We left Brussels on another high-speed train to Cologne, Germany, where we made a quick stop to visit the awesome Cologne Cathedral and the surrounding Christmas market. In Cologne, we picked up our rental car so we could explore Germany at our own speed. We followed the Rhine River through the middle Rhine valley, where we saw one amazing castle after another, some over a thousand years old. In fact, we even spent the night in one! We also saw more vineyards than you can imagine, it seemed like every hillside was covered in grapevines.
At Mainz, we left the Rhine to head to our next stop in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, considered to be the quintessential German medieval village. It is perfectly preserved, since it was mostly spared from bombing during World War II, so walking through the town was like going back in time. We also took a day trip on the “Romantic Road” down to Nordlingen, another quaint village, and then on to Nuremberg, where we visited the Old Town. At every stop, there was a Christmas market waiting for us to explore. On our last day in Germany, on our way to Zurich, we stopped in Ulm to visit the world’s tallest church, Ulm Minster, and of course, another lovely Christmas market.
Cologne and the Rhine Valley
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Nordlingen, Nuremberg and Ulm