Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Heidelberg Castle - TopPrior to my business meetings today, I was able to spend a short time with my friend Florian here in Germany. His parents hosted me at their home and shared a bit of real, small-town Germany with me, including some of the food and customs. Florian took me all over the countryside to a few places, including a few that most tourists never see - off the beaten path, as they say. It was a great weekend, one that I will remember for many, many years.

The Heidelberg Castle is a common tourist stop, but we went there anyhow, and I am glad we did. It was actually the second castle we visited (the first one, Hardenburg, I did not have a camera for). It's a pretty amazing place, and we first climbed the hill on the opposite side of the river from the castle (called the Philosopher's Walk), which has a great view of the old city and the castle. Then we crossed the old bridge and walked through the city, then up 315 steep steps to the castle. Given my recent condition, this was a healthy climb, to say the least. But I made it.

Heidelberg at Night from the RiverFrom the top one can walk through the castle and see all sorts of interesting things. There's a huge wine barrel in a lower level of the castle - like huge as in you have to see it to believe it. And of course the architecture is amazing.

Actually, the smaller castle we visited the day before, called Hardenburg (follow link for pics), while smaller and relatively hidden away at the far end of a valley in the town where we stayed (in an area called the Rhineland-Palatinate), was probably more fun to explore because it's not heavily visited and almost every nook and cranny is accessible, with the exception of part of the lower levels. It's interesting to learn about the history of the construction - and periodic destruction, typically by the French armies - of these castles. The Hardenburg Castle was built sometime shortly after 1200 A.D. That's some serious history.

Limburg MonasteryAlso in the same area is the Limburg Monastery, on top of another hill across from the Hardenburg Castle. It is a large and spectacular ruin, as well. It's been added on to recently, so some of the structure is a little too modern looking, but luckily you cannot see it while walking the grounds, at least once you leave the parking lot. This is a huge structure, and was built in the 9th century. It was first a castle of sorts and then was converted to a monastery for Benedictine monks. It's an interesting and rich history - the Hardenburg Castle was actually built illegally on Limburg land by the governors who were responsible for protecting it, but it seems that did not make the Limburg residents happy. Read more here. As is typical, the history is colorful and full of interesting stories over the years.

If you even get a chance to visit Germany, be sure to take some time to get off the common paths followed by tourists. While the Autobahn is fun (for us Americans with our annoying speed limits and all that), taking your time by taking the back roads through smaller German towns to get to your destination is worthwhile. It's there that you get to see Germany in it's full color, not on the superhighway.

747 at Teknik MuseumWe also visited a museum that has lots of aircraft (including an actual 747 you can walk though and a whole slew of military aircraft from around the world), a U-boat, and many fine cars on display. An amazing selection of very cool items.

Thanks to Florian and his parents for a terrific few days - I hope have the opportunity to visit again soon. Germany is a beautiful country.

I'll post a few more pictures and some details shortly from the other stops and things we did along the way.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Wednesday, 22 March 2006 11:42:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Referred by:
germany castles (www.google.com.ar) [Referral]
http://www.helpwithprematureejaculation.org/ [Referral]
castles (www.google.com.ua) [Referral]
http://search.daum.net/ [Referral]
http://www.google.cz/imgres?start=95&hl=cs&sa=X&gbv=2&biw=12... [Referral]
http://www.jeanstruereligion.org/ [Referral]
german castle (www.google.ca) [Referral]
http://www.beatsbydreheadphonessale.net/ [Referral]
castles (www.google.com) [Referral]
замки (www.google.com) [Referral]
castles (www.google.ie) [Referral]
german castle (www.google.de) [Referral]
http://www.google.com/search [Referral]
http://www.google.bg/imgres?start=69&um=1&hl=bg&sa=N&biw=168... [Referral]
http://www.google.bg/imgres?um=1&hl=bg&sa=X&biw=1680&bih=844... [Referral]
german castles (www.google.hu) [Referral]
http://pic.sogou.com/ [Referral]
german castles (www.google.co.uk) [Referral]
http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&client=fire... [Referral]
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?start=156&um=1&hl=en&safe=off... [Referral]
http://www.google.com.au/imgres?start=115&um=1&hl=en&sa=X&bi... [Referral]

More...
Comments are closed.