June 29th, 2002
On Saturday morning, we once again loaded up on the train and headed for Heidelberg. We had read all about Heidelberg in the travel book and I was really excited about going. It had castles and trails to ride bicycles, and scenic views according to the book. Well funny thing was that on the train to Stuttgart, we went through Heidelberg and it looked kinda blah from the train. The train stop wasn't very pretty and there were industrial type shops along the train tracks. Well we decided that we'd go ahead and give it a try and if it was totally disappointing then we'd just get back on the train and head for the next stop. Upon arriving we went to the Tourist Info to try to get a place to stay. I told them I wanted a budget type hotel and they weren't very helpful, telling us to just go stay at the hostel. I asked if they knew if the hostel had room and they said they don't call over there, we'd have to do it.
Well we decided to just put our stuff in a locker and go sightseeing and if we found a place then fine. At this point we weren't feeling very welcome. Well we started walking to the town center, of which the castle was on the other side.
(Caution...it's very dangerous to have two headstrong people reading the map at once... You must elect one official leader and stick to it!)
The castle (Heidelberg Schloss) first built in the 13th century was
really neat to see. It's half falling down, being rebuilt several
times after various attacks and destroyed again in 1693.
CLICK ON THIS PICTURE TO SEE MORE CASTLE PICTURES!!!!
The castle had on display a "grosses fass" (huge 18th century keg) in one of the rooms which is capable of holding more than 220,000 liters. Then there was a little "Deutsches Apothekenmuseum" which traced the history of the chemistry and alchemy during those times. After the castle we went on the "Philosophenweg" walk. It was just a trail that led half way up the mountain which gave great views of the city and the castle (including these beautiful flowers). The town lies on the Neckar River and was really nice once you got away from the train station. After coming back down the mountain we went to the "Heiliggeistkirche" cathedral. Built around 1398, it was a somewhat modest cathedral. It didn't have all the intricate carvings/paintings and such, but it was still quite big and really neat to see. Of course, we walked the 204 steps up to the top of the church spire so we could look out over the city.
At this point we decided we'd better find a place to stay or get back on the train. As luck would have it, the second place I had picked as a possibility had a room...yeah!!! So after trying to talk German on the phone and not doing so hot, we made the trek to the hotel. It was actually closer to the train station, which was great in the morning! As we walked back to the train station to get our bag, we came across a little Grecian Restaurant. We stopped for dinner and found it absolutely wonderful. Turns out the guy that served us came from Greece with his brother (the cook) and was excited to find out that we had been to Greece last year. I had the Mousakka and Dave got the dish of the night which was leg of lamb (which just fell apart) on top of little pastas with a great tomato type sauce. After dinner they gave us a free little glass of Ouzo.
Back to Germany travel page
Back to Germany travel page Click here