On our way to London to visit my brother, we stopped over in Frankfurt, Germany. My brother decided to fly over from London to meet us and have a short weekend in Heidelberg.
We arrived early in the morning, totally jetlagged from our long flight, and my brother met us with the hire car. Since we were in Germany, we decided to splurge and hire a Mercedes Benz. The kind hire car company upgraded us and we ended up with a top of the range S class Merc. Our weekend had started!
After wandering around the local Frankfurt weekend market and stuffing ourselves with curry wurst, bretzels and local apple cider, we made off to Heidelberg. Speeding down the autobarn at over 200kms/hour was a little scary, but Mr Ana managed to pass out from jetlag in the front passenger seat. I’m glad my brother was driving as he drove on the autobarn as though he drove in Germany all the time.
While driving, my brother and I got the munchies – something we always get while travelling, ever since we were little kiddies – we certainly weren’t kids any more but that didn’t stop us! Mr Ana was still passed out in the car so we stopped by an Aldi supermarket. Would it be like the Aldi chain stores in Australia? No, it wasn’t – it had a much much larger selection of groceries and those cool odd things that Aldi sells. You know, a picnic table and chair set for something like €5, or maybe a 100% cashmere jumper for €2.30. We were very good though, we just kept our shopping to some Haribo golden bears (my brother’s favourite), a packet of German potato chips (a travelling prerequisite of mine – I have to try the local potato chips!), some water to hydrate, and some German chocolate. Oh, and a small pack of ice creams, just because we could:)
We stopped at the Werthreim Village Outlet Mall to have a quick shop and I came out with a few pairs of Birkenstock sandals to bring home (at around $40AUD a pair, woo hoo!).
Finally we arrived in Heidelberg. We drove along the river in the mercedes with the sun shining… I really could get used to this! A lot of tourists stop by in Heidelberg for the same reason as we did, to have a look at the stunning ruins of Heidelberg Castle. The first castle building was built in the 14th century, with other parts added in the 16th and 17th century. Later in the 17th century the castle was damaged in the largely religious conflict of the 30 years’ war. No one ever had the funds to repair the castle and it became disused (with the city taking the rubble to build other town buildings at one stage). What was left behind was an impressive castle ruin, which is a great attraction in Heidelberg.
The weather was beautifully warm and despite it being around 17 degrees, we strolled around in short sleeves. The sun put me in a such a happy mood.
Beyond the impressive castle is the charm of the cobbled streets and alleyways of Heidelberg, and we spent hours wandering around in the afternoon into the evening. Sure there are heaps of tourists around (including us) but that’s part of the fun.
During our stay we were able to eat the obligatory sausages that are so famous in Germany – and admittedly, I’m a massive fan of German sausages! We also tried potato dumplings, beef stews, and quite a few different types of micro-brewed beers.
Heidelberg was a lovely interlude in Europe. Yes it is a tourist town, but it still holds a lot of genuine history and beauty. Worth a stop over if you are ever in Frankfurt.