Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Hills go to Heidelberg...

Today was my first official day as a tourist in Germany! We traveled an hour north of Stuttgart to a city called Heidelberg. Despite the fact that the forecast lied (as it often does) and the fog never fully lifted, it turned out to be a pretty good trip.

We started at the Army garrison in Heidelberg to hit up an ATM, and I have to say, I wish we were stationed there! We were only on the housing side and there were better places to eat, a huge playground, a dog groomer, and a Burger King with an actual drive through! Kudos Heidelberg.

Once we headed out again, we went looking for the castle. After some minor difficulties finding parking, we got to tour one of the coolest places I'd ever seen. This place was Huge! It was mostly ruins, built and broken down since the 13th century, but they had restored some of it to it's original glory. Aside from amazing views of the city, the history and beauty of it was a lot to take in. One of it's unique feature was the largest wine barrel in the world, which holds 55,000 gallons of wine. It has only been filled to capacity 3 times.

After the castle we drove down the hill and walked around old Heidelberg. As one of the few cities left untouched by the world wars, the architecture was classic and stunning. We walked around the oldest university in Germany, and enjoyed window shopping in the abundance of shops lining the narrow cobblestone streets. Being a college town/tourist hub, I was excited to find the first Starbucks I've seen in Europe, and immediately ordered a grande chocolate mocha. A very nice taste of home.

Pictures will be on my Facebook.

Tomorrow we're staying close to home and heading to the Christmas Market in Sindelfingen.

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