Saturday, September 27th, 1997 Heidelberg, Germany
Jim and Dave got up for breakfast at 7:30 AM and then left to ride the underground to the Mercedes Benz Plant to view their museum. Not too many mistakes, they used their one way tickets for a two way; but since they weren’t questioned they really didn’t know they were doing anything wrong until they asked the clerk at the hotel upon their return. In Germany they use the honor system. You purchase tickets from a machine and they only occasionally check the passengers for tickets; but, if questioned you’d better have the right ticket or the fines are very heavy! They enjoyed the museum very much except for the fact that Jim’s video camera stopped working and said he was “dew”. ??? We think it has moisture inside.
Shari & I slept in until 9 AM…actually I read her book in bed and Shari washed her hair…and enjoyed a late and leisurely breakfast until 10 AM. At 10:30 AM they brought down all the luggage and paid the bill so that when the boys returned at 11:00 AM (as promised); everyone was ready to pop into the car and take off for Heidelberg. But on the way out of town Jim had to drive by the Porsche factory to show Dave where they were made…the museum was closed on Saturday so it was definitely a drive by experience.
Out on the road we took the leisurely way to Heidelberg stopping for gas and groceries before noon. About noon we hit a traffic jam on the autobahn and so we pulled off into a rest area and ate our lunch in the car. Afterwards everyone but Shari got out to use the WC and Shari waited in the car with the windows down. Dave said if someone took off with her we’d just walk up the autobahn and retrieve her as the cars were going very, very slow!!
Arrived in Heidelberg about 3 in the afternoon…found the hotel with very little problems due to excellent directions with our confirmation. The Anlage is a wing of a former palace and was quite nice. Jim & I were on the fourth floor…with an elevator! Shari & Dave were on the first floor in what appeared to be a former dinning room with a beautiful crystal chandelier. Great hotel. Met a couple from Arizona who lived most of their lives in San Francisco. His name was Jack and he and Jim talked about Mel’s Café on Garvey Street as to a location of where our children lived. Couldn’t think of the name of Mel’s Café and Jack left a note under our door later in the day with the name.
Had an opportunity the following morning to again chat with Jim and his wife. We unloaded bags and set off for the Heidelberg Castle or “The Student Prince” Castle….a huge ruin of a mammoth castle from the middle ages. It sits at the top of the cliff and we rode the funicular up to the top. Jim got somewhat upset when a tour group went ahead of us after we’d been standing in line for a long time! But we finally managed to get on top and the effort was definitely worth the effort.
The view was phenomenal and it was even bigger than it had appeared from the valley floor. Had some ice cream after walking all around the grounds of the castle. Back down the funicular and then off to the square where the annual festival was in full swing. It had everything! Rides, garage sales, new items and food booths of all types. At times it was difficult to move through the streets as they were jammed packed with people. This is a university town and the college age seemed to outnumber the other ages by far.
Finally wound our way back to the hotel and rested a bit before venturing back out to the festival to find food for dinner. Dinner was pork sandwiches and bratwurst sandwiches washed down with beer. Later we found some apple strudel for dessert. At times we lost each other due to the crowds, but it was a fun evening for all. Dinner was eaten standing up at a very small round table next to the oldest church in the town.
We were back in the hotel by 8:30 PM. About 8:45 Jim decided to go out and video the castle as it was well lit at night. He returned about 45 minutes later and had also filmed the festival activities. Said he saw several kids jumping on car hoods on the way home and we also had some drunks during the night. But all in all it was another great experience.