Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Travel, slow down and enjoy

I've been on whirlwind tours of Germany and I've been there for an extended time period. I don't know if it is because I'm older now but I prefer the stay in one place type of stay over the whirlwind kind.
There are web sites like www.homeaway.com where you can find all kinds of vacation accommodations all over the world. These places are sometimes cheaper than staying in a hotel. The advantage is that while you are on vacation you are experiencing actually 'being' there in where ever you are visiting. It also means that you probably will spend some time at the grocery store and washing dishes if you choose.
I like to find places that are close to the train station. Sometimes not always possible but I've always had the luck in finding places where the 'land lord' would be at the train station to pick me up on arrival and take me back when I left.
My experiences are all in German speaking countries. I tend to visit Germany and spend most of my time in Bavaria as I have family there.
Gästenhaus-Prien is a place I stayed for three weeks http://www.gaestehaus-prien.de/index.html. This is in the old city and in just a few minutes walk you can be at any place in old town you like. I found that the landlord was very helpful and took us places where we would not have gone unless he took us. This is a husband wife team, the husband speaks English and the wife doesn't. The apartment is on the first floor and the layout is a little different. At the top of the stairs to the right is a kitchen and bedroom with balcony, there is a WC in the hall and to the left is a second area with a living room and additional bed room. There are also laundry facilities in the entrance hall as well as a garden to sit outside in the summer. I found this to be a great location for visiting the town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The city wall is right outside of the kitchen window. There is some traffic as there are several one way streets in the town to accommodate the tourists.
The Reichsstadtmuseum is only a couple blocks away. The town square is again only a couple blocks away, no more than ten minute walk. If you want to visit Käthi Wolfart and the Christmas store you are again only a few minutes away. There are many museums to visit here. I would strongly recommend St. Jakobs church which is only about five minutes walk. The church is the predominate view from the balcony of the bedroom off of the kitchen. When you visit St. Jakobs church I would also strongly suggest that you see the Holy Blood Alter upstairs. This alter was begun in 1496 and completed in 1501. It is made of Linder wood and its figures are life size. The figure of Judas can be removed and the 'wings' can then be closed. In the crucifix at the top of this alter contains some blood of Christ.
This is probably a well known thing but just in case you need to find one there are WC's at all the city gates and one off of the city square, walk towards St. Jakob and as you pass city hall it will be just to your left.
The Doll and Toy Museum should also be visited as well as the Criminal Museum.
This is one of the most visited cities in Germany. Many tourists spend only a couple hours there. I visited three times and it wasn't until the third visit that I actually got to visit the city. I fell in love with it the very first time.
My advice then is to slow down and enjoy the feel of the town as well as the many wonderful views. The people are friendly. If they see you a few times then they will greet you like a long time friend.
The tourist office is just east of the town square. There is also a bank there with an ATM.
If you are looking for some nice wine or schnapps then there is a hotel near Plönlein that has a very nice selection. It is on the opposite side of the street. If you head towards Rödertor from the market square just before you get to the city wall you will find a nice wine and candy shop on the left side of the street right across the street from a nice bakery. Just past the city wall you will find the post office also on the left side of the street.
Take your time enjoy the town. It has much to offer.
If you rent at the Gästhaus-Prien then tell them William from Arizona said hi.

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