Heidelberg (July 2017)

From Hohenwerfen Castle, Austria I headed for my next destination, Heidelberg, Germany. I departed later than planned, so I was going to arrive late at night. As I approached Stuttgart, I witnessed a dramatic thunder and lightening storm. The forked lightening striking across the horizon turned night into day. The heavy rains that accompanied it, made driving hazardous; I could hardly see the road in front of me. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find a motorway services with available space for me to stop. I eventually found one a few miles out of Heidelberg, where I nestled between two lorries. By the time I crawled into bed, I was shattered.

Later in the morning I headed for the Park and Ride (Messplatz) in Heidelberg, as parking a motorhome in the city centre would be next to impossible. I cycled the 3 km to Bismarckplatz, where I parked the cycle and walked along Hauptstrasse to the castle. Heidelberg has a young feel to it, but this is hardly surprising for a university town, where it is estimated that 25% of the population are students.

The first thing I noticed was the number of churches in Heidelberg. Heiliggeistkirche on Marktplatz was probably the pick of them all. It was built around 1400 AD and is Heidelberg’s oldest church. Marktplatz is lined with cafes and souvenir stalls and of course, I picked up a couple of fridge magnets here.

DSC_0163DSC_0186DSC_0180DSC_0245It is not far from Marktplatz to reach Heidelberg Castle. Entrance to the castle is €7, for the views alone, is reasonable. The castle dates from the 13th Century, but in the centuries following, it was extended. The castle structure was destroyed during the 30 years war and much of it still remains in ruins.

DSC_0208DSC_0215DSC_0202DSC_0218DSC_0199DSC_0233DSC_0234Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) spans the Neckar and was built between 1786 and 1788 and is one of Heidelberg’s main attractions.

DSC_0168DSC_0211DSC_0209I wasn’t disappointed with Heidelberg, I only wish I could have stayed here longer, but I had one more ‘must see’ on my list and time was getting on.

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