We caught the 7:04am train on Saturday and one train changed later were in Nordlingen. After circling around town for a bit, we headed off on the trip to Swabisch Hall as described in Germany By Bike. I had laid out the GPS route by hand the day before, but for whatever reason it kept getting confused and we found a lot of strange routes. Nevertheless, the day was beautiful and the scenery very nice. This was Lisa's first major ride since she graduated, and I discovered that I was no longer acclimated to the tandem after so much time on my single, so we stopped frequently to rest.
After several detours, we rolled into Tanhauser for lunch. For whatever reason, we could not find the route to Dinkelsbuhl, but since I had laid out an alternate route via GPS, I thought we could go on to Swabisch Hall. Sad to say, even this was too ambitious for us in our current state, and when we passed Ettwallegen, Lisa called for a stop. I immediately punched Find on the GPS and brought up the list of nearby train stations and headed for the nearest one. When we got there, however, I discovered that the cost of the train to Rothenburg would be too much, and as we were making up our minds as to where to go, a bunch of folks came up and hogged up the machine until a train arrived for Crailsheim. That was approximately the right direction, and I didn't want to wait around for another hour when we should be looking for lodging, so we got on. (This is the incredibly straight line seen on the GPS log)
20 minutes later, we were in Crailsheim, and a quick ride around town revealed many restaurants and a hotel in our price range (88 Euros for the two of us for a night). We got a room in the highest floor with great views of the town, and then proceeded to shower and take a walk around town. We had gone 40 miles that day.
The next morning promised to be even warmer, so we got up early, ate breakfast, and got onto the road by 8am. Climbing out of Crailsheim was very beautiful and had next to no traffic, and I resorted to setting the GPS for the next town rather than trying to use a previously set route. When we descended out of the forests, however, temperatures climbed rapidly. Fortunately, the climbs had stopped, so we barreled along making great time. Soon enough, we saw the signs for the Romantic Roads (in both English and Japanese), and for Rothenburg.
We got into Rothenburg by 10:30am, having done 30 miles, but it was already uncomfortably warm, so I was glad to be finished with the riding. We did touristy things for a few hours, and then got onto a train back to Munich. It was so hot that we resorted to asking for water from Hans & Sibylle, another pair of cyclists just finishing their bike tour as well. All in all, it was a nice tour, but I think the Munich area is prettier.
Equipment review: the front dérailleur cable is almost gone on the tandem, and the velcro on our trunk bag is worn out by too many years of touring. Other than that, things worked very well --- I hope we can get back in shape soon.