Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg was a relatively quick drive from Cologne that took only 2 and a half hours, which I would have done much faster on the autobahn if Lucy would have let me, but as we did have furry children on board I kept it under 180 kph. Heidelberg, most famous for its university founded in 1386 was the learning center of Europe for a time. Today, strolling through the city feels very much like visiting a sleepy Ivy League town here during vacation when all the students are away. That was the great appeal during our visit; the fact that most of the students were away and we were able to see the town with its permanent residents who were very friendly. The town was beautiful with terracotta rooftops that glowed in the springtime sun. We stayed in quiet, empty but warm boutique hotel that had its own private hidden courtyard.


Mark with the Boyos in Heidelberg, Germany.

On the kind concierges recommendation we chose a restaurant located near the library, the first in Germany. Unfortunately they did not have outside seating so after we gave the Boyos a good walk passed the medieval stone gate bridge over the Neckar river and back we decided to let them rest up in the hotel since we were the only guests and no one would disturb them.


Poor Boyos, they are too short to see the beautiful view of the Heidelberg, from Heidelberg Castle.

That's better.

The restaurant was idyllic, warm and inviting with finely crafted wood furniture that made the establishment seem to have been standing there from the founding of the city. We ordered half the menu, stuffing ourselves with sausage, potato salad, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, schnitzel with noodle, and of course, apple strudel. I washed this down with several different brews from my stein, each better than the last, especially since the first was a beer and cola mix that a patron was having and told the waiter to make that two; hey, you live and learn. Lucy, more of a wine enthusiast, stuck with tea as the wine from this region is not its main selling point.The following day we took a drive to the Heidelberg Castle ruins and had a devil of a time finding the parking lot. It became more of an impromptu hiking excursion but in the end we found the castle grounds where Goethe, the famous German poet once found inspiration, and released the hunds. We spent a few hours there just exploring the grounds and checking out the interiors. The most impressive structure inside was the tun, which was a massive oak wine vat the size of a Manhattan apartment. The thing could have been used for pickling prisoners for all we know. We toured the old town a bit more after that visiting the antiquated Kirkes of the city; there are many, some Protestant some Catholic and some both.


"Okay can we come down now?"

We also took the Philosopher’s Walk with the Boyos, which is a trail overlooking the city frequented by the early professors and popularized during the Romantik period. We vastly enjoyed our brief stay in Heidelberg and hope to visit it again soon during the autumn season, perhaps for a more subdued Oktoberfest.

Worst part: the typical European "shower" that is really just a bathtub with a hose i.e. no curtain and no showerhead. Best part: the sheer tranquility of the city that brings you back to the transcendentalist era. I believe the Boyos came back a little wiser from the philosopher's tour (or it could just be a schnitzel coma)!

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