about German traditions is from Dwight.

Anyway, Dwight kind of made gluhwein look gross. It's just mulled wine. And at the stand I went to, they gave it to me with a cookie. Similar to my experience in Frankfurt, I had to provide a deposit for my mug. I actually ended up keeping the mug from Frankfurt and decided that I didn't really need a second one so I took this one back to one of the mug return stands to get my €2 back.
I'm not that big on paying to go to museums. It's just not my style. However, this museum was just so specific and I love crime dramas and though those TV shows are modern day, since this was a medieval tow, it kind of just made sense to go to satisfy that curiosity in me.
It ended up being pretty interesting. I especially loved the level that contained all the different sorts of masks that people were made to wear, either for being too gossipy and talkative that had a giant tongue, for being gluttonous a person might be made to wear a mask that looked like a pig, and there was even a device that looked like a flute that was strapped around a person's neck and hands/fingers if they were a poor musician.

The public humiliation section was definitely my favorite. I kind of recoiled reading about the various physical torture methods, but I could totally get on board with the embarrassment as punishment. I think that's a much more viable, practical, and likely more successful method than inflicting pain.
I also loved this little display of what would happen if a man and a woman had to resort to fighting to resolve a conflict.
I spent a decent amount of time in the museum and by the time I left, it was rather cloudy and miserable outside. I even had to pop open my umbrella at one point.
I was feeling peckish so I wandered back to the Christmas market in search of some food.
I ended up getting a sausage sandwich. I drowned mine in ketchup and mustard and it was delicious.
I also happened to be in the square when the clock struck 3 and I got to watch the animatronic figures toast and then drink their fake beers.
As I was heading back towards Plönlein, the clouds parted and the sun peeked out and I ended up having an opportunity to snap a few photos with a lovely blue sky.

I also decided I wanted to walk along the city walls, which is known as the Tower Trail. So many people on the internet recommended spending a night in RodT in order to participate in the Night Watchmen's tour, which takes place on the walls. Since I didn't do that, I just walked did a little walk on my own.
It is possible to go around the entire perimeter of the old town along these walls; it's only about 2 miles. However, it's a bit sloped and my fear of heights was making my knees weak so I only made it about a quarter of the way before I gave up.
By this time, the sun was starting to go down and I knew I had about an hour and a half journey ahead of me so I started heading back towards the train station.
There's only one platform with one track that dead-ends in RodT so you don't have to worry about figuring out which train to take. This one just goes back and forth between Rothenburg and Steinach and to get anywhere else, you must transfer.
The route I chose took me from RodT to Steinach and then I switched to a train that took me to Ansbach and I had to transfer one more time to get back to Nuremberg. It honestly sounds more complicated and cumbersome than it was. Germans are so well-prepared and efficient and the trains run so smoothly, the connection time was only a couple of minutes.
Here's my video diary:


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