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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Heidelberg Day 1

After our trying time getting to Heidelberg, all Mike and I wanted was to go to bed.  But, seeing as Germany is 6 hours ahead, we didn't want to risk crazy jet lag longer than needed.  We ate a quick dinner at the hotel, best BLT I've ever had, then retired to our room.  Our bodies wanted to stay up, but our minds were tired.  Sleeping that night was difficult.  We'd only manage about an hour's worth of sleep, then we'd be up again.  I busied myself with reading and Mike skimmed through German late night tv.

Because we arrived a day before the tour was scheduled to start and we didn't have to officially meet up with the tour til 5 pm that evening, Mike and I had the entire day to explore Heidelberg by ourselves!  YAY!

We headed down to breakfast, feeling much better than the previous day and very hungry.  The breakfast buffet at the Europaischer Hotel Heidelberg was amazing.  I regret not taking a picture of the spread, so you'll have to take my word for it.  Mike and I dined on scrambled eggs, bacon - oh amazing bacon, sausages - chicken and pork and more, deli meat, homemade sausages, breads, pastries, fruit, cereal and more.  This marked the beginning of our 3 times a day sausage consumption for the duration of the trip.

After breakfast, we headed into the lobby where we ran into our two adventure guides - Nadine and Jennae.  Nadine suggested we visit the Hauptstraße, (or Main Street in English), and so we headed off in that direction, but not before taking pictures of the hotel.

We walked out to the street and immediately had to take notice of the cyclists.  Cycling is big in Germany.  This is something we aren't accustomed to in North America, where everyone drives.  Here, it seems everyone cycles!  There are bike paths integrated on to the sidewalks and so you must be careful not to step into the path of a cyclist and you must watch out for not only the cars, but the cyclists.

After a few minutes of turning around to get our bearings, we headed off in the right direction!  To the Hauptstraße!

We first passed by the Bismarkplatz, which is a large square devoted to the public transportation offerings in Heidelberg - bus and tram.  Then, we arrived at the beginning of the Hauptstraße, which is a mile long street containing shops, restaurants and otherwise lovely German architecture that captivated Mike and I.

I have no other words for this street because Mike and I wandered around like little children in a candy store.  There's nothing even remotely close to the architecture and the feeling of being in an old place, yet still being grounded that I'll let the pictures do it justice.

We walked up and down the street and I even practiced a very small amount of German when I purchased a postcard in a local shop.

Mike and I made it all the way to the Alte Brűcke and we saw our first glimpse of Heidelberg Castle, where we would visit the following day.

All in all, a lovely day.

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