Thursday, August 02, 2012

Giving Credit

I pride myself in giving credit where credit is due.

So hats off to my wife for suggesting we wrap up our trip in Heidelberg! It was AWESOME!

AND...I finally got to see a castle. From the inside!

We essentially did two tours of Heidelberg castle. The first was with one of those hand held audio devices...where you walk around with headphones on and stop and stare at things.

Then we did a guided tour where you got to go inside places that are locked to those not taking the tour. I think part of the appeal is the guide actually unlocking the door so you have the feeling of getting something special.

The castle has a really interesting history. Out front is Elizabeth's gate, built for the daughter of the English king who married Wilhelm. He had it built for her overnight for her 19th birthday. They say she got a kiss for every small animal she found carved on the pillars.

They were married for 17 years when he died, and in that time, she bore him 13 children. Holy crap! Apparently, though the marriage was political, they apparently fell deeply in love. He even built her an "English castle" within the castle, complete with a theater in the round, so she would be less homesick.

Another interesting, but really sad, story about the castle concerns the architect of Ruprecht's building. Apparently his twin sons died during his construction of the building. One fell over a cliff and grabbed his brother to try not to fall, dragging them both to their deaths. Overwrought, he was unable to continue until they appeared to him in a dream. Comforted, he had images of his sons carved as angels to place over the entrance.

Also cool was the powder tower. An explosion of the powder kept there some three or found hundred years ago created the ruins as they exist now, with essentially an intact portion of the tower cracked off.

Pretty of the things I like in fact about this castle is that it is not completely restored. They did restore Friedrich's castle (below), but preserved the rest in ruin. It is awesome.

After the tours, we took the funicular to the mountain overlook...a pretty cool trip and awesome view.  

For dinner that night, we went to a little place out of the Old City. My wife actually lived in Heidelberg as a child, so we found a place she had eaten in 37 years earlier! The food was really good.

The next morning, we headed to the airport, where I nearly lost half our wine. I thought that since you can bring stuff in from within the EU, I could just put the wine in my carry on so I didn't have to worry about the bottles breaking. But no, it had to be less than I had to run back to check in and check my carry on...which is a soft sided shoulder bag. Luckily, the bottles made it...we sampled it last night.

And now that we are back, I have to leave again. I am doing a regional outreach trip to is rough!.

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