It’s been a few weeks since I returned home from Heidelberg, and only now am I finding the time to finish off my Germany related blog posts. This isn’t for lack of wanting to (believe me, I want to tell everyone I meet to visit Heidelberg), but real life just sometimes gets in the way. But now I have the time, hopefully you’ll enjoy my latest post on the delights that a weekend in Heidelberg can bring!
One of the best things about the trip was visiting my friend, and gaining a firsthand insight into her world which went beyond what I had read in her emails or on her blog. I have to admit, of the friends I have visited in the past 6 months, she was the most settled. Having the perfect package of speaking the language fluently (although she would deny it), feeling at home in her surroundings, and getting on well with her housemates would certainly help. Anyway, I digress. If you have a friend to visit in Heidelberg then you should be taking advantage of the fact you have a friend in such a beautiful place. If not, there is still plenty to see and do.
On the first day, we went for a walk around the centre of the town, which included stopping off at a bakery for elevenses, meeting a statue of Bunsen (he of bunsen burner fame) and a short shopping spree at a Lindt shop where there were an incredible number of flavours available. Whilst Heidelberg itself does sprawl a reasonable distance, the city centre is very small and so it is easy to pack in a lot of sightseeing in a short space of time. Visiting the university foodhall was an unexpected sight to see (but pretty cool), and the Christmas shop is an experience… We also walked up to the castle, leaving me feeling incredibly unfit, and onto the Old Bridge crossing the River Neckar.
The afternoon involved a trip to the university campus where we watched a women’s rugby game. I don’t know if it is just because the German language is quite unfamiliar to me and sounds much more guttural, but German rugby sounds much more violent than rugby in the UK. We then went on a trip to the zoo, which is a lot more exciting than it sounds simply because I have never heard of a university campus having a zoo before. Watching my friend attempting to herd goats is something I wish I had captured on film, but I will just have to cherish the memory instead. After a quick trip to the supermarket (and another opportunity for me to stock up on chocolate!) we headed back to make spätzle.
The following day was also beautiful and involved a walk up the Heiligenberg to see the Heidelberg Thingstätte, an open-air theatre which was built during the Third Reich. We had a picnic lunch sat on the ruins of a monastery, before making our way back into town for some ice cream. The evening involved a meal at a local microbrewery, and then a trip back up to the castle. After 6pm you can get onto the castle terrace for free, giving the perfect opportunity to see views of Heidelberg by night and enjoy the peace of the evening. The city is picturesque, historic, and similar to York in the way that you feel every corner may reveal something new, however long you have lived there.
I had a wonderful time and would strongly recommend a visit. If my friend ends up staying for longer, I will almost certainly be back. Chloe, thank you for good food, good conversation and a fabulous visit!