Rothenburg (Days Off)

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DAYS 23 & 24 – “Do you have anything to wash?” Yami asked, as she decided that she would get her favourite pastime out of the way before looking around Rothenburg ob der Tauber on our days off.

“It won’t take long, then we can look around,” she responded when I said I didn’t want to wash anything. What could I say to that? I didn’t have an answer, so I agreed, and organised my dirty clothes.

An hour or two later, washing done, we did begin to look around. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, hailed as the ‘most German of German towns’ by ideologists in the Nazi party, is a medieval city steeped in a thousand year history and swarming with modern tourists. The old city, partially destroyed during the second world war has been rebuilt using money donated from all over the world, and now stands as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, attracting millions of visitors per year.

During our two days in Rothenburg we took the time to wander the streets of the old city, and I took the time to take a lot of photos. We walked and walked. We people-watched in the Marketplatz while drinking a beer.

The first night we loosely followed the nightwatchman’s guided tour, listening to a few stories while I fiddled around with the camera. During my trip in Latin America and other holidays, I had never really taken any photos at night as they always came out blurry and rubbish. With the intention of taking photos at night on this trip, I had brought along a small tripod, but as yet it had remained in the bottom of Yami’s bag. I decided it was high time I made use of it, so after a kebab dinner we ventured out and Yami patiently waited with me while I messed around trying to take some snaps of the city.

During our two days in Rothenburg, the weather was perfect, something which made me a little restless to get back out on the bike to make the most of the sunshine while it lasted.

We argued a bit during the days, each probably in need of a little space. Yami wasn’t enjoying certain aspects of the trip, especially the cold weather, which had knock on effects, namely regarding camping in the cold, and had considered returning home. I knew that it may be difficult for Yami to adapt to bicycle touring during a European autumn and winter, but had hoped that she would be able to overcome the cold weather. She was also frustrated at a problem developing in her hands which left them numb and without strength, from gripping the handlebars too tightly for too long.

Trying to convince Yami to do something that she didn’t want to do would ultimately mean we’d both be unhappy, so after talking about our options we eventually decided to carry on for the time being, trying to reach at least Vienna, but with Yami having the option of calling it quits when she felt she couldn’t handle the cold any longer.

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