Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wurzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber Monday May 9, 2011

Guanaja Chocolate Dome sprinkled
with tangy fruit sauce
Last night they had the Captain's Welcome Reception and dinner. We all gathered in the lounge for champagne and they introduced the crew with much pomp and circumstance. Then the Cruise Director gave an overview of what we could expect for tomorrow. She does this every evening before dinner.

After the reception it was time for dinner and I sat with a group of ladies from Canada. I don't think they all knew each other before the trip but had become friends while onboard. One of them is a nice gal named June who is also traveling alone; she and I hung out together in Bamberg. Two of the ladies had been invited to dine at the Captain's Table so there was room at their table for me. (There are no seat assignments, all meals are open seating.) After dinner she brought the Captain over to our table and we chatted with him for a few minutes. He is only 33 years old!

Today I hung out with the couple and their sister from Rochester, NY. The same folks that I met in Nuremberg. In the morning we loaded onto the buses and headed to Wurzburg. We visited a palace called the Residenz where the Prince/Bishop lived. This palace was in the Baroque style of architecture similar to the palace in Ludwigsburg, and quite ornate. They wouldn't allow pictures inside.

A German duck 

After the tour we visited the gardens and then went down into the cellar for some wine tasting! This region of Germany is known for it's Franconian wines. They had long banquet-style tables set up in the cellar and it was all lit with about 400 candles, on the wine barrels as well as on our tables. There were baskets of rye bread and water to cleanse our pallets. We were served three wines, a dry white wine, a sweeter wine and a Reisling. I was shocked at how much wine they poured for each tasting! It was a full glass, not the little sampling you usually see at wine tastings. I drank the first glass and sipped a taste of the other two. Mind you, it was only 10:30 in the morning.

We went back to the ship for lunch and then got back on the bus for a one hour drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This is an unbelievably beautiful mideival town completely surrounded by a stone wall. Cobblestone streets and half-timber houses. We had a quick walking tour and then about an hour to shop.

Schneeballen! Pastry strips made into balls and deep fried with  various flavors of toppings

Kathe Wohlfahrt's famous Christmas Store

One of the shops is owned by a sweet little lady named Annaliese Friese. She and her shop were written about by Rick Steves, the well known travel-guide author. Apparently he met her as a young man and he highly recommends her in his travel books about Germany. I bought some souveniers from her and she chatted with us for a bit.

Me and Annaliese

Everytime we return from an excursion, we are greeted at the door by a young man with a basket full of warm, damp hand towels to wipe our hands, and a young lady with a tray full of glasses of fruit juice. They sure know how to make you feel special. Another thing I forgot to mention is the hand sanitizers. At the entrance to the ship and at the entrance to the dining room, they have these round ball-looking things on a brass pole. When you put your hand underneath, it automatically squirts hand sanitizer into your hand. They are very conscientious about keeping us germ-free!

At dinner Christie and I sat with a nice couple from Southern California. They had just spent a couple of days in Rothenburg visiting a distant relative and had talked Christie and her sister into going on this excursion so we wanted to have dinner with them and let them know how much we enjoyed the town.

A local swing band was brought on board to entertain us after dinner. They were very talented and everyone enjoyed their show.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pix Linda! Lots of cool old buildings! The duck is a mallard, probably tame.