Mannheim-Heidelberg-Bodenbacher's


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Europe
September 20th 2015
Published: September 20th 2015
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The Philosopher's Walk - up
Off today to Heidelberg for a couple of appointments for Lyn. We both slept well and were both awake at around 5.30am so an early start. Grabbed a train to Heidelberg, about 30 minutes away. The old town of Heidelberg is a visual feast for Grimms Fairy Tale lovers. Although significant parts were rebuilt after WWII (in the old style) much remains of the original. We've been there before but it doesn't lose its charm.

Lyn went off to her first meeting and lunch appointment and I went walking, firstly up the Philosopher's Walk - "Running up the southern side of the Heiligenberg, across the Neckar from the castle, one will find the Philosopher's Walk. Its name, it is said, stems from the fact that university philosophers and professors walked there, perhaps using the quietness and solitude of the forest and the astounding views of the city as inspiration." It was a steep climb up the cobble-stoned path so those old philosophers were pretty fit.

I walked and pondered the mysteries of the cosmos. Took lots of photos from on high. Wandered down into town then got the cable car up to Heidelberg Schloss (castle) which dominates the old
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From the Philosopher's Walk
city. Meandered through surrounded by crowds of Japanese groups and Muslim groups (could tell from the burkas). Later, when I asked a local, he said that the Japanese were the most common overseas visitors to the castle and that "Arab" visitors had increased many times in the last few years.

More wandering through the old streets before I lunched in a platz out on the cobbles people watching before meeting Lyn again after her appointment.

Getting back to Mannheim ruined my reputation as a navigator such as it was. Confidently saying - 'we should catch this light rail train' - I realised maybe I'd miscalculated when what should have been a 30 minute ride was turning into an hour plus. Oh dear. Wrong way. It wouldn't have created too much sweaty armpits except that we were being picked up from the hotel at 5.00pm by an international student alumni's parent to go to their house for dinner and we were barely going to make it. We did, they were delayed.

Kaj is a young girl? woman? who was at HVHS last year. She's a great kid, now 16, and had been out to NZ recently for just
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The Schloss
a 4 week visit to the school. Her parents wanted Lyn to go to dinner at their house . It was a 45 minute drive from Mannheim out into the hilly country of the Rhine Valley to the little village of Heiligkreuzsteinach. What a house! Out of the pages of designer homes. The staircase alone had me striving for superlatives - a stainless steel curving work of art. A meal to boot and fun conversation. We got driven back to our hotel after a really good evening. getting into the hotel again proved beyond us. The bloody keypad system refused to obey orders. Another guest was there as we rolled up and he couldn't get in either. We were all saved by yet another guest exiting who opened the door for us.

I understand now that choosing a hotel from a booking site is like getting a Christmas present. The packaging generally looks impressive and inviting then you open it up and, oh... a pair of underpants. Thanks so much. Or on the other hand, Oh, a bottle of Hermitage Grange. Wow!! Thank you thank you thank you. The Hotel Lux? A pair of undies.

We're off early
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Looking down from the Schloss
in the morning for Interlaken, Switzerland so lights out and snoring.


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Alte Bruecke Heidelberg

The old bridge across the Neckar


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