With Mannheim explored, the apartment chosen, and some friends made, we had one more day before we needed to head home to Michigan for a few weeks. The small town of Heidelburg is only a few minutes away from Mannheim (seriously, everything is so much closer together in Germany). The two are closer than Ann Arbor and Detroit. All you Michiganders, or those of you who WISH you were Michiganders, know how far apart these two cities are.
The idea was that we would drive over there for a couple hours, take some pictures of the castle, maybe grab some lunch in the Altstadt and then head back to the hotel, pack, and get to bed early. Well, as the saying goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men, oft go awry."
We got there, fought to find some parking and went to take some pictures of the castle only to find that it was about a 900m walk to the castle. No big deal. Except for the fact that it was a NEARLY VERTICAL climb. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. But it was steep nonetheless.
At this point, you might be thinking, "Hmm, I wonder how she was dressed." Well, apparently not appropriately for climbing a mountain.
Note to self: next time we go to Heidelberg, do not wear a skirt and flip flops, no matter how cute you look. Wear sensible shoes. The skirt would probably still be ok, unless it's windy.
Initially, the plan was just to photograph the outside of the castle, but after braving our way up a steep, cobble-stoned mountain, we figured we might as well pay the 6 Euros each and go in to actually see the castle. Totally worth it. Some highlights included a sweet sundial (yes, I am fully aware that I just inferred that a sundial is cool), some beautiful gardens and views of the Neckar, and a very interesting apothecary museum. The coolest part? The two story barrel of cheer (or maybe it was beer?). This thing was seriously big - in the picture below, I can barely reach the tap, and that's not just because I'm vertically challenged.
We spent a couple of hours wandering around, playing tourist, before heading back down the mountain. If you think walking up a cobble stoned mountain in flip flops is hard, trying walking down one. It's harder. By the time we got to the bottom, my legs were actually shaking. I was kind of surprised, and mildly frustrated. Why do I go to the gym all the time just to be sore from walking DOWN a mountain?
We then grabbed a well deserved lunch (wurst salad for me, straight up wurst for Aaron) and a beer. We didn't explore much of the Altstadt, except to go to a famous chocolate store and to find the Jack Wolfskin store (which was closed), but you can bet that I will be back here. Hopefully when there are fewer people. And no Russians doing shots (true story).
Check out some more awesome pictures from the castle below (including one of the sweet sundial). Our next post will be all about the Apothecary Museum! You know you wanna see that!
- Meghan -