|| Bavaria | bavaria north
|Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuhl are the heart of the Romantic Road, two walled towns surrounded by farmlands. You might want to plan your trip to put you here in late afternoon, as the tours clear out and you can avoid the crowds. In Rothenburg, only locals are allowed to drive inside the town, so the "traffic jams" are mostly pedestrian.
|Start your visit in Rothenburg at the Town Hall in the main square; climb up the Town Hall tower for a wonderful view of the town and farm lands. Pick up a map at the Tourism Office here for suggested "walking tours." In the evening catch the Mesitertrunk: mechanical figures that move around the big town hall clock).
|Rothenburg is considered Germany's best preserved walled city and the wall is the place to start your explorations. The wall is about a mile long so it's do-able for pretty much anybody, and there are several staircases if you want to hop off.
|Climb up the Rodertor, a tower near the train station, for a great view. If you're in town really late, for a fun adventure take the Night Watchman Tour, you'll walk the wall at 10 p.m. with lanterns to guide you.
|Stop at St. Jacob's Church to see the town’s pride Tilman Riemenschneider's 500 year old wooden altarpiece. Riemenschneider is considered Germany's master of woodcarving.
|Dinkelsbuhl Rent bikes at the Rothenburg train station just outside the walls and ride over to the town of Dinkelsbuhl. Dinkelsbuhl is a smaller version of Rothenburg and, since it's not as famous, not nearly as crowded.
Dinkelsbuhl is a beautifully preserved medieval walled city, with towers intact, sitting on the river. Plan your excursion so that you can have breakfast or lunch in Dinkelsbuhl, and a couple of hours is to see the sights.
Local traditional pastries make a nice "on the go" snack: the "Schneeballen" (snowball) are dusted with powdered sugar, cinnamon or chocolate; the "Hutzelbrot" (wrinkly bread) is fruit bread supposedly invented by a goblin, and made with dried apricots, plums and figs.
Shops in Rothenburg offer all the best of German crafts. Just outside of town, at the Leyk-Keramik-Miniaturhäuser workshop located in a 300 year old parsonage, you can watch crafters hand-painting their famous miniature ceramic houses. You'll also find carved wooden toys and cuckoo clocks. Arranging to have things shipped home rather than lugging them around with you is relatively simple.