Day 1 : German road trip : Rothenburg

Day 1: After a rather chaotic day of packing and loading the car and trying to remember everything- which of course we didn't - we arrived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber after a 3 1/2 hour drive from Munich.

A historic city on the "Romantic Road" with many building dating back to the Middle Ages, Rothenburg is particularly frequented by busloads of American and Japanese tourists. It is a touristy place, but somewhere I had never been, so we decided to make a stop.

The big draw of Rothenburg is its many well-preserved half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets, picture perfect from every angle.

The architectural details of the houses are rather amazing when you consider how many hundreds of years they've been standing.

The culinary specialty of Rothenburg are "Schneebaelle" or "snowballs" which consist of dough strips wound into a ball, deep fried, and then rolled in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar or coated in chocolate and rolled in nuts. I'm sure I saw at least 15 bakeries with "snowballs" in all variations, just waiting to be snatched up by hungry tourists.

Of course we bought some to try!

The many small shops in Rothenburg all offer their "typically German" wares, including this "wurst" or sausage shop.

There are tiny ceramic, hand-painted, half-timbered houses for those who want to take a little piece of Rothenburg home,

and beer steins in all forms, shapes, and sizes imaginable.

My girls were more interested in the pots of fresh flowers on almost every doorstep (thank goodness!),

and frolicking around the historic walls of the town.

This was a giant sheep stall dating from 1500. I love how the window in the roof looks almost like a large eye.

There were plenty of Medieval towers and turrets to climb and admire,

but at some point my girlies were tired,

and we went back to our bed and breakfast - with more eyes in the roof - to stay for the night.

Tomorrow, we travel across the border to former East Germany and visit the historic university town of Erfurt. I hope you'll join us!