One of the most well-known places in Germany, beloved by Japanese and American tourists alike, is the so-called Romantische Straße, the Romantic Route which covers the largest part of Bavaria and a part of the region of Baden Württemberg.
I happened to spend some time in Bad Mergentheim, one of the small cities belonging to the Romantische Straße. Despite the bad weather (this winter was particularly hard with lots of snow and cold temperatures) I enjoyed the quiet and the quality of life it offers.
Not all places can claim the title “Bad”, meaning “Bath” or “Spa”. Bad Mergentheim has relatively recently acquired this title, so that thanks to its warm, healing waters, can attract elderly tourists who come here to drink the water, visit the Kurhaus, meaning House of Cure, or one of the numerous clinics, specialized in various ailments, like diabetes etc.
Bad Mergentheim has a University, so its population is not entirely made up of old or ill people. There are many young girls and boys who come here to study foreing languages or Marketing. And there’s a famous Schloss or Castle dating back to the 13th century. It used to be the seat of the Deutschorden, the German Knights. Today it is a museum which unfolds the history of the Knights. Almost everything here is connected to the Schloss, e.g. the beautiful Schlosskirche, the Church pertaining to the Castle, as well as the high bell-tower, a trademark of Bad Mergentheim.
There are cozy cafes here and fine restaurants and good wines. All around, one can visit picturesque villages which come alive at Christmas with open air markets selling gluhwein, warm wine and trinkets for the Christmas tree.
In nearby Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Japanese and Chinese tourists make queues during the summer in order to buy the famous Christmas decorations!
Tauber is the name of the river crossing this area.
I wouldn't be true to my vocation if I didn't mention the names of two poets who have graced this place. One was Ehrler, a native of Bad Mergentheim, the other was Mörike, originally from Ludwigsburg, who spent a part of his life here.
I visited Bad Mergentheim three or four times during the winter. Now it’s the time to bid it farewell. My time here is up. But I’d like to say Auf wiedersehen, in the hope to see it again.
I felt at home here although the inhabitants had all the characteristics of people in villages. They were looking at me with endless curiousity, they weren’t particularly friendly but I wouldn’t say they were rude either.
Still, as I said, I’ll keep fond memories from Bad Mergentheim; life here has been sweet to me. It was a great winter’s tale.