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Karen Mickleson | all galleries >> Galleries >> Joy In Beauty Travelogue: One Response to a Terminal Cancer Diagnosis >
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Saturday, March 18
Burg Hotel - Rothenburg, Germany

I head off down the curvy Romantic Road to Rothenberg in the rain, where slopes and fields were dressed in fresh greens against gunmetal grey skies, bounded by trees still bearing the death look of winter. Despite the rain, I'm delighted to be heading into the land of quaint. Arrived in Rothenburg about 4:30--a charming medieval walled city. My room--actually a suite with a separate bedroom--is in pink with a panoramic view across the Tuber river. Pink taffeta wallpaper, pink marble in the bathroom, pink carpets, all offset by cream French repro furniture--or, perhaps they are real antiques.

Another domestic note concerns a subject near to my heart: the beds. Once you enter Germany, all hotel beds come with a fitted firm mattress, on which is artistically puffed up a down comforter and featherbed! They look like fat soft sausages on the bed and invite serious plopping, which I of course do, as soon as the porter has left. And, DOWN pillows! Man have I missed my down pillows. But how do you justify bringing down pillows in your suitcase?

Dinner at the hotel cafe across the street is delicious: Lamb saddle in black-olive sauce with vegetables: pleasantly steamed brussels sprouts and cauliflour and “potato-noodles”--these cute little torpedo shaped potato pastas which had been pan browned after parboiling, and made delicious tidbits when taken with a bite of the lamb dipped in the sauce. The varities of noodle please me, carb freak that I am.

Sunday, March 19
Burg Hotel - Rothenburg, Germany

I set out on this overcast day with still and video camcorder to try my hand at this filming thing. Rothenburg lends new meaning to quaint. Walked around the town's high wall, shooting picturesque views of colored houses with various shades of orange roofs. Later, I rewound the tape to see what Id’ done and learned some important one is to return the tape to the location it was before you resume shooting, as I had taped over my town shots with ones of a pair of waitresses in the cafe I’d been eating at. Also learned about the back light button. Handy, that.

After about five miles, body said 'Enough' so I napped before going out to find one of few open restaurants on Sunday night. I amble around in awe of the tidy ancient architecture, not sure where I'm going. When I became confused, I asked a woman my most common question, "Do you speak any English?", when she informed me "a little", and then added, "I'm from Bosnia". We chatted and walked along, me stumbling to make a heart communication of my sorrow for her situation. When I got to the restaurant, what a charmer, with romantic low ceilings and candles only, booths, and an intimate atmosphere. Ordered pork loin medallions with spaetzle, yet another delicious form of noodlery which had me umming and awwing.

Monday, 20 March
Hotel Gastof Zum Baren - Meersburg, Germany

Spent most of the day driving down to Meersburg, which took much longer than I'd expected, so I arrived exhausted. Meersburg, however, is a stunning lakeside medieval village on Lake Constance. The owner of my hotel, Michael, was to have been "the chef", but alas, I arrived for the 2 nights he is off. He referred me across the street to a dining room of a hotel where I sat in the back room watching a young, blonde, twentysomething waiter navigate life with a very fastidious older waiter who worked with him, and, who the blonde fellow said "gets very confused and nervous and funny whenever there are more than 3 tables full. He can't figure out which way to go first." Anyhow, you had to be there, but watching the 2 of them manage things was quite entertaining. AND, the broiled duck breast in orange sauce with those potato noodles again was delicious.

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