Thursday, October 7, 2010

Frankfurt! Day 2 (Heidelburg)

Train rides, cool towns and a castle. Worst possible day for my camera to run out of battery.

Nonetheless, we got up early, ate corn flakes with Suzy and Carlos, and got on the train to Heidelburg.

All the announcements on the train were made in German, so over the course of just over an hour, Kevin and I had ignored everything being said. "And for the young lady in the front, we've reached our final destination, Heidelburg." What a welcome! Kevin must have looked a lot less clueless than me when the guy came around to check tickets.

It was cold and rainy, but we made our way through the weather into Old Towne where a festival was going on. The 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest had just opened the previous weekend in Munich, so every town in Germany was celebrating, including Heidelburg. The best way I can put it was that it was a German Arts, Beats and Eats. A few stages, a bunch of food, and instead of Art, lots of beer. That's just how they roll.

We kept walking through until we reached a cobblestone path leading up to the castle.
The rain had stopped, so we were dry, but everything had the just-after-rain look. You know, the deep greenness that makes it seem like the foliage is taking over.

The thing with the Heidelburg Castle is that it's partly renovated and partly falling apart. There's a museum of pharmacy inside, and a grand courtyard that is nice as well as a couple connecting areas that were restored. Then there are the parts of the castle surrounded by scaffolding, which are in the process of being made over. And THEN there are the ruins -- the stuff we can climb on!
Taken after Kevin put my camera in his armpit to warm it up and coerce it into taking another picture despite the battery being 99% dead.
But it's not so adventurous because there's an actual path that has been worn away from the thousands of people with a similar idea.

We wandered around quite a bit and instantly wished we had more time here to see other castles. The Rhine in Germany (google it) is riddled with castles all over. Unfortunately we'd just have to make due with our few hours at this one, in this laid back German college town.

Like all young adventurers, we eventually got hungry and left the castle in search of some more starchy, gravy-covered German fare. However, since it was only 3 in the afternoon, our options were limited (Seriously Europe, why don't you eat dinner until 7pm??). We ended up at a Spaghetti place -- not an Italian place, a spaghetti place. Lucky for us the man in charge spoke English. Unlucky for us, the food was gross.

We wandered around the festival for a while, listening to music here and there, popping into t-shirt stores and gummy bear shoppes packed full of happy customers. Probably the coolest thing for me about Germany was people watching and seeing that I looked just like them. I'm at least 75% German, but for some reason I thought I didn't really look it, looking more like my mom's willowy, fair skinned side of the family and less like my dad's tall, sturdy, darker haired & complected 100% German side. But there I was, in my motherland, tall with high cheek bones and squinty eyes just like everyone else. Pretty cool!

The sun came out toward the evening, setting on the castle. It was beautiful, but you'll have to take my word for it because at that point there was no hope in getting another picture out of my exhausted camera. We took the train back to Frankfurt, getting in a few games of Yahtzee en route. Stopped at the grocery store to pick up some granola bars for the plan ride home, and then back to the apartment for sleeeeeeep.

While Suzey was giving us a speed tour of the city on Friday, we were making mental notes of where we wanted to come back for shoes, clothes, etc. So we were pretty excited for getting up on Sunday and shopping on our last day.


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