Tuesday, January 27, 2009

...And then I threw up

Last weekend, Matt and I wanted to do something really special, while simultaneously using the remainder of our Eurrail passes, so naturally, we went to Rothenburg... for the third time.  I was actually really excited about it because we have never stayed the night there, and this time we were getting to stay 2 nights in a 13th century "mansion" that was used by nights and other courtly people in the 1200s.  Saturday started off pretty rotten... I was in a really bad mood because I had gotten up late and didn't want to take the train because it would cause me to miss my shower, thus cramping my style pretty gravely.  However, we finally made it to the train station and sprinted to the train, which left exactly 30 seconds after we stepped on.  Good thing we've been training.  I don't think we would have made it otherwise.  We were scheduled to take 3 different trains for our 2 and a half hour journey (a journey that takes a maximum of 2 hours by car, mind you) but instead, they were doing some work on the tracks or the trains or some form of transportation equipment, because we had to stop after an hour's ride and get on a bus that took us to our next stop (which would have taken 12 minutes by train, but took 45 by bus).  Needless to say, we missed our next train and had to stand around for an hour and a half while we waited to take a train that would get us to Rothenburg in approximately 45 minutes.  What a waste.  But we finally did make it, 4 hours later, and the sun was shining for the first time in at least 2 weeks, and it was reasonably warm, so we were in great spirits.  We walked the half mile to our hotel which was conveniently located inside the old city walls on the main street of town. Our hotel was really beautiful!  Aura and I had been in the lobby once before to warm up and have a drink when we had visited, and I was impressed then with this building, especially the "chandelier" featuring the city of Rothenburg carved out of wood.  Our room was really small, but quaint, with the 700 year old timbers lining the floor and the original stonework showing through the paint.  Oh, and there was a plasma TV on the wall, which didn't at all detract from the ambiance.  
So for the rest of Saturday we walked around and shopped for last minute gifts (although probably we still have weeks and weeks) and around lunchtime we stopped into a little cafe and got a mulled wine, or gluhwein, to go.  I didn't really understand their heating method, as they were just ladling the wine into cups and then pouring it into a big "heating" contraption. But I didn't really care.  We took our wine and left, and I was really excited because mine was only warm and not piping hot, so it was easier to drink.  Little did I know.  We kept shopping and then around dinner time I started to feel pretty sick to my stomach and had a bad headache.  I kept telling myself I just needed to eat, but when it came down to it, I couldn't eat much, which should have definitely tipped me off.  I tried to ignore it, and we went ahead and went on the Night Watchman's tour (where the "night watchman" takes you around the city at night and tells you all the interesting facts you never knew, and never wanted to know, about the city's history), which I had taken before with Aura.  This time was different though because we had a different night watchman (who wasn't nearly as good... but don't tell Matt) and he told us different interesting facts, such as: the reliquary that is in St. Stephen's church that supposedly holds Jesus' blood actually holds some of the wine that Jesus changed from water... Although I'm not sure how anyone would have packed it away and kept it that long.  But it's only supposed to represent Jesus' blood.  I must say, I was a little disappointed.  I was sure it was blood.  Even though I couldn't see it.  He told us a bunch of other interesting facts, but I'd have to think really hard to remember any of them.  After the tour I was feeling really rotten, and went to lay down... and then I threw up.  Apparently the gluhwein we'd had earlier was really old or something, because Matt and I both got sick, but lucky me, I got the worst of it.  I spent pretty much all night Saturday lying on our centuries old bathroom floor praying to die.  And we both spend all day Sunday laying in our soft, modern bed.  And Monday we left.  So that was our romantic Rothenburg weekend.  It could have been worse.  At least we had a pretty good Saturday.  We're still sort of recovering, though, because we both haven't really eaten much since, which is probably a good thing because we've been dropping weight like crazy.  I've lost 5 lbs, which I can't be too upset about.  
This weekend we're definitely going to Istanbul, which should be really interesting.  I hope the weather there clears up a little. There's been a lot of really terrible weather going through pretty much all of Europe recently.  I'm pretty excited about Turkey, though.  I'll be sure to pack my own jar of peanut butter just in case I run into a Betsy situation.  

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