Deutschland, bitte.
 

The second leg of les Verts’ European adventure took them, and us, to France’s immediate eastern neighbor.  Every one of us – Nez, Riot, Nez’s sister, Joie, her husband, and their three children whose noms de web are, in order, Eurogrl, Kingskid, and Berryana – would now be a tourist.  And, before we rendezvous with Nez’s dad, who had flown to Germany directly from the States, we would be largely helpless with our feeble German, or the lack of it.  Yet, no one was really thinking about that minor inconvenience; we were all looking forward to exploring the German countryside as a sort of family reunion.  And, if it helps, our German adventure could be thought of as a castle tour with interesting train stories. 

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A day of leisure:  Rothenburg.
 

21 May 2008.  The Kaiser led his troops on another hike this morning, retracing a part of that wonderful experience he and Nez had had yesterday.  Riot again begged off because of work, of which there was not much to be said except that it was surprisingly easy to do work in Rothenburg without feeling any resentment.  For his trouble, Riot was rewarded with a meal of a bratwurst on a roll for lunch and an amusing account, from Nez, of a meal with the Kaiser, the children, and the strict enforcement of certain table etiquette.

 
 
  A dirt path beneath their feet instead of cobblestones and a collage of green where a sea of tourists would have been.
  Kingskid and Berryana inspected the serene Tauber and wondered where was the playground and what was for lunch.
 

Today was also spa day for Joie, the Language Chameleon, and Riot; there were only two available time slots so Nez had gracefully declined.  At Aktiv & Vital (Kapellenplatz 12+13), Riot got his half-hour massage in an Egyptian-themed room from a stern woman who asked, “Why are you here?” upon entrance.  Riot started explaining how he had been working in bed and saying something about bad posture when the impatient masseuse made her question simpler:  “Where hurt?”  It was a beautifully relaxing experience.  Riot could not remember whether there was zen-like music or whether he nodded off momentarily.  He did have a stiff neck afterward because the table lacked one of those round face rests, forcing him to turn his head awkwardly to the left the entire time.  Joie and the Language Chameleon got the “Cuddle Hour,” which incidentally did not involve embracing Riot’s masseuse or any other masseuse.  Although that would certainly be the making of yet another funny story.

 
 
  A family on a hike in the not-quite wilderness:  It’s best to send the little ones ahead to explore uncharted trails.
  Fluffy clouds providing a beautiful backdrop for Rothenburg’s clock tower, but many don’t point their cameras past the clock.
 

While the three of us were getting pampered, Nez and her dad climbed the 200-foot Town Hall tower.  There seemed to be no effective control on the number of people who were allowed to climb the tower at any one time, which made it a challenge to maneuver on the stairs and the circular walkway at the top.  It was reportedly narrow and steep up there and Nez wished she had brought the camera to take a picture of the Kaiser, who, let’s just say, was more of a terra firma monarch.  The Kaiser resorted to leaning as far back as possible and taking tiny steps; it didn’t seem really safe but no one was trying to think about that.  Only later did they learn that the tower was only supported by the roof with no supporting structure reaching the ground.

 
 
 
  It takes a family effort to defend the town against imaginary invaders and a good eye from the only grown up in the family to capture the moment for posterity.  (Photo:  Les Verts)
  When all else fails, try closing the heavy door.  Just be sure to let the tourists back in for dinner.
 

For our last family meal in Rothenburg, we went east, very far east, at a restaurant right around the corner from the hotel.  It was not the first time for Nez and Riot whom had made a visit just the night before.  It served a solid variety of Chinese food as a cure for the common pork and potatoes.  The joint was packed with locals and packaged tourists and decked out in themed décor that made one wonder how they shipped all of that to this little town.  Riot was amazed at the larger-than-life buddha statue out front, which itself would have posed a herculean task to maneuver through Rothenburg’s small, winding streets.

The young waiter didn’t know how the buddha got there but he did know where we could watch tonight’s Champions League Final between Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow.  He gave Riot a slip of paper with the address of “his friend’s place.”  We briefly had images of walking into some guy’s flat with a couple bottles of beer to watch soccer.  When we walked by later, it wasn’t a flat but an otherwise empty café/bar.  By then we had already decided to watch it back in the room.  Riot watched the match enthusiastically, his occasional roars could be heard next door by the Kaiser, who had decided to forgo the every-Wednesday “English Conversation Club” downstairs hosted by the owner, Mario, and an assortment of regulars.

 
Like millions on the continent, we watched
an exciting Champions League Final where the teams’ fortune
changed enough to make grown men cry on the pitch
when it was all over (some did).
  

 
 
 
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Go!
 
Holla
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008  Rien, Vraiment!  All rights reserved.