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Published: April 29th 2019
Yesterday brought such miserable weather conditions (damp and chilly) that we decided to spend most of the day in the warm confines of our apartment. However, by late afternoon the skies had cleared a bit, and some reluctant rays of sunshine finally made an appearance. So we booked an early dinner reservation for 6:30 at the Hackteufel, where there are still a few items on the menu we have yet to sample during our stay in Heidelberg.
We had yet another great dining experience at this place tonight. Our super-friendly and accommodating young waiter, who turned out to be a student at Heidelberg University, graciously seated us in the Weinstube section of the restaurant, which is normally closed on Sundays, so that we could sit at one of the private window tables.
As Dee points out in her comments, below, I had my eyes set on the pork knuckle I'd observed being served to other patrons on previous occasions. However, when push came to shove, and the gigantic hunk of pork was plopped before me (served with sauerkraut and fried potatoes), I knew the pig was going to win this wrestling match! Needless to say, most of my dinner
came home in a porky bag.
At 6 AM this morning, our last day, the temperature was only 39-degrees! So we donned sweaters and jackets, and then ventured out at 11:00 to do some last minute exploring in the Old Town. By that time, walking conditions were bearable, so we headed west on the Hauptstrasse (the main pedestrian drag).
Our first stop was at the Palais Morass, an impressive palace built in 1712, which has housed the Palatine Museum since 1912. Unfortunately, the museum is closed on Mondays, so we were not able to visit the beautifully furnished period rooms of this palace, as well as works from some of the greatest artists of the 19th- and 20th-centuries in the painting gallery.
A few blocks further west are two more classic buildings, the Baroque Haus sum Riesen, which stands across the street from a university building in the front of which sits a larger than life statue dedicated to Robert Bunsen (1811-1899), a long-time chemistry professor and research scientist (he also developed the "Bunsen burner"). At this point, we walked south a few blocks to see the magnificent University Library building.
Built between 1901-1905 in the
style of the French and German Renaissance, it continues to serve as the main library of the university. Across the street from the library we visited the Peterskirche, the oldest church in Heidelberg, parts of which date back to the 12th-century. Today it serves as a Protestant church for university students.
On our way back to the Hauptstrasse, we popped into the quadrangle of the New University building to see the Hexenturm, the so-called Witches' Tower of 1380, which once served as a women's prison.
It was about 2 PM by this time, so we settled on a lunch spot called the White Swan, where Dee tried some potato pancakes with sauerkraut, and I ate a bowl of soup. After lunch we started back to the apartment, with Dee doing some last minute souvenir shopping on the way. By our standards, we had quite a hike today, so I imagine we'll sleep well (after packing and readying ourselves for the transfer to Copenhagen tomorrow). Dee's Comments:
Up early on Sunday to a chilly 41-degrees outside! It was gloomy and raw throughout the day, so we stayed indoors to rest and do some chores, packing, cleaning, etc., while
Mitch nursed his back with a 2-hour nap in the afternoon. I heated a can of German potato soup for lunch, which tasted almost as good as homemade.
After the intermittent showers finally cleared out by 3 PM, and the sun peeked out for a few hours, we decided to have dinner at our new favorite place, Hackteufel on the Steingasse. Mitch had been wanting to try the pork knuckle listed on the menu, and it turned out to be the knuckle from hell! The steak, asparagus and potatoes I ordered were excellent, but we walked home complaining (yet again) about how bloated we felt. I decided that I'm not ever going to eat again!
I had a rough night sleeping last nite, as I'm suffering from a pollen allergy that keeps dripping into and irritating my throat. We stopped again at the pharmacy, where the pharmacist recommended some tablets for cough suppression, as well as something to dry up mucous.
I'm always a little bit sad when it's time to leave a place we've been staying. I love settling into an apartment, shopping locally, meeting new people, learning new customs and eating new foods. And it
was nice seeing Danielle, meeting Sigi, and spending the day with them. Tomorrow we're off to Copenhagen, with new adventures to be shared with another friend, Cindy. Here we come!
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