Today we celebrated finding an apartment by taking off east in our little rented Mercedes to the ancient city of Heidelberg on the banks of the Neckar. The drive is a little over an hour from Ramstein. The oldest evidence of human life was found near Heidelberg, and later it was settled by ancient Celts and eventually by the Romans. The old bridge that stands today is actually quite new in the context of the city's long history. Heidelberg has a beautiful old town which escaped the ravages of World War II allied bombings, and it has been reserved for mostly pedestrian and bike traffic. The steep hills and cobblestones call for some pretty hardy biking, which the young students and even older faculty of the University of Heidelberg appear to handle effortlessly.
The highlight and most conspicuous marker of the old town is Heidelberg Schloss (Castle) which sits majestically on a steep cliff over the river. It is accessible by car or tour bus, trolley or, in our case, hoofing it up some remarkably steep cobbled streets. It's a pretty good climb and well worth the effort. Once on the castle grounds you get a marvelous view of the city. Unfortunately, we did not get to see much of the inside: that is only available in a reserved guided tour.
|Up to the castle|
|Goethe drank beer here|
|The old town bridge|
|Goethe was here, too, at the castle|