rothenburg ob der tauber, bamberg & salzburg: welcome mom & gale!

In the last two weeks of June, Mom and Gale came to visit me in Munich! I’m finally blogging about it. On the day they arrived, we hit the ground running to stave off the jet lag and to pack in as much of the city as possible on the sultry summer day before the rain arrived.
From the top of St. Peter – the first “must-see” every time I have visitors!
We took a long weekend and saw some other towns in southern Germany. First up was Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This town is a medieval walled-city dream – the stuff of fairy tales! Disney could not have created it more perfect. They have really strict preservation codes in the town, and it almost did have an unreal “theme park” feel. The joy of Rothenburg is simply walking around and drinking in the sights. We spent a lot of time on our feet, but got great views of the green valley and quaint architecture under the blue skies and also spent hours sitting with coffee, ice cream and local cuisine.
You can walk around most of the town on top of the stone walls for rooftop views of Rothenburg.
The famous Bamberg Rathaus on the river.

After spending a day and a night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we rode the train to Bamberg, another well-preserved medieval town. I’ve been there before, but it was freezing cold back in the winter, and I was looking forward to seeing it in the summer. We started our day at the top of Michaelsberg, where we took in the views of the city below us, ate lunch, and toured the brewery museum. Afterwards, we walked down to the city center for more of the sights of Bamberg, including the Cathedral, Little Venice, the Rathaus, and again – just generally appreciating the old Fachwerk houses and the buzz of a beautiful city on a perfect summer day.

St. Michael’s
Mom and me at lunch
Klein Venedig
View from the Salzburg Fortress

We left Bamberg in the evening to head back to Munich for the night. Then we woke up the next morning and took a train to Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is a great city. I went in 2010, but hadn’t gone back this year, and just knew I wanted to share this place with Mom and Gale – not only because it is a beautiful place with the mountains all around, the Salzach River running through, and the historical architecture… but also because of our great love for the Sound of Music! We have to explain to the Germans what a beloved part of our childhood memories the film is, because most just don’t get it. Some role their eyes, since the city has turned the story into quite a money-maker with the American tourists, offering tour buses that go to film locations and selling souvenirs. But, we decided to forego any of the pre-arranged opportunities and made our own “behind the scenes” experience and sang along the whole way. In addition to visiting film locations, we stayed overnight in Villa Trapp – the actual home of the von Trapp family which is now a bed and breakfast. We even got upgraded to stay in Maria’s Suite! You can bet we sang “My Favorite Things.” It wasn’t all about the Sound of Music though. We also ate at some great restaurants, toured the fortress, saw an exhibit on Mozart, and just generally enjoyed our time there.

In Mirabell Gardens with the fortress in the background and Mom and Gale on the “Do-Re-Mi” steps
At the front door of the Villa Trapp
The von Trapp home was filled with family photos.
Here is the whole family, with all 10 children (not 7, like in the film).

After two days in Salzburg, we came back to Munich. Mom and Gale still had a good four days here to see the city. They did some stuff on their own while I had classes. We also went together to visit the Munich Residenz, they got to meet Julius’s family, we ordered take-out and played cards, and we rode our bikes in the English Garden. Even though I had classes, it really felt like vacation for me as well (especially since they treated me to so much good food and to hotel stays that I normally couldn’t swing on my own!!!) We did a lot of walking and sight-seeing, but it was also a wonderful break from the daily grind, and I’m incredibly thankful that they came to see me in Germany!

Sheep on their last full day in the English Garden

2 thoughts on “rothenburg ob der tauber, bamberg & salzburg: welcome mom & gale!

  1. Your time with your mom sounds so fun. I loved when my mom came to Africa to visit, it's fun to show your family how and where you've lived. So glad she was able to come visit!!!


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