This really might take me a full year to document. :)
December 20: Rhen, Germany
Had breakfast at the hotel. We were pretty much the only ones there, so they brought it all out for us and helped us with the cappuccino machine (we used it for fancy hot chocolate). Tried to do a batch of laundry (one nice thing about going to Europe in off season, is the hotels are pretty accommodating), but their machine was super small and took 2 hours to do one batch. We had a bag full of wet clothes to take to the next location.
We went to Boppard and did a 1/2 day river cruise up the Rhine river. It was pretty chilly on the upper deck, so we stayed inside for most of the ride.
It was crazy to see the hills spotted with castles. In such a short distance there were tons of castles. The little towns along the shoreline were so adorable.
Someone commandeered my camera. I have about 50 pictures like this.
We must have been a site, because this Japanese man kept coming over and videoing all of us and the kids. A little creepy, but I'm sure not too many people travel with 8 kids.
This building is quite funny - it's a church in the back and a pub in the front. They said the preacher is sometimes the bartender, and to get to the church you have to go through the pub. :)
After the cruise we started our drive towards Rothenburg.
We stopped at a little Italian restaurant and had a really yummy lunch. The waiters didn't speak English, so we had to put the google translator to work. Still surprised how much cheaper everything is than in Denmark.
Of course, we couldn't leave without some gelato.
Went to the Rothenberg Christmas market for a little while, but then the crowds got a bit much so we went to our hotel/castle to check in.
The kids, o'kay me too, thought it was pretty cool to be staying in a castle. Our room was name Altmuhlblick. Whenever they asked us our room, I just said the alt-something room. They figured it out.
Our room had a cute 'princess' window.
They were pretending to be the king and queen. They got demoted to the 'lesser' bed when it was time to sleep.
Sitting room down the hall.
We ate dinner at the castle and then went to bed. This was Ava's dessert plate.
First chance to have apple strudel. It was good, but my mom's is still way better.
We got here at night, so in the morning we were able to see the castle and countryside better. Looking over their kingdom. Ha. :)
Took Ava around the castle to scope it out.
Part of the dining room.
We dropped off the dads at a dingy laundromat, where an ornery Chinese lady cussed them out a few times, and then the moms and kids went to Rothenburg to enjoy this adorable town without the crowds and men who didn't want to walk around anymore.
Rothenburg is a town that is entirely surrounded by this tall rock wall (built in the 13th century). Quite interesting history. You can actually walk around the entire town on the top (where Noah is standing) of the wall. It's 2.15 miles around the city. We didn't do wall walk.
We did however try multiple German treats. :) Schneeballen - not quite as good as they look, but there were other tasty treats.
One of the churches in Rothenburg.
The markets and little stores are much more fun to walk around when there aren't that many people.
Everything is served in a baguette. The hotdogs are huge.
The dad's found us and we walked around a little more and then headed to Stuttgart Germany. We walked inside this building.
Nice view from one of the top windows.
So much stained glass - thought of my mom, she loves stained glass.
The Kathe Wohlfahrt stores were incredible. Ornate wooden Christmas decorations everywhere.
I wanted one of these, but they were pricey.
Coo-coo clocks are very popular in Germany, but to get a hand made one they cost a pretty penny ($400 for a tiny one).
There are 2 of these Kathe stores (3 stories high).
A cute stuffed animal store. They had the cutest stuffed animals. Lots of animals you don't see other places.
The kid's favorite shop was the mid-evil shop - wishing pond and dungeon in the basement, swords, armor, knives. What's not to love?!
This street performer looked just like a statue.
This whole town looked like something right out of a story book.
We left Rothenburg and headed to Stuttgart Germany. We checked into our hotel (Holiday Inn Express) and then dragged the dads to another Christmas market. They were thrilled. :)
This market is a midevil market, so everyone is dressed up in midevil attire. The kids played some games (throwing balls at eggs, catapult, etc.) and won treasures (shiny rocks).
Ate some bread on a stick and crepes, and then went back to the hotel. This hotel was super small. Both bed were touching each other and they were hitting the walls on each side. Ha! We were all exhausted so nobody cared.
Half way there!!!