Monday, March 16, 2009
Today Sarah and I left on a train at 9:05 and headed to Heidelberg (which really isn't early unless you stayed up until 3am talking - I love Sarah). It is really weird traveling when you don't know the language. Two college guys found out that we were American because they handed their camera to us and said, "photo photo?" And since we responded in English they decided to sit with us. BLEAH. And ask us dumb questions the entire trip. I can't even explain how many stupid questions they asked and how they talked about how they were over here for three months, but had no idea what they were doing (each of them told us something different) or what the countries looked like or what tickests to buy... it was pretty sad. They didn't even have a map!! Man, I is funny now, but it was annoying then. ha. Sarah and I thought we were helpless until we met these guys. Wow.
We arrived in Heidelberg at 11:00 and took a bus to the bottom of the hill where the castle (click castle for the home page and pictures) sat, but we decided to go find lunch and wander around the old town for a few hours first. About 2:00 we figured we should stop wandering, give up on finding lunch, and get up to the castle if we wanted to see it. Several switchbacks later, we made it to the top and the back of the castle (things are so poorly marked around here as touristy things go... I mean shouldn't there be huge signs all around pointing you up the right roads? We just took random roads until we found the hill and some paths going up to the castle).
We wandered around the castle, took a guided tour, and wandered around some more. Then we walked around the gardens and in the moat. The grounds were beautiful. After all that, we walked down 310 steps from the castle to the city, walked over 2 kilometers back to our train station (which left at 17:05 or 5:05), road two hours home (7.05), walked 15 minutes (7:20) to the Sperows, and were greeted with, "we are so glad you are still alive" and dinner. :)
Dinner was shintzal, green beans, roasted potatoes, and brown bread, followed by Black Forest Cake and Lemon Celo. Mrs. Sperow says she loves company because she gets to have all her favorite foods. Believe me, if you come, she will feed you. I have eaten so much and gone to so many neat places thanks to them. I know they love company... So come and experience so many awesome things (hint hint Mom and Dad). Heidelberg seemed a little touristy, but other then that the city was gorgeous and fun to wander about (as you can see from the FIVE straight hours of wandering we did). My feet are tired.
I leave you with a picture of one of the towers that fell. This was done by the french during the thirty year war. The walls are 17 feet thick and they couldn't hurt it from the outside so once they got inside they blew it up from the inside. We saw it from the ground and it is really impressive. It is HUGE! Oh, and American tourists are so annoying and loud. It is embarassing.
Two days until London. Tomorrow we are touring France and some WWII historical stuff. Woohoo. Mrs. Sperow is taking off work early and taking us. :D It will be so much more fun.
A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green woods, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect. One of these old towers is split down the middle, and one half has tumbled aside. It tumbled in such a way as to establish itself in a picturesque attitude. Then all it lacked was a fitting drapery, and Nature has furnished that; she has robed the rugged mass in flowers and verdure, and made it a charm to the eye. The standing half exposes its arched and cavernous rooms to you, like open, toothless mouths; there, too, the vines and flowers have done their work of grace. The rear portion of the tower has not been neglected, either, but is clothed with a clinging garment of polished ivy which hides the wounds and stains of time. Even the top is not left bare, but is crowned with a flourishing group of trees & shrubs. Misfortune has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character sometimes−improved it. --Mark Twain