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Monday, July 23, 2012

Heidelberg Castle

To pick up where I last left off, we were due to meet up with our Adventure guides and the group around 5 pm on Monday - July 2nd.

Mike and I spent some time relaxing in our room after our drizzly walk through Heidelberg and met up with our fellow adventurers in the main lounge of the hotel.  We were only about 21, which is about half the usual amount of adventurers on the trip.

I was wearing my skele-corgi shirt, gotta represent!

Mike made the introductions for us because I'm a little on the shy side and we got to talking to our fellow adventurers.  We also received our first pin and our Adventures by Disney lanyard.

After the meeting, we went to dinner, which was a buffet.  I used a few German words here when I told the server, "klein", because he wanted to give me a huge serving of sauerkraut.  "Klein" means small in German and he obliged and gave me a very small serving.  See, I learned something from Rosetta Stone!

Later still, we hung out with some of our new friends in the bar area before heading up to bed.  We had to be up fairly early to eat breakfast before boarding the bus to head up to the castle.

The earliest structure of Heidelberg Castle dates back to around 1214 AD and was later expanded around 1294.  It was the home of Rupert III, King of Germany in the 1400s, and he was the one that expanded it and turned it into a fortress.  It has seen various attacks during the Thirty Years war in the 1620s-1630s and the Nine Years war that begain in the late 1680s.

When we arrived, we were greeted by our guide for the morning, Lizzie.  Because we were on a private tour, there were certain areas of the castle open to just us and not the rest of the tourists.  And let me tell you, there were plenty of tourists!

The first area we saw was the main entrance.  Notice it's only as wide as a wagon or a caravan.  It used to be a drawbridge, but it has since been cemented.  Under the archway was the portcullis, which still resides in the ceiling.  You can see the large doors that would be reinforced when the castle closed up for the night.

Passing through the archway, we were led to the small museum that held statues and a scaled down version of the castle and its gardens.

After the museum, we walked through the courtyard, which looks like this:

I continued on with the group to see the second floor areas of the castle, while Mike went down to the cellar to wait for us.  There were too many stairs for him to navigate and lug his wheelchair up and down them that we felt it best to separate at this point and pick up again later.

When we did meet up again, we were led to the moat.  Yes, I said moat.  Look at the scale of the people in this picture compared to the height of the walls.  Crazy stuff huh?

We continued through the moat and went past the "Powder Tower".  This tower as you would expect held the gunpowder and it exploded, leaving it in ruins.

We continued on to the terrace where we were able to get shots like:

Ok, that's enough posting for today, next in the series - Alsfeld!

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