A Travellerspoint blog

September 2014

Romantik Altstadt und Philosophenweg - Heidelberg

Romantic Heidelberg and the Philosopher's Way

So after an overnight stop in Cologne (saw the cathedral, drank some K├Âlsch...well Lewis did, and saw the Rhine river) we arrived in Heidelberg.


Our ride from Cologne to Heidelberg was the first time using our train pass without a reservation. It had a few manic moments (let's be honest I had a few manic moments)...mainly because we got onto a carriage where there were no non-reserved seats left... but after a bit of searching we were sweet and found a carriage with plenty of free seats. The train ride was along the Rhine River which has numerous castles and vineyards up on the hills......needless to say it was beautiful and all I could hope was that Heidelberg was just as picturesque.


My first thought when we got off a the central station...why are we here and not back at the picture perfect Rhine? We were surrounded by concrete buildings and there was no sign of anything remotely pretty.

10mins later on the bus we arrived in the old town district of Heidelberg (Altstadt) and it all made sense. The old town is exactly that. It makes you feel as if you have gone back in time. Our hostel was directly under the castle and central to the whole old town area (no bussing anywhere for us :D ). It was our first backpackers (Didn't do badly choosing it either considering it has recently been nominated as one of the best hostels in the world and has won the best hostel in Germany this year!). We had our own private room (we ended up with a 70's themed room...retro wallpaper, orange lamps) and shared two separate bathrooms with four other people...No lines for the shower in the morning. It was definitely a easy hostel experience :D

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Our first day in Heidelberg was all about exploring the old town and all the different landmarks. The castle ruins were incredible (the views were magnificent from up there). Both days we went up there to relax and enjoy the view.

The tourists didn't seem as hectic in Heidelberg compared to our last few spots (maybe it was because we could go and explore when they had gone home or maybe it was because it was a Monday or maybe we were adapting to huge amounts of people). No matter what the reason I wasn't complaining.

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(As you can see by the photo I had to see the baboon and rub his mirror for wealth...lets hope it works :D )

We realised shortly after we arrived in Germany that when we ordered a meal everything only comes in MASSIVE portions (after the first 2 days we now only order a main to share). Schnitzel and potatoes (either pan fried or as potato salad) was a daily consumption for the first three days (the novelty and heaviness of the meal wore off pretty fast and we discovered a few other delicious items on the menu).


Our dinner our first night in Heidelberg was first class! We went to a old school wine bar/restaurant, Schnitzelbank. The place had an excellent vibe and an impressive rustic feel. To top it off the wine and the food was delicious! The schnitzel was so soft! The creamed cabbage perfect with the lemoned schnitzel and the potatoes crispy. The wine though was what made this place shine...The sad part was that I forgot to ask what type our lovely waiter gave us. (We let him choose as we had no idea of any of the varieties on the menu - no merlot, shiraz or anything remotely similar on their menu).


It was up the philosopher's walk (Philosophenweg) on the opposite side of the river the next day. The story is this is where the old university lecturers use to come to walk and think. It is beautiful up there and the forest felt like it should have had fairies living in it. It also has a slightly hotter climate so figs and fruit were growing everywhere. (I was pretty sad at all the overflowing apple trees we passed that I couldn't pick an apple off...they were fenced off).


It was on our walk that we saw the amphitheatre (Thingstatte) that was built for Nazi propaganda events as well as old monastery ruins. The isolation from the world was a great and just what we needed. (We only saw three other people for the 4hours + we were up there).


We were sad to leave Heidelberg. I liked that it was a smaller city and so things were a little more relaxed and easier to access. Bring on more of Germany and places like Heidelberg!


Posted by chellebelle 10:43 Archived in Germany Tagged walk castle europe cologne philosopher's Comments (2)

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