"" Writer's Wanderings: 18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - The Romantic Road

Friday, October 22, 2010

18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - The Romantic Road

[Summer, 2004]

Wurzburg was the first stop on our trip down the Romantic Road. We found the Residence Palace without too much trouble and parked in the huge lot in front of the 17th/18th century building. The palace is probably known best for the world's largest unsupported ceiling fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Unfortunately for us, there was a huge renovation project going on that had a good part of the fresco covered by a large picture of what it would look like if you could see it. We did get a peek at some of the workers with tiny brushes carefully repairing little spots that were deteriorating with age. The unsupported ceiling was designed by architect and engineer, Balthasar Neumann.

We caught an English tour of the palace and wandered through elegant and unique meeting rooms and banquet halls. One room is done entirely in shades of white. (Didn't know white had so many shades.) The Residence Palace had one of the prettiest chapels we saw on our trip. There are two more Tiepolo works displayed there, The Fall of the Angels and The Assumption of the Virgin.

Our tour over, we crossed the parking lot to find some lunch. We never tired of the outdoor cafes and found one a block away from the palace. Much to my delight, I got to practice my German again. Our waitress spoke little English. I ordered deep fried camembert cheese cakes with cranberry sauce. They were absolutely delicious and I found them once or twice again along the way during our trip.

A short drive brought us to Fortress Marienberg, used as the residence for the local prince-bishops from 1253-1720. Obviously they weren't concerned with keeping out the riff-raff anymore. The moat was dry and planted in grass with a few trees. The structure was very interesting, as was the 8th century Marienkirche, but we passed on the museums. We needed to move along to our evening destination--Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Along the Romantic Road are 27 towns and villages to visit. Unless you plan to spend the good part of a week, you cannot see them all. We stopped on our way to Rothenburg at Bad Mergentheim. The former town of residence of the Grand and German Masters of the Order of Teutonic Knights. Just beyond the castle in the middle of a garden area, was a delightful cafe serving up the fanciest tea I have ever seen--even in England. Dick was overwhelmed with the presentation. The rest of us enjoyed cappuccinos.

It was almost six when we arrived at the Best Western Hotel Merian. The hotel was on the second floor over a carpet store, small but very nice. We got directions to a restaurant that was just outside the gate to the town of Rothenburg obT. It was a lovely meal but in the customary style of Americans, we were in a hurry. The night watchman tour was to begin at 8 p.m. and we were getting nervous about missing it. I don't think our hostess was pleased with our impatience.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...