'Bent Miles, An Online Bike Touring Magazine
Christmas Market At Rothenburg, Germany:
By the time we arrived and unloaded "Tweety" it was about 1400. The wind in the parking lot was cold, so I took the time to put on my gloves and zip my fleece, then my jacket. Just as Dolores and I were pulling away, someone hollered at me. I looked up, and to my surprise, it was a colleague from school. Well, so much for anonymity. Two nights before, my former principal was in the North Sea restaurant where Michael and I ate. One of my students had noticed Michael and me walking up the hill to post. And just the the night before a parent of a former student, hollered at me from across the street while I was pedaling toward the Wuerzburg Christmas market.
Since it was getting close to the time when restaurants usually close for a few hours, we decided we should such for a place to eat first, then hit the market. Checking restaurants one after the other while still following my collogue and his group of friends we finally reached the entrance to the Christmas market. We also found an open café just across the street. Looking around for a place to lock my trike, all I could find was what looked like a tool trailer for the workers. As I hooked my trike to it and engaged the parking brake, I thought, "What if someone needed to move the trailer." Then looking at the sides, it was obvious the tires were covered from sight and the trailer was likely to be there for many days to come. After all, it was still two full days before Christmas and the trailer would likely be there till the Christmas market was over.
Walking into the restaurant, we were greeted with a pleasant atmosphere and full tables. However, we were able to find a table for four in the no smoking section across the room near the restrooms. "Ah! Just right! No smokers and near the restrooms." We ordered breaded pork chops with gravy, salad, and french-fries.
My gosh, were those chops delicious; and the salad was refreshing, while the fries were crisp. As always, it was picture taking time. Of course I almost forgot to take a picture of my dinner to share with you. After paying the lady, it was time to bundle up again. Of course this meant that Dolores was out the door and on the street before I finished bundling.
Stepping onto the street, my heart seemed to fall into my stomach as Dolores told me the trailer and trike were gone. Wanting to not believe her, I instinctively jerked my head up and in the direction where the trailer had been parked. It was already going through my mind as to just whom I would have to contact to find my trike. Stepping a few more steps forward, Dolores said, there it is. They had loosened the support post to which I had run the cable around and left the trike parked near the huge Christmas tree.
It was like waking from a dream where you know the fearful situation you are in is just a dream, but you have to waken in order to be freed from the fear that grips you in your sleep. Of course, I looked around sheepishly and remembered ignoring that small still voice that usually delivers me from trouble, if I listen to it. However, I'm a great one for ignoring it.
I noticed that they had taken the Christmas Market sign down from the overhead archway where it had been upon our arrival. Again, I had experienced somewhat of a premonition that all was not as expected about the Christmas Market prior to us entering the restaurant.
Like I said in my Wuerzburg Christmas Market write-up, I should have read the Christmas Market message I forwarded from my office to home. Upon, just now, reviewing it, the opening and closing dates of Rothenburg Christmas market was posted. The last day for this market was December 22, 2004. We decided to take this excursion on the 23rd.
The major problem when visiting Rothenburg is often finding suitable parking. This was not, however, a problem for us this time, likely owing to the fact that we had just missed the Christmas market by one day. As we proceeded on, the sight of the cleaning crew made it painfully clear that the 2004 Rothenburg Christmas Market was a thing of the past.
However, the Christmas market seemed to have little to no impact on the more permanent edifices of this medieval walled city, the stores. Many were teaming with customers one of which objected to me taking pictures. When I told her I was doing a story for a magazine, she seemed to change her tune. But, I told her, "I'll just not publish this store". She then wanted to give me permission. I will never understand some German business ways. Why in the world would anyone object to having a picture of their business taken? I asked my wife to not buy anything there; she just went next door.
I had went to the restroom in the restaurant where we ate. However, getting back into the cold was like a catalyst urging me to go again. I told Dolores I was going into the alley across the street. I found a small walled in area that overlooked a panoramic sight. Looking in all directions, I welcomed the relief experienced by my bladder. Wanting to ward off prying eyes, I pulled out my camera and shot a few pictures. I heard no voices, or steps, but my peripheral vision is astounding. I saw movement to my right. The flow stopped as if on command. I turned loose of my elastic waist band, snapped another shot, and walked away. Dolores had seen the folks follow me into the alleyway and she was still laughing when I walked up to her.
We visited several more stores and decided it was time to get some coffee, use the restroom again and go home. Finding a prospective coffee house, I locked the trike; once again, it was time to unbundle and find us a table. This establishment was a hotel upstairs and a restaurant downstairs. Once again I remembered you, our readers, and out came the camera for more pictures.
As usual, I was last getting bundled and paying the bill. When I stepped out to unlock the trike, Dolores was just stepping out of a store saying, "You said you wanted to buy me present; didn't you?" Of course, what was my reply? Yep; I've been married for 37 years for a reason. Out comes the plastic and we take away a carousel and some ceramic angels. Of course, the lady gives us the display model, because she has no more. She then charged us three euro for the batteries that everyone had tried.
When we went to pay, one of the ladies was wrapping a gift for another customer. Do you think our clerk offered to do the same. Only upon request did this happen. Christmas morning came and there was one broken angel; and the three batteries we paid a euro a piece for, were dead.
Please view the pictures of Rothenburg below.
Archie L. Tucker
Publisher 'Bent Miles
Hope you enjoyed our little outing.
Archie L. Tucker
Publisher, 'Bent Miles