Published: July 14th 2012July 14th 2012
Like the previous day, we left Pension Bruns at 9 o’clock. Mark went to the bank in the station to get his traveller cheques exchanged. I had checked the timetable for departure at the station and learnt that the train for Heidelberg would depart from the platform 12. However, the train didn’t turn up even though my watch indicated at 10:10. Then, in a few minutes later, the gentlemen in the Deutsche Bahn uniform came to us and told us that the IC train for Heidelberg would depart from the platform 6. The train left Frankfurt slightly later than scheduled. The IC train brought us to Heidelberg just after 11 o’clock. We found the tourist information centre around the station and bought “one day Heidelberg Welcome Card”. It was €11 each, and included transports in Heidelberg, return tickets of the cable car, and the entrance tickets for Heidelberg castle. It would offer deductions on the admissions for museums as well. The station was surrounded modern office buildings and we felt that our destination would be far away. We were advised to catch the No. 33 bus to go to Kornmarkt to get the cable car for the castle. It took more
than 10 minutes from the station to Bismarkplatz by bus. Afterwards, the bus went back to the hilly road along the mountain and went through a long tunnel and brought us to Kornmarket. As it was lunch time, we decided to have lunch around Marktplatz. The Marktplatz was surrounded by a number of restaurants, cafes, gift shops, and Heiliggeist Kirche (church), and Rathaus (Old Town Hall). There were a lot of tables and chairs belonging to various restaurants laid on the square. I managed to find the menu book of the restaurant which would offer reasonable rates. I had studied a bit of German words just in case some restaurants didn’t have English menu book or the staff didn’t speak English. In general, many words, e.g. salat (salad), bier (beer), apfl (apple) are similar to English and it didn’t take long for us to get used to the language. I tried “currywurst”, i.e. sausage with curry powder and ketchup with chips at the restaurant in Heidelberg.
After the lunch, we walked to the cable car station and rode the funicular train to the castle.
The castle was
constructed as a residence of Prince Elector Ruprechut II above the old town in the 13th
century, and repeatedly re-built or enlarged in line with the trend of the architecture, e.g. Baroque or Renaissance by the Electors of Wittelsbach dynasty over 400 years. Sadly, the castle fortifications and its towers were destroyed during the war.
The history has resulted in demonstrating the romantic ruined castle, which has attracted millions of tourists from all over the world. We went to the viewpoint and overlooked the old town. We would see the Marktplatz where we had lunch, Neckar River, Karl-Theodor Bridge, and the hill of Philosophers’ Way. It was such beautiful scenery that we all took several photos from the balcony.
Next, we found the sign for the biggest wine barrel, and went to the wine bar. There were a lot of tourists taking photos of the barrel from different angle.
Then, we went to the Pharmacy Museum. It seemed that the herbal therapy treatment took place from the medieval period and its techniques and trend developed in Europe from 13th
century. We looked round the exhibition rooms of the old
fashioned chemist shops filled with drawers and containers of herbs, ashes, and animal bones, the scales to weight the medicines, etc. Mark found the exhibitions of pharmacy museum very interesting.
We continued strolling around the ruined castle from the different angle. Having closely looked at the ruined castle, we could see it was a vast residential complex with four or five storey buildings.
Afterwards, we got back to the cable car and returned to the town. We walked on the Karl-Theodor Bridge and reached the opposite bank. My mother was keen on climbing on the Schangenweg, which is part of the Philosophers’ Walk. Stunning views of the old town and the medieval castle came to our sight, whilst heading to the first viewpoint. Unfortunately, the uphill journey and warm climate made my father worn out, so we decided to go back to the riverside. We took several photos of Karl-Theodor Bridge and Heidelberg Castle from Neuehaimer Landstraße.
We popped in the Heiliggeistkirche on the west side of Marktplatz. One of Heidelberg’s landmarks was built between 1398 and 1441. The Gothik church has stained glass featuring very unusual pictures and large and
pointed windows made the inside bright.
We walked on the Hauptstaße, which is one of the pedestrian shopping streets towards University Square. It was pretty warm in the afternoon. We bought ice cream before catching the bus to the station. We came back to the station just before 5pm, which was a little early for the direct train for Frankfurt.
The IC train was running a bit late. Mark found the information on the board at the platform, which was displayed in English