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Day 7 of our trip:

After eating another delicious breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to Rothenburg. With our book bags packed (Yes, we only brought our book bags! No luggage.) the steep hill was even more of a challenge,  but we made it. We took a couple more pictures and headed to the train station. The train from Rothenburg only goes to one stop, Steinach. From there we caught a regional train to Wurzburg.

In Wurzburg we left our luggage in locker at the station and headed for lunch. We chose a nice biergarten near the main marktplatz. It was probably one of the best meals of our whole trip! Then we explored the marktplatz, the Alte Mainbrucken (a bridge lined with statues of saints), and then the Fortress Marienberg at the top of a HUGE hill looking over the city!

Then we were off to Frankfurt before our flight back to Israel the next day. It was such an amazing trip. I couldn’t believe how smoothly it went and how easy it was to get around. It was more than I could have hoped for.

Our next trip will be to Italy! 2012 was a year of crazy traveling for us, and now 2013 is look to be just as much!

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Day 5 & 6 of our tour:

Honestly at this point in our tour of Bavaria, we are tired! So our tour begins to wind down and we take things a bit slower. We decided to leave Munich around 10am in order to make it to Rothenburg ob der Tauber by evening. It’s about a 3 hour journey by train. After eating breakfast we get on the ICE train back to Nurnburg (Nuremburg), from there we take the train to Ansbach (I went to Ansbach American High School), then on to Steinach, and finally Rothenburg. Since the train took us through Ansbach, we decided to stop there for lunch. It was cool to show Timothy around and I couldn’t believe how much I remembered after 10 years.

Rothenburg is my mother’s and my favorite place (especially at Christmas time)! It is about 20 km from Illesheim, where we lived for 3 1/2 years. It is a very touristy, well preserved medieval city, and is just beautiful. Even though we lived right around the corner for years, we never went on the Night Watchman tour. This time, I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip by, and I’m so thankful we didn’t. It was a great tour. It was very informative and funny. Plus we met some Aggie Parents! We also had an awesome German dinner. It is amazing how many places have vegetarian food on the menu!

Then we were off to our BnB! We stayed at Naysis Place right outside of the city, in the forest. It was beautiful. There was a stream across the street and a covered bridge. There was also a footpath to the city. Then there was the room. It was beautiful and spacious. We had the whole top level of a small German cottage to ourselves.

The next morning (Day 6) we woke up to a wonderful breakfast waiting for us with an assortment of cheese, bread, fruit, and yogurt. It was delicious and very European. Once dressed we explored Rothenburg some more and the Medieval Criminal Museum. Then we took the train to Illesheim. While we couldn’t get on post, it was cool to be there once again. Then we went to Bad Windsheim, another little town I use to go to often as a teen. Then we were back in Rothenburg to climb more of the wall and see more of the city, before going to bed early. We wanted to be rested for our final full day in Germany.

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When Timothy and I received our Bavarian tour book, it included information about Salzburg. We also found out the German Rail Pass also includes Salzburg! So we decided to include this little Austrian city to our tour of Bavaria (and Rhine River). The guide book recommended we get the Salzburg card (26 Euros each), which allows you to go to all major tourist sights, museums, and use public transportation. It also includes a couple of major tourist sights right outside of the city. This pass was definitely worth it and it allowed us to skip very long ticket lines!

Timothy and I decided to take the bus out of the city to a mountain called Untersberg. It straddles the Bavarian and Salzburg Alps and has a 1835m peak.  We took a 9 minute cable car ride up the mountain, where we did a little hiking and picture taking. Then we came back to the city center for some food, before exploring the Festung Hohensalzburg (a fortress overlooking the city). After exploring the ins and outs of the fortress, we walked the streets of Salzburg enjoying the many churches and beautiful buildings, including Mozart’s Geburtshaus (birthplace) and Schloss Mirabell and it’s beautiful gardens. Then we were tired (a little grumpy) and ready to head back to Munich, where we went to bed early.

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Our trip Day 3: Munich

On the third day we were still going strong. This was the first time I had explored Munich. In 2002, I went to Oktoberfest with mom and younger brother, but we didn’t get a change to see the city, only the fest grounds. So this was a new adventure for not only Timothy, but for me as well.

We took the train from Pasing (A suburb of Munich) to the main station after eating breakfast with our host BnB family. From the main train station, it is about a 10 minute walk to the Marienplatza. From here we got to see the Neus Rathaus (New City Hall), the glockenspeil play at noon, the Mariensaute, the Residenz (a HUGE Palace), St. Peters Church (we climbed the tower, boy was it high!), ate dinner at the Hofbrauhaus (They had a vegetarian menu and non alcoholic beer!), and also saw the Church of Our Lady and Church of St. Michael. It was a fun, but a busy and tiring day.

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Day 2: The next stop on our adventure was Nuremburg.

We woke up early to catch the ICE train (high speed rail) from Frankfurt to Nuremburg. The enormous Nuremburg  main train station is just outside of the old city wall. This is one of my favorite places in Germany. Once entering the city and getting a map from the Information Center, we headed up Konig Street towards St. Lawrence Church and the main city market. Here at noon we got to see the glockenspiel performance from the Church of our Lady, wander through the market eating lebkuchen, before exploring the grounds of Kaiserburg Imperial castle.  We really enjoyed our time in Nuremburg and are thankful it didn’t rain on us.

After a fun, but exhausting day, we hopped on another ICE train and headed to Munich for our next adventure.

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Timothy was invited to attend a special workshop in Germany for his research. Since he was already going to Germany for work, we decided to extend his stay and make a vacation out of it.  Over the next couple of days I will be posting pictures from our 7 day adventure.

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Day 1 of our trip started with a Rhine River Cruise from Rudesheim to St. Goar and back.

On our first day, we woke up early to catch the regional train to Rudesheim.  From there we caught the KD river boat that took us north along the Rhine River, passing castles in Bingen, Assmannshausen, Lorch, Bacharach, Kaub, Oberwesel, and St. Goarshausen, before arriving in St. Goar. Once in St. Goar we explored the small tourist town a little, before heading up to the Rheinsfels Castle. This was a really neat castle. While it is just a shell of what it once was, it is still the largest castle on the Rhine. We had a lot of fun exploring this castle, and seeing all of the other castles and towns  along the Rhine.

Nowhere in the world are there as many medieval castles as on this unique stretch of the Rhine, which in June 2002 was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. (http://www.kdrhine.com/)

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