Germany (Heidelberg)

Pic taken from the terrace of Schloss Castle.  Alte Brucke at right of photo and
that distinct structure with the pointy tower is where Marktplatz is.
Before my trip to Germany, I had been trying to look up places of interest and had also asked those who might be able to recommend them.  Heidelberg had seemed interesting as it had a castle and I like the view of the old town and its narrow streets.  I suppose that was a major reason why I opted to stay a couple of days in Frankfurt as it was just an hour’s train ride away.  I love old towns with their rich history and little nooks, and it would be a pleasant way to spend the day. 
It would have been great if only it wasn’t so cold.  The temperature throughout my one week stay in the various places had ranged from -2 to 6 degrees.  Since I’m from a place which is sunny all year round, such low temperatures would take some getting use to.   
After breakfast at the hostel, I made my way to the Hauptbanhof and tried geting a ticket from the vending machine.  Fortunately it had the option for different languages so it wasn’t much of a problem except that I couldn’t see the platform number from the small print on the ticket which is all in German.  I cannot now recall whether the destination was shown on the digital display at the front of each platform, but I’d probably asked at the visitors info booth.  Was finally on my way and after almost an hour’s journey, I started to pay attention to the destination announcement so as not to miss my stop. 
Emerging from Heidelberg Station, I spotted the visitors information booth where a group of tourists were making enquiries about getting to the Schloss Castle as well as the bus tickets.  The staff had kindly provided a free map and circled out the various places of interest as well as the bus/trams to take. 
To get to the Castle, take Bus 33 and alight at Rathaus for a brief ride up on the Bergbahn.  The Castle is just 1 stop away. 


Castle gardens

Getting into the Castle courtyard requires a ticket
I didn’t realize the significance of that giant barrel (Grosses Fass) located in the cellar until I read up on it later.  It seems this barrel was made in 1751 and could hold 221,000 litres of wine.  Wished I had taken a snapshot of it.  After getting my fill of the Castle and enough photos of the town from the terrace, I decided to make my way down to the town centre.   
From Rathaus, it was an interesting walk around the Alstadt (Old Town), along the Hauptstrabe all the way to Bismarkplatz.  I had almost forgotten about the Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) and Bruckentor (Bridge Gate) where the famed Heidelberg monkey was.  It was only when I was already halfway down the Hauptstabe that I remembered and so decided to turn back to look for it along the Neckar river. 

Heidelberg monkey at Alte Brucke 


Walking along the Hauptstrabe with its various shops and eateries on either side.
The Castle can be seen at the far end of this pic.
That was my enjoyable first day from Frankfurt.  The 2nd day didn’t turn out as planned though. 
Once again, I had been on assumption mode and had not done enough homework to find out more about the place I was heading to next ….. Rudesheim.
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