HEIDELBERG, GERMANY!

Perhaps the most fun I had while in Germany was the day I visited Heidleberg. It also happened to be my birthday, and it isn’t every year that I get to go to a real castle…

I started the day walking around Heidelberg. It was quite possibly the most picture perfect place I have ever visited. Every direction I looked, there a photograph waiting to be taken.

The buildings all had so much character. The colors, the shapes, the textures

It was a perfect day. 75 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. Ideal conditions for taking in all the beauty the city had to offer.

About every third building was decorated with some form of ornate sculpture or carving…

…and then there was the castle. The first time I saw it rise above the buildings of Heidelberg, it took my breath away.

…sure it is a “ruin” of a castle, but the sheer size of it is amazing. When you think of how many people and how many years it must have taken to build, it is mind-boggling.

Before I made the climb up to the castle however, I did a little window shopping.

One candy store had a very clever display in the window…

…yes, the entire soccer field is made of gummy bears. I love it!

Along the way I also encountered a dog who could drive!

His owner was not very enthusiastic about his gifted hound…

…until I put a donation in his can…then it was all about getting that perfect shot.

Then it was time for some lunch at this restaurant (I think it was called The Golden Ram). We ate out back in the Biergarten.

It was a magical space. It felt like I was in a tent made of leaves.

Above photo courtesy of my co-worker Tim.

Here we are having a nice light lunch before our climb to the castle. (That’s me in the coral shirt.)

After lunch it was time for the moment of truth, could we really make the steep climb to the castle in 10 minutes?

I think it took us longer than that. Check out the bench on the right side of the photo. It illustrates how steep the climb really was! One leg of the bench was about 8 inches taller than the other!

When we finally reached the observation deck of the castle, (Phew!) we knew instantly that it was worth the climb.

I could see all of Heidelberg.

It was breathtaking.

Remember the picture from the square that was looking up at the castle? This is the view from the castle looking back at the square.

Every year on my birthday, I take a photo of myself to remember what I looked like on that day at any given age. Usually it is me sitting in front of a cake with lit candles, either in my kitchen or dining room. I think the photo from this birthday turned out particularly well, don’t you agree?

The castle itself was a delightful mix of ruin and amazing detail.

This was the main interior wall of the castle.

It had some very oddly proportioned knights standing guard over it.

The wall of knights was a stark contrast to the wall of debris on the other side of the castle.

Unfortunately, time didn’t allow us to take a tour of the interior of the castle, but we did have time to pop into the on-site Apothecary Museum

It was full of some very interesting displays about how medicine was made back in it’s early days…

…my favorite display had a flying crocodile!

Ok, I guess he is technically hovering. But still. Very cool!

The castle wasn’t the end of my birthday celebration, but I am still trying to locate photos of the evening’s events from my co-workers. Needless to say, I had a very good birthday this year. Our German hosts made me the center of attention (hence why I don’t have many photos of the evening) and gave me a birthday celebration I would never forget.

Until next time, Prost!

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