Thanksgiving eve, November 25, Heidelberg
Since we visited Heidelberg in 2012, we decided to spend Thanksgiving Eve on the ship for another writing day. Since dinner conversation the previous day included brine flies over Utah’s Salt Lake, I worked on a brine fly story. I enjoyed working on the Aqua Vit terrace, so filled with light.
When we landed in Miltenberg, Ken, Debra, and I explored the town on our own. We enjoyed seeing the inside of a small Catholic Church with modern stained glass windows. The large gate house on the bridge was fascinating.
Viking had a nice reception for Explorer members. We retired replete with our words, wanderings, food, and unexpected meetings.
THANKSGIVING 2015, Thursday, November 26, Würzburg to Rothenburg
We spent the day off ship seeing a bishop’s palace in Würzburg and then the medieval city of Rothenburg with another wonderful guide.
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. It had been mainly leveled in WWII, but pictures, ordinances, and relearning lost skills restored the city.
We spent a good amount of time at the spectacular Würzburger Residenz (Ken’s picture to the left): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the vast compound near the center of the town was commissioned by two prince-bishops, the brothers Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Karl von Schönborn. Several architects, including Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt and Maximilian von Welsch, supervised the construction between 1720 and 1744, but it is mainly associated with the name of Balthasar Neumann, the creator of its famous Baroque staircase. Amazing ceiling fresco by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo showed the four known continents: Asia (south), Africa, Europe, and Americas, the largest fresco in the world, adorning the vault over the staircase designed by Balthasar Neumann. The baroque palace had a drive-in carriage hall just for visitors.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a town in the district of Ansbach of Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia), the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town. It is part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany.
Rothenburg has appeared in several films, the village in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio, the Vulgarian village scenes in the 1968 family movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and a location in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011). I’ll watch the latter again and see if I can recognize it!
The village was wonderful. Lots of shops and medieval buildings, churches, castle (remnant), fortress, clock towers and bridges. Lunch was provided at a restaurant with sausage and sauerkraut and the local wine. Christmas decorations everywhere. Bit overwhelming. Bus ride went through fields of asparagus and sugar beets. Lots of wind turbines and solar panels. Snow on the way there and rain on the return.
Upon our return to the ship, we warped from Christmas to Thanksgiving! I wore the glittery long sleeved t shirt I wore during the day with a scarf. Under the scarf, I wore my traditional turkey necklace. No pictures by my orders. We met a lovely couple over dinner. The husband is an artist.
Viking offered us a typical American Thanksgiving dinner. They served pumpkin pie with marzipan hearts. I opted for the salmon entree and a small crab cake starter instead of turkey and stuffing, so I couldn’t eat much pie. It was a day stuffed in many ways.
Temperatures 0 to 31.