We woke up in Rothenburg to a relatively clear morning. After a quicker hotel breakfast we power walked back over to the popular photo spot that we didn't get a good shot of yesterday. It was perfect timing... very few tourists around and the sun was in a good spot not to interfere with photos. After that, we purchased a box of Schneeballen to take as a treat for Tyler's family. We pulled away from Rothenburg reluctantly, but having enjoyed our time there immensely.
Today was our main long driving day, which again meant lots of focus and energy from Tyler. I wasn't much of a help as I kept dozing off regularly during the drive. I think I'm coming down with a bit of a cold (I'm willing it not to get any worse).
Our first stop was in Bamberg. We wandered around a couple of the main sights and stopped for lunch at a small cafe where we both had Turkish bread sandwiches and tea. I bought a lovely cashmere scarf as a memento (and extra warm article of clothing).
We carried on with the long drive and got onto some serious Autobahn driving. Some comments from Tyler:
-we drove the A70 between Bamberg and the A9. This was very curvy and twisty. It was quite challenging to keep up with the rest of the drivers. Kept around 130 and in the right lane.
-when we got on the A9 that became a true super highway. 3 lanes of high speed traffic. The semi trailers stay mostly in the right lane. The middle lane goes around 140 to 150. And the left lane is cruising along 160+ (most of the time, unless someone is screwing up and slowing down traffic).
-the A9 highway had a couple of portions of straight aways where it was actually clear and open. Along with everyone else I sped up to really give 'er. Going about 165 in the far right lane I was still getting passed by people zipping by
-I topped out the day at 180 on a straight away
As we approached the main highway turn off to Berlin (A9), all the signs for the Berlin exit were marked closed! Given our non-existent German language skills, we were worried we would be confused by the detour. Luckily, we could take the next exit to turn around which is what everyone seemed to be doing.
We intended to take another break in Worlitzer park (at the suggestion of Rothenburg hotel staff). When we got there though, we couldn't find any parking that didn't require payment in coins and there wasn't anywhere to make change. We settled for just seeing the front of the park / stretching our legs before starting the last leg of our route to Berlin.
The last 1.5 hrs was chalk full of construction much to our chagrin. We went back and forth on whether to drop our bags off at the hotel before or after returning the rental car. The decision was made for us when we ran into some road closures around the marathon route where we intended to drive (they're setting up early!)
The hardest part of driving in Germany (and the driver agrees) was finding a gas station in the vicinity of the car rental drop off point. We felt a bit hopeless at times but eventually got on to the correct road. Tired and hungry and mixed up. We dropped off the car and caught a taxi to the hotel. Saw the holocaust memorial during the drive and we hope to go back there to see it again while we are here.
We arrived at the hotel and checked in. We met up with Brett, Celeste and Kelly in the lobby and headed to a nearby Italian restaurant. Tyler had bolognese and I had tagliatelle with chanterelle and bacon sauce. We haven't yet seen Rae due to some travel hiccups that resulted from cancelled flights, lost luggage and long train rides.
Tyler and I finished off the evening at the hotel pool (a pretty short visit to the pool once we realized the water was cold). Now it's earlyish to bed so that we can make use of our main sightseeing day in Berlin tomorrow!
Brooke & Tyler
The day included planes, trains, and automobiles for our group... Kelly, Celeste, and Brett arrived by plane as scheduled, Rae ended up grabbing a train from Düsseldorf due to some travel hiccups, and Tyler and I drove into Berlin in our fancy automobile.Read more