Most of my tour of duty was in Franconia, a region with large and beautiful farming valleys and beautiful old cities, mostly smaller ones retaining their fortress like walls. You can actually stroll along walkways at the top of the walls and look out over the beautiful valleys, imaging an Army of knights and soldiers heading toward the city to pursue another of their many wars. And the best part of all is it was only about a thirty minute drive from my base, a drive that followed ridges and dips between Nuremberg and Rothenburg on the Tauber River.
Being a native Virginian and if I had to compare it to an American locale I guess I would say Williamsburg. There is a big difference, however, since Williamsburg required almost total reconstruction while the existing structures in Rothenburg are the originals from medieval times, with updated utilities, of course, and amenities to the existing buildings. In winter you have to be careful since the streets are cobblestone but the shops with the traditional toys and other merchandise are decked out in ways resembling what it must have been like there at Christmastime so long ago.
The ladies did a lot of shopping there, I bought and shipped a lot of Hummels for my mom from there and yes, we imbibed in wonderful wines and beers there as well, be it by a warm cozy fire or at an open air cafe on a warm summer day. Come to think of it, a little schnaps on a cold snowy night wasn't bad either. So, here's a big pre-Christmas cheer for Rothenburg, an authentic and original from the Old Country in Deutschland. Another of my wonderful memories on the "Road to Christmas."
Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr!