Last weekend, the Mr. and I had rented a car to run errands and decided to do something fun with it as well. We had a tough time deciding where to go, until the Mr. finally suggested that maybe we should check out the town of Wertheim about 43 kilometers away from Würzburg.
I was more than on board with this idea as I had been whining to go to Wertheim for ages. Well, not exactly Wertheim (as I knew nothing about it as a town) but Wertheim Village “Chic Outlet Shopping” located just outside. We had passed by Wertheim Village many times over the past few years we’ve lived here as it’s on the way to Frankfurt Airport, and plus I had heard from numerous friends and from the Mr.’s family how nice it is. So we set off with the plan to first explore the actual town a bit, and then check out the Village. (The Mr. was less on board with the second half of this plan as I practically have to drag him to do any sort of shopping, but I had been begging to go for so long that he really couldn’t refuse my request.)
We arrived in Wertheim and I was immediately impressed with its pretty town center. The sun had come out a little bit and it was shaping up to be a nice afternoon. I also felt pretty good and energetic (which isn’t a given when one is preggo), so when we saw a sign pointing to where to walk to get to the Wertheim Castle ruins, I suggested we hike up the hill to see it.
I’m so glad we did. The views of the town and valley as we began to walk up were really beautiful. And it didn’t hurt that we were getting more sunshine than I had seen in what felt like weeks (November in Germany, or at least in Würzburg, is NOT nice. It tends to be gray, cold and foggy, like, EVERY DAY. ugh)
Up at the top, we were a little disappointed to see that there’s a restaurant open on the weekends only in winter time (we were there on a Monday), but every day in the summer. They have a nice terrace that offers fantastic views over the town and valley, so it’s definitely a place to keep in mind during warmer weather. But visiting in winter has an upside. We saw only a handful of other people the entire time we were exploring the castle ruins, so we sort of felt like we had the place to ourselves. (And as a side note for anyone thinking of visiting, the toilets were open and clean. Always a plus.)
After having used the facilities and checked out the views around the closed restaurant, we decided to go ahead and pay the €1 fee for each of us to enter the site. Once you’ve gone through the turn gate, you walk ahead a bit and then have a choice of which tour you’d like to start with. One tour takes you immediately up and around the perimeter of the castle ruins, while the other leads you towards a high tower. You can do both if you have the time and energy, but we had limited amounts of both so decided to do the high tower and come back another day for the perimeter walk.
The views from the top of the tower were gorgeous. The sun had well and truly popped out at this point, so it was bliss to just soak up the rays and enjoy looking out over the valley. (And another plus to visiting in winter? You don’t get hot and sweaty from the climb up!)
We climbed down from the tower and started to make our way back to the town center as the Mr. needed to pay for parking again, and we were hungry and needed something to eat. We wandered around the town center a bit looking for a place that could serve us something light, like maybe a bowl of soup or some sausages, but it was an odd time of day (around 3.30) and there wasn’t much open that offered real food. We finally asked some locals, and they pointed us in the direction of a hotel and an Italian restaurant. The Hotel Schwan’s restaurant was open and offered a nice variety of soups and starters, which was exactly what we were after (though looking at their tasty-sounding entrees, we were tempted….)
We ordered two soups: chestnut and a “pumpkin latte.” I was a little surprised to see that the pumpkin latte soup was served in a coffee glass like an actual latte, complete with a straw (though you’d have to wait quite a while for it to cool down enough to drink it!) I loved both soups and thought they were delicious. We then shared an order of an appetiser of wild boar sausage. That’s something actually fairly common on menus in this area, and the Mr. likes to order it when he comes across it. I’m not as big a meat eater as the Mr., but I like these sausages okay and ate some as well. Overall, we were really pleased with the Hotel Schwan restaurant. It took a while for our food to arrive despite the place being empty (possibly because we were eating at such an odd time?), but what we received was very good and worth the wait. I’d definitely head there again if we visit Wertheim in the future.
After finishing up our “linner,” we headed to Wertheim Village. The sun had already set and it was starting to get dark as we arrived, but that was actually sort of nice as the village is already decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. It was cold but felt festive as we walked quickly around, trying to hit a few stores of interest. We only had about an hour to spend looking as we had to get back to Würzburg and return the rental car, but that was okay as I was getting tired anway and the temperature was fast dropping with no sun to warm us up.
As an outlet shopping center, I have to say it’s probably the nicest I’ve ever been to. Most of the shops are high-end, and this is reflected in everything from the decor to how nice the loos are. The downside is that since the shops are high-end, even with the discounts of being an outlet center, you should still expect to drop a lot of dough if you plan to do any serious shopping. I was a bit disappointed that the discounts weren’t a little deeper. We went into the Steiff store, for example, and they had a cute cardigan sweater that was originally around €60, and had been discounted to around €40. That’s a nice discount, I guess, but I still couldn’t see myself spending €40 for one baby sweater he’ll outgrow in a week anyway. And looking at any clothes for myself was sort of pointless, given my “condition.” Like I said, I would like to go back at some point and look around again (and for longer), but I’ll be a bit better prepared mentally knowing that even with discounts, anything I buy won’t be exactly cheap.