Okay. So. Monday. Roadtrip! Huzzah! Day trip, really, but we went to Heidelberg. Heidelberg is a really old university city. Apparently, royalty used to live here. This being Europe, that actually no longer impresses me.
How sad is that? Jaded to the fact that royalty once stood upon-
Okay, so that was never that impressive. Most dead people aren't. I mean, seriously? They are dead. So we're on our way to Heidelberg. We cross a really big river, possible the Rhine, as we were in the Rhine Valley at the time.
The 'Rh' really should be replaced by a 'W' by the way. If you want to see vineyards full of grapes for wine, come to the Rhineland. They stretch for miles are are truly a beautiful site. If a bit confusing what with the flat bushes and such.
Either way it was tons of fun, and ended up in a new came that the littlest and I came up with. It has no name, so now I dub it... the 'name-everything-in-sight' game. It's very self explanatory. The goal is to name everything in sight. The worn corn was mentioned a lot. Most amusing is when there was a break in the corn for long grass, normally with bales of hay in it. This resulted in a confusing shout of 'Hay!' Homonyms are tricky things. Because the littlest would shout hay and I'd turn to see what she wanted.
We kept this up for fifteen minutes. It was the longest fifteen minutes of my father's life. Had he and the others merely joined in, they would have had as much fun as we did. Though the game sounds ridiculously stupid, it's actually tons of fun.
So. German parking.
Yeah. The streets were originally meant for horses people. There is little to no street side parking. Do not make me laugh. I have soda at hand and my poor computer has enough problems as it is. This means an underground garage and walking across town to the castle. That's not a big deal, and there was a lot to see along the way.
Then it was up the hill to the castle! Yay! The hill was pretty steep by the way, which was kind of amusing. I had a lot of fun watching my family slowly climb behind me. I stopped often. They didn't keep up. I didn't think I was going that fast, but. Eh.
Anyway, the view from the castle was absolutely amazing. By that, I mean that I haven't seen such a beautiful sight in ages. Heidelberg lies along the Necker River on both sides of its banks. It's really old and wasn't destroyed in the World Wars at all apparently. In otherwords, this is a piteresque European city that looks like it ought to be in a...darn it, I will not get thrown right back into the 'I'm in a movie' phase of being in Europe. But it is that gorgeous.
The castle itself is highly interesting. The inside was closed to the public for something or another. Probably renovations, or support work like many castles tend to have going on fairly constantly. From some pictures in a guide book it's gorgeous, however the outside was beautiful enough for me. Between the view and the coliseum style wall with statues of his 'ancestors' I was highly impressed. All the names were rendered in Latin of course, which made reading them fun. Another display had statues of other famous beings. I noticed David of the bible, Hercules, Justice, the Virgin Mary and a host of other mythological and biblical characters. They seem to go hand in hand in this town, as there is a statue of the Virgin Mary holding Baby Hercules. I kid you not. I thought it was Jesus, but apparently, it was Hercules. The things you learn.
Apparently, the castle is the home to the world's largest wine barrel also. It's about three stories high, has a small 'dance floor' on top and is held inside the cellar. There's a second large barrel that is small, but also in the cellar and probably at least 15 feet high. Do you think they were compensating? Maybe they just liked wine a lot. Who knows?
Inside the castle is also a museum of pharmacies and their history. Odd, but not too bad. It was generally okay. I didn't actually find this that interesting, except that Bayer, which is still around, apparently invented aspirin in 1909. That means the heads of that company are fairly intelligent.
So after our examination of the castle was complete, one of my goals in life was partially fulfilled, as we rode a train down the mountain. Okay, so it was more like a pulley operated train than anything else. I kid you not. It apparently goes all he way up the mountain, but that was higher than the castle. We only found this out when we were on our next stop...the ferry! That's right we rode a ferry up and down the Necker river, though we didn't go through the locks to the upper part of the river, and it was raining, the the top most deck was closed.
But that didn't matter. The view was still gorgeous and as we went up and down the river we saw so many beautiful sights that a girl can't help but be happy. I loved it. We saw parts of the local university, the most interesting mansions I've ever seen, and went under two or three bridges. Graffiti in Germany remains a beautiful and elaborate form of art that I find I don't really mind. Someone had created a graffiti mural. It was beautiful and had kayakers, birds, and so much else as a part of it.
I loved it.
So afterward, we headed home, but it was the end of a beautiful and wonderful day. I wouldn't mind going to Heidelberg again, and spending more time at the castle. Maybe they'll even let us inside?
One Final Byte: Rain is a constant companion in this country.