While I miss the Rhine already, there is something very pleasant about being in a town that caters to tourists. No, hear me out. More people speak English. There is English AND German on the menus. There are cafes every three feet, and they aren't hidden. The stores in Germany as a whole always seem, well, closed, until you try the door and find out if they are or not. But here, the stores are well lit and welcoming to folks trained in American retail psychology. No wait, that's not fair: it was not this hard to tell if a store or restaurant was open or closed in France or Britain, either...
My camera's upstairs, so I'll have to load pictures later. They're on Facebook in case you are impatient to see what I did yesterday (I drove up the Rhine to St. Goar and visited a castle or two). (I also went to a pharmacy and got some frikin' help for this cold.)
Right now, I'm sitting in the cafe that's part of the hotel I'm in (it's super-duper quaint and taverny, and I totally love it), listening to church bells while I debate with myself over where to eat. (While I sip tea and snack on "Oma's Kaisekuchen"--i.e., a nice cheesecake. Also, all black tea here is Earl Grey. Well, not really. But most of it.) It's a bit cold out there, though at least at one point on the drive here I thought it was easily 10 degrees warmer than here/now and Bingen where I was. I must've been in a valley, and we've since climbed higher again. Going south here is no guarantee of warmth, between distance from the sea and higher elevations. Things to remember.
My layering plan has mostly worked (I have up to five layers available for my torso and two for my legs, should it become necessary, plus wool socks and winter shoes). However, no hat! Doh. I may have to buy a hat. The hood to my sweatshirt is not enough.
Uhm. This has been a very pedestrian update. I did see the Crime Museum (aka, the medieval torture museum). I learned some... things. It was actually less creepy than I feared. Mostly. I spent less time in the torture sections and more in the jurisprudence sections, looking at papal bulls from the 1300s and big wax seals all danglifying from different kinds of documents. And in relation to my book, I got the win picture of all time: iron shoes.
Okay, time to go find dins.