This post is long overdue. But I got so used to being on vacation and doing absolutely no work that I just couldn’t bring myself to type, even though I am so excited to relive every minute of my vacation!
About a week ago, we got back from my first ever trip to Europe. It was UH-maze-ing! Our first stop was in Heidelberg, Germany, since hubs had a conference there. A friend who grew up with me in Jamaica met up with us, so I was able to be in full-on vacation mode while poor hubs was nerding it out at the conference.
We got there on a super humid day, and it was clear that it had been raining since the Neckar River was brown and flooding a little. While exploring the sights, we actually passed by a sizable flock of really old, frail looking people trying to get off a riverboat. They had to add a makeshift ramp to the existing ramp to extend over the flooded area, and as we approached we watched a few of them shakily cross the narrow ramp at a snail’s pace, holding onto some random guy’s arm. We may or may not have been not-so-secretly wishing one of them would slip. Just a little!
We found our way to Old Town and were looking around at the little restaurants, trinket shops and bars when the wind picked up and the clouds started to roll in. We decided that we would brave the weather since our flat was a 15-minute walk away and we had just gotten there! But of course we didn’t have any raincoats or umbrellas with us. Needless to say, less than ten minutes later we found ourselves huddled under a small hotel’s tiny awning in a blackout deluge. But not before we were able to snap a few shots!
Once we realized that the rain wasn’t blowing over, we decided to make a run for it across the street to the river, where a solar-powered boat called the Neckarsonne was getting ready to set out on a cruise down the river. We bolted, and it took all of 45 seconds to reach the entrance of the boat, which was glass-enclosed and would protect us from the rain. I get there first and look back at hubs, just to find him absolutely covered, from the bottom of his shorts to his toes, in mud. Apparently the dirt median on the road had “looked solid” to him even though we were basically in the middle of a monsoon. It became the running joke for the rest of our trip that puddles weren’t solid, which I pointed out whenever I thought it would be particularly helpful for him. So…every time I saw one.
The rest of our trip was less eventful, but in a good way. Heidelberg is a very small but old town in the South of Germany, and is known for having one of the oldest universities in the world. And a cool Schloss (castle).
My friend and I had a very relaxing time strolling around the Bismarckplatz, which was a lovely market square, riding the funicular up the hill to the Schloss, and eating amazing schnitzel from the Heidelberg Schnitzelhaus, which had 101 types of schnitzel. So delicious! I also discovered German shandy (really just Radler), which they have with Sprite or ginger ale instead of the lemonade I was used to in a shandy. I could drink that all day…and maybe I did – I was on vacation, after all!
I’m glad my friend was able to make it out, since I would have gotten a bit bored exploring the town alone with hubs being at the conference all day (and sometimes all night it seemed). Heidelberg really is a lovely place, but is also small. I would definitely recommend visiting here for a couple of days whilst on a tour of the rest of Germany, but our stay of five days would be too long unless you are visiting locals.
We did have the option of visiting the nearby town of Mannheim, which is easily accessible on the train (we actually made a transfer there on our train ride from Frankfurt airport), but we got lazy and ended up enjoying our Airbnb flat’s big comfy couch instead that afternoon.
We got lucky while we were here since the EuroCup was in full swing, and we actually were able to follow loudly-dressed football (soccer) fans to a public viewing of the Germany vs England match. Unfortunately it was a bit wet and we got there late, so we cotched at a corner picnic table and caught glimpses of the game here and there, but mostly we had fun drinking beer and yelling at people who stood directly in our way and refused to move.
All in all, Heidelberg ended up being a perfectly relaxing segue-way into our Europe trip. I had a German friend to translate for me, and we didn’t really have a big itinerary. I would have liked to have seen a little more of the country, but with the weather being wet and a bit chilly anyways, it was just as well that I spend some of the time indoors, catching up with an old friend.