Song of the Post
- Old Bridge
- Heidelberg Castle
I settled into Heidelberg, Germany. Probably one of the cutest places I have seen! The hostel is an old house turned into a hostel but it is so homey and cute and absolutely beautiful in the rustic sense.
The trip from Amsterdam was very stressful at first since I only had 10 minutes from the bus stop to the train. I got there on time but with the three, very shortly timed transfers after, my body was very tired.
It is funny how the adrenaline of being in a new place almost makes you forget how tired you are. It’s like a newly washed up excitement and energy that swoops over your body and gives you that much more strength to explore just a little further.
Old Bridge & Marktplatz
After settling down in my hostel room located in Old Town, I went out to the Marktplatz to have some dinner. I asked the reception lady Selina if she had any recommendations and she suggested Bier Brezel. I had a German beer-dough flat bread called bier brezel. On top it had turkey, cream fraiche, onions and cheese. I washed it all down with some dark beer from a brewery called Welde. I was extremely content eating a whole platter of carbs and accompanying it with dark beer. Two of my very obvious and not shameful guilty pleasures.
I met two girls from my hostel and we spent the later evening having some drinks and talking about the incredible lives and adventures that has taken us to where we are now. Demi has been travelling Europe for 5 months and Moira is starting her Masters at Heidelberg University in a few days.
Sharing rooms with complete strangers really helps with getting to know the people you share a bunk with. And mostly the people you are sharing the room with are very like minded and enjoy this way of travelling vulnerably. And it also pushes you to ask for what you want or that question that’s been simmering at the back of your throat. It’s true, no one can read your mind and if you want something, you have to voice it. Whether it’s asking to join a group of people for drinks they had planned or asking where platform 10 is in a sea of locals all rushing to and from work.
I remember standing on the bridge and not having the courage to ask strangers to take photos of myself on the bridge with the castle and sunset in the background. I instead, watched the different kinds of people and groups gathered around and took photos. Lots of tourists from what I’m assuming – other parts of Germany, Europe and international groups from Korea and China. Do I regret not asking strangers to take my photo? A little, but not in a sulking way. It’ll just be a reminder that next time, it’s really not a big deal to ask someone to do what you would obviously do for others.
My friend Demi and I visited Heidelberg Castle the next day and walked around the outside premises of the castle. It took about 350 steps of stairs to reach to the castle and trust me, this was no joke. We underestimated how many steps these were and rushed too fast in the beginning before huffing and puffing as we stared at the ground and saw splotches of stars and colours flash before our eyes. Well at least…I did.
The castle’s ground was purely made up of grassy rectangular areas and luscious bordering trees. Flowers were not part of the aesthetic but somehow the simple monochromatic green scale of the grass and trees highlighted the rusty-brick castle walls.
It’s quite incredible to think that all those years ago, people hand built castles like this one. Height and size did not seem to stop the builders from creating something that has lasted hundreds and hundreds of years. Did they expect it to last this long? We’ll never know.
I was advised to go on the walking tour for Heidelberg but later found out that it was only on certain days excluding the only time I had. Without much of the historical knowledge which is available on the internet, I ventured out to the Marktplatz to immerse myself along with the other tourists and locals. My way of travelling is very people, exposed culture and observation focused. Even if it’s going into global chain-stores like Zara or H&M and seeing if there are any significant differences in staffing, how the mannequins are dressed or what kind of shoppers are around. Yes, I’m a history buff and love learning about the timeline of how a place came to be to this day. However, having my own observations, making connections and applying my knowledge to what is in front of me is what captures my very fast-moving attention.
In the evening, Demi and I ventured up Königstuhl because it was recommended by a tour guide that it’s a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Despite that not being the case because there was no proper lookout point facing the west, we climbed the mountain resulting in a about 20 minute hike one way up.
From here, you can see the whole town of Heidelberg and see the brick-orange roofs and thin gothic churches slithered in between the houses. The dark rolling hills behind the Old Town helped the baroque-influenced area really pop. The contrast between the two colours ironically was very harmonious.
Out of the places I have been, I definitely like Heidelberg the best. It’s very much a university town to the famous and prestigious Heidelberg University. It’s like the Cambridge of Germany and Heidelberg is the Harvard.
I wouldn’t stay more than 3 whole days in this town. As Demi was saying, she was pretty content with being in Heidelberg for 3 days. It was a small town and even with about 150,000 as the population, the accessibility between all tourist things shortened the necessary time needed to spend here.
I wish I had 2 whole days in this town. I only had the 1.5 day and with the one half being so slow-moving with my travel fatigue, the one day wasn’t quite enough. But trying to look on the bright side, it just means I have to come back. Heidelberg is definitely a place I would visit again while touring Germany’s bigger cities like Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt.
Auf Wiedersehen, Heidelberg and your delightfully delicate bricked baroque buildings and cobblestone roads. I’ll be back.