I could do a Euro trip and go exclusively to Germany. And Spain. But seriously, the bias is real on this one people. I missed this country more than I can say, and being back has only reinforced the idea that one day soon, I'm going to have to live here. Maybe next year?
Anyway, we arrived in Heidelberg early afternoon and came to the unpleasant conclusion that the step by step directions I had printed directly from the hostel website were written by someone even worse with navigation than I was when I first got my license. I couldn't even find the mall two towns over, if that gives you an idea. So after asking several incredibly kind Germans where in God's name our hostel was and getting about a billion different answers and fifteen different street names, Chrissy pulled out Google Maps and got us there. I still count it as a win because we were almost there when she mapped us, but in all honesty it could have been another half hour of lugging our bags from hell to find the damn place. Speaking of hellish bags, Chrissy's broke mid walk over, so that was neat. Never fear, we bought her a new one. It rolls and has four wheels and it is truly a lifesaver. When we finally arrived at the hostel, the barkeep let us into our private room - yet again in the highest room in the tallest tower, I'm sensing a pattern here - and I'm 97% sure he thought Chrissy and I were a bit more than friends, but what can you do. The room was actually wonderful and the location was great, but our Wifi was nonexistent and the staff was unhelpful at best. Luckily there was a Starbucks nearby so we could buy our bus tickets to Nürnberg. After settling in, we headed into town.
Heidelberg is a notoriously beautiful German city, and that's saying something considering how beautiful German cities are (no bias here, move along). What it lacks in night life, it makes up for ten fold in outdoor activities and breathtaking views. The weirdo that I am, I have a list of what we should be doing - and more importantly eating - in each country, so we went and found a map to see how to make it all work. The weather here was perfect so we took advantage of it and spent almost all our time outside. We walked around the city center, checked out one of the oldest universities in Germany, got some quality Schnitzel and Radler, stopped for some gelato, and headed home for our first full night of sleep since we arrived in Europe.
On Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to a bakery for breakfast because Germany and because bread and because what even are carbs? We then made our way through old town, stopping for books and steins and souvenirs, heading in the direction of the Heidelberg Schloss (castle). Those of you who have the pleasure of being my Facebook friend will have seen the pictures, but for those of you who haven't, the castle is a massive brick structure with several crumbling facades that give it even more character than I thought possible. The view from the top was stunning and as we listened to the church bells ring in midday, we felt pretty blessed to be two almost-adults standing on top of a castle in the middle of Germany. Eventually we made our way back down the mountain to the city center where we bought Chrissy a new suitcase before dropping it off at the hostel and heading back out for lunch. We settled on pizza and beer - classic I know, but so much yummier here - and people watched until we decided to grab some more gelato, because again, Germany. It was around that time that we realized we needed to print our bus tickets if we wanted to actually get on the bus to see Sassy the next day, so we asked around for a copy shop. After having found one to be closed and another to not actually exist anymore, I was getting anxious (you physically cannot board the bus without a ticket) and Chrissy played it off like she wasn't so I could refrain from losing my proverbial marbles. Eventually we got desperate and I stopped into a retail store to ask for directions to yet another shop. They did not know where one was, but actually took the time to call around and find out where we could find one and made sure it was still open. I could have kissed them, but I refrained because the Germans are not a touchy-feely bunch. Tickets printed and stress gone, we went towards the Old Bridge in Heidelberg which would lead us towards Philosopher's Way, a stunning hike and lookout on the mountain bordered by the river that ran through the city. It sounds like a great idea, right? Wrong. The first 15 minutes straight involved stairs that an Olympic medalist might have struggled with, so after a few breaks - no shame - we made it to the top and began to walk the mountainside. It was absolutely, mind blowingly gorgeous. We took our time walking the path, though we did come to the conclusion that they call it "Philosopher's Way" because the entire time you climb you're just panting thinking "WHY" have I done this to myself. Call us Hippocrates and Socrates, it's fine. Around an hour before sunset we rolled ourselves down the mountain to find a grocery store where we could pick up meats and cheeses and fruit to bring to the river for a sunset picnic. As I typed that last bit I understood why maybe the barkeep wasn't sure how "friendly" Chrissy and I really were. We were exhausted after all the walking and the stairs and the exercise - no I'm not a 91yr old WWII vet, just a whiner - and were half asleep avoiding our responsibilities when we came to the conclusion that our bags wouldn't pack themselves. We called to reserve a taxi for 9am the next morning and were asleep soon after, excited for our trip to Nürnberg to visit my all time favorite German, Saskia.
And this is where I leave you, until next time!!
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Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
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