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Published: March 2nd 2008
We were very lucky with weather last weekend, which was an enjoyable change, but almost too nice because now we are wishing it was spring. Megan, my friend from Australia that I met in Hamburg, flew down for a beautiful sunny weekend in Southern Germany. We had a quiet evening on Friday night as we were both tired from work, but Saturday we were "up and adam" and off to Heidelberg for the day.
I hadn't been to Heidelberg since 2002 when i was traveling up to Weimar for the first summer. I also was able to visit in 1998 with my family on our first trip to Germany. The town holds a special place in my memories, it is one of my favorite cities in Germany. Luckily now I only live about 45 min by train away from this wonderful city.
In Cologne and Hamburg, the majority of both cities were completely destroyed during WW II, but Heidelberg still holds its history and charm. The castle sits over the city, destroyed twice in the 1600's by the 30 years war one time, and was struck by lightning which burned the entire castle at another point in time. The
outside of the castle, however is mostly intact and sits up on the hill above the town and the river.
After we arrived we went directly to the Castle via a long walk from the Hauptbahnhof and then a short ride up the cogwheel railway. We enjoyed the view from the castle for a bit and took some pictures before heading in to take part in the once an hour English tour. The tour was really great and very informative. I was surprised at how much more of the castle you get to see with the actual tour, which was only a few Euros. Our tour guide was German but spoke very good English, and she told us stories of the people who once lived in the Castle.
I loved the story about how they used to trap deer in the former moat and then shoot at them from above when they were drunk. Not exactly the best sportsmanship if I may say so myself. There was also the story of August, I think his name was, who was 200 kg (thats over 400 lbs) and too heavy to walk, so he was carried around the castle by
6 servents at all times. His addition to the castle included straight staircases and all of his important meeting rooms on the first floor.
We also had a chance to glance in on the largest used wine barrel in the world. Unfortunately it was under construction, but luckily I had the chance to see it in my two trips before. The local residents would pay their taxes with wine they had produced and it was all poured into this one large wine barrel, together, white, red, it did not matter. This was what the people drank for the entire year as water was too dangerous to drink at the time. I began to understand shooting deer from the top of the moat.
After our enjoyable tour we headed down to town and took a quick peek into the large church in the center of town. There were some beatuiful stained glass windows with artistic renditions of different verses from the bible. Megan, Pete, Jill, and I enjoyed a lunch OUTSIDE at a brewery down the street. Unbelievable that we could sit outside. Afterwards we took a walk down to the river and across the famous bridge that connects
the old city to the houses on the other side. We sat in the sun for a while and watched the rowers on the river peacfully gliding along.
After a wonderful day, Megan and I headed back to Karlsruhe where we headed out to discover the "happening" nightlife of the city. It was a little quieter than we expected, but I think i'll discover some corners over time. Robert came in town from Pforzheim and we ended our night in the local Irish Pub. On Sunday I made pancakes for everyone from the Bisquick mix I had bought at the Army Base. :-)
We headed downtown to enjoy our 16 degree Celcius day!! (thats like in the 60s farenheit!) I got a glimpse of what a warm summer day might be like here in Karlsruhe, when we wandered behind the Schloss (Palace) in the middle of town to the Schloss Gardens, they were PACKED. I believe I might be investing in a picnic blanket or something to that effect. Robert headed home, but Megan and I took about 30 minutes to sit in the sun, take our jackets off for the first time in months, and soak in
the warmth. I can not explain the wonderful feeling.
Megan and I grabbed a nice late lunch at an outside cafe and pondered the great weather. Then unfortunately it was time for Megan to head back to the Hauptbahnhof to catch her bus to the airport. Overall it was a fabulous weekend!
This week has been quite busy with work, and I stayed pretty quiet this weekend to recover from the long work days. I cooked Enchiladas for some friends and my roomate on Friday which was quite good. I also took the time last night to go see 27 dresses, but in German. I couldnt find it in English so I just sucked it up. Actually I was suprised that I got most of the movie, maybe one or two jokes that didnt translate for me. :-)
I hope all is well with everyone. I would love to hear some updates, I know ive been gone a long time and its hard to keep up, but I hope that you are all still enjoying the blogs! I miss you all dearly and look forward to being back in the States in July, but am definitely going
Those shoes would really hurt...but also be hard to walk in?!
to make the most of my last 4 months here! Ok talk to you all soon!
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