We stayed in Sommersdorf Castle

Peter walks...Kenny walks on a log

Pumping is more difficult than I thought...At the mill

Flour being groundThe castle was lovely - a unique experience. Here's a tour.

The entrance to our apartment

The courtyard

The outer courtyard

Lots of gaps through which to shoot arrowsView towards the grounds

The barnsThe chapel attached to the castle

The owner's oldsterTaking a walk around the castle

Coffee and cake at the castle.

Playing ball in the courtyardTouring Rothenburg today.

Remodeling a house here must be difficult - everything needs to be done in the old style

The roofs were very high - at the very top were rope and pulley systems, used to haul goods up to the top floors.

These were touristy "carriages", but without the horsesAnd with disc brakes

Peter and I spent a lot of time at this church, to get out of the sun and let Peter out of the strollerAnother smart car

A wall went around the entire city, and you could walk around almost all of it, too

Along the wall there were plaques from various groups who had supported the restoration

Sausage cigarsEric, Ken, and Kenny went to the Medieval Criminal Museum

I assume that this is what they paraded prisoners around town in

On the way back home were were in stop and go traffic on the highway, in the middle of nowhere, for about half an hour.At the grocery store - interesting canned goods - mangos, figs, and kiwis

And peanut butter!Kenny watching Ann sketch

Ann and Ken took care of the kids one morning, and Eric and I went on a bike ride. There were a lot of little farm roads with this type of pavingGoing through Winkel

There was a dairy farmer strike while we were there


In the city of AnsbachI've never seen this style of shoe before

It was a hot day, and of course we got ice cream!A cell phone charging vending machine

We weren't the only ones enjoying ice creamsThe Orangerie, at the royal residence in Ansbach

Eric and Kenny boating on the moat

There was a craft/pottery fair on the grounds this weekend - I loved these cactus globes.A thunderstorm came up - not much rain, but lots of wind

Dr. Crailsheim is the current owner of the castle (his family has owned it for hundreds of years). We had a tour and dinner with him and his family.Eric in some armor

We went up into a tower, which was fitted up as a kids playroom upstairsThe dungeon, complete with actual mummies

An old wheelchairDinner was excellent

Today - Dinkelsbuehl. I liked this better then Rothenburg - it may have been smaller and had fewer authentic buildings, but it also had many fewer tourists and traffic. A balance challenge

I liked this outdoor ping pong table

My lunch. The dumpling was a little rubbery

Then we went to Noerdlingen.

The pottery market was in full swing when we got back to the castle

It was a beautiful evening

On the way to Nurenberg, stopping at a gas station

Ken and Ann went to Nurenberg, and Eric and I and the kids went to Playmobile land. It was very cool - ideal for kids of Kenny's age and older.We found an American there with a son a year older than Kenny. They played together most of the time there.

Peter enjoyed it tremendously too, though I had to keep him away from the small stuff

The playmobile castle

Today we went to the Freilicht Museum Frankenland. It was an outstanding outdoor village/museum, with old houses that have ben transported there from all over the region. Very worthwhile.

Notice the mousetrap, and how the food pantry cabinet covers the drawers - so that it can all be locked off with one key.

Learning how to work the pumpIt must have been tremendously expensive to transport some of these houses here.

Notice how there were no rectangular flowerpots - just a row of round ones

Very frequently the stalls in a room of the house

This was the only loom I sawKitchens sure were primitive back then. I wonder what it was like to prepare all meals in them. Of course, they never ate out like we do so frequently.

I believe this was some kind of town couciler's office

Tools for making barrelsFor wine

Grape pressI think this was for pressing apples and pears

They had a guy who was actually brewing some beerMore interiors

The beds seemed to all be pretty smallScales for weighing ingredients - even now most German and Austrian recipes still use weight instead of volume.

A room for companyThis same house also had some small very oddly shaped rooms. During the war foreign workers lived there.

This building is in the process of being transferred from another location. It's called a Jagdschloesschen, or little hunting castle.

An old mill

With a peacock in the yard

Kenny soaking his feet at the end. It was a hot day!

Peter looks really cool here!We went to a very quiet old town that was very close to Sommersdorf - Ornbau. This is along the old wall

Storks on the chimneys

There was a very pleasant rose garden along the walkway next to the wall

This was an area between 2 walls - an inner and an outer

We went to a bakery for some treats. I don't think you'd find bubble gum cigarettes in the US! Though I do remember them from when I was a kid.Back at the castle again

The light was great here...

These are some of the other guests at the castle. They were from the midwest.Munich. Kenny was too shy to give him any money.

A self portraitThe restaurant we ate lunch at. The waitress was very grim.