Day 11, Heidelberg

I woke up a few times during the night on my slightly sagging bed, a wee bit uncomfortable. Our third room mate never returned last night so we left the windows open to keep the air going, and I left the curtains open once my room mate had fallen asleep. 

I woke at 8, had breakfast, and the morning routine until I was ready to leave. I then walk down the main road from Steffis hostel to the castle, going into a number of shops along the way. I made a mental note to myself that I would like to go back to one of the department stores because there were some clothes there I wanted to buy, but I really shouldn’t do that now because it is still early in the trip, and I would need to load those items through at least two more countries. I did pause in a convenience store to buy a chocolate milk, some Riesen chocolate (which is my favourite from here), and a two pack of hazelnut scrolls. 

A small but wholesome breakfast

I went up the castle from what I think was a kind of side entrance, and paid for a ticket. Initially I wasn’t sure why I needed to buy a ticket, but I later realised that this was entry to the castle grounds – I guess you really need to decide for yourself it’s worth it or not, I went into the pharmacy museum which was good but not particularly my thing, you can also go downstairs into the food court area and have currywurst (German curried sausages), and there was enormous wine barrel. You also get a really good view of the other side of the city, but if you want to go inside the castle proper you need to take a guided tour, which is more money. The grounds themselves around the castle, and the gardens were free, so unless you really want to go inside and intend to take a guided tour, it would save you about seven euros to not walk into the castle area. 

Looking up at part of the castle ruins, from the balcony
Overlooking the city from the balcony

You do get a ticket which includes a cable car ride from the castle further up the hill (and I think down to the city?), but currently that is not running so at the moment you can take a bus, which I did not think would be nearly as exciting or scenic, so I walked back into the city after eating my pre-purchased lunch in the park, overlooking the city and a ruined part of the castle. 

From there I went to a museum called Kurpf√§lzisches museum (no photos!), I’m not sure of the translation of this, but it was only three euros so I went and had a look around at the art, and downstairs to the archaeology section which I really enjoyed. It was about 4 o’clock at this point and I really wanted to do the philosophers walk before I left Heidelberg, so I mapped a route and began to walk across the old bridge. It was sunny all day so the walk up the other side of the hill was a bit nasty, but you get an even nicer view of the city and the castle. I sat for a while here and there to enjoy the view along the walk and calm down, and also to eat some of my chocolates. 

On the way up to the philosopher’s walk
Juuuust around the river bend… ūüé∂

I read the message Cathy sent me again and she talked about a place to go on Heidelberg mountain, which I found is called Thingst√§tte. Except the walk Google maps had led me to was just the beginning and I could have mapped it far earlier, and turned earlier for a much quicker trip. So I began to power walk up the hill as the sun was setting and, while confident in the skills Swang had attempted to teach me, light would have been preferable for a good photo experience. 

They were everywhere. But I only knew where I wanted to go, and I think these are all names of walks you can do

Up the mountain in checking Google and looking at one f the stones with directions carved in them, and I hear a voice behind me: 

Where are you looking to go? 

I fumble to get my phone back out and tell him the name, saying ‘its called… uh….’ and he asks Thingst√§tte? He gives me directions which I understood (the things you learn early in language classes that you don’t care about learning WILL come in handy!), and set back of again. Eventually I reached it – as though I could miss it. It’s a giant amphitheatre which can sit something like 8000 people, built during the Third Reich (Nazi times). I took photos, and sat atop the steps, had my second scroll, the rest of my chocolate milk, another Riesen, and the rest of my water as I watched the sun set. 

Looking up Thingstätte
The view from where I had my late afternoon tea

But then of course, I had to get home. Now, the way that I chose to walk there was convoluted, so I thought the best rout down the mountain but be direct to the old fridge, where I could walk across the waterfront and then down to my hostel. Here’s a picture of the mountain to give you an idea of where I was, and where I had to go:

That green area for half the walk is like a forest!

So it’s getting dark and I’m walking down the other side (the dark side) of the mountain, just kinda squinting and being ginger with my steps so I don’t slip. Then I had a fantastic idea. 

So I took my sunnies off, and that gave me an extra half hour or so of light – enough to get into the city at least. When I did I was starving, and so I searched currywurst on Google maps to see what I can find. I ended up going to a place that was kind of like a fast food restaurant – and ordered a currywurst with a bread roll. It was fantastic, not quite how I remember it, but I have been making my own since I got back from Germany, so it’s probably different because I’ve forgotten it. 

It was GOOD

I walked back to the hostel, wondering what I should do with Friday. I talked to Cathy about what I did, and she said I could it easy since I packed everything she recommended into one day. Just after that I passed by a massage place And carefully read everything outside, making sure that they offered nothing sexual (in France I was looking at a massage flyer and was informed by reception that it was offering massages for couples and other ‘sensual’ activities, so I decided I had better wait until I understand the language). 

I walked in, used all the skills my German teacher and lecturers taught me, and I booked a massage for the following day at 11am. I then popped back to the hostel and booked my bed for one more night. Rest day was planned for Friday.

Once I lay down to rest (at 7:30 in the evening!) I worked out, if I take into account ALL euro spending since I got to France and came to Heidelberg (so that’s accommodation, travel, food, gifts), i have spent about 60 – 65 euros a day. That’s between about 90 and 107 NZ dollars each day. So I took a high estimate of ‚ā¨80 per day and found to survive until I’m back in London I will need something like ‚ā¨1700 (about 21 days, 3 weeks). So as long as I don’t lose any money or make any stupid purchases, I’ll have money left over as a safety net if I need it. 

I had no trouble falling asleep that night, but I kept waking through the night, due to the light, noise, heat, and probably back pain. 

The sun setting over Heidelberg behind me, the castle in the distance