day 15 // fri jan 26
Our train left Bonn at 3PM on Friday and headed South down the Rhine. It was such a pretty train ride. I lost count of all the castles I saw along the way. We arrived around 5:45 at the Heidelberg main train station. From here we stopped by the information desk. *Pro tip–I always recommend stopping by the tourist desk or info desk at the main train station—even if you feel lame, they most always speak English and have good info to share. We got a city map and she pointed us in the right direction of our Airbnb. We found our cute little place which was about a 15 minute walk from the station. Airbnb tour coming soon!
We settled in for a bit then decided to venture out for dinner. Wade and I were traveling with our friend from school, Lin. We decided on an Asian place and split food family style. I know, I know not traditional German food, but hey we are here for awhile and I will definitely have my fair share of schnitzel before the time is up!
day 16 // sat jan 27
Holy walking Batman. We walked 10.51 miles or 23,862 stinking steps today. Worth it, though! We started bright and early and ventured toward Old Town. There were only a handful of people out and about at this hour. I played my basic card and got a skinny caramel latte at Starbucks. Partially because I really was craving it, and partially because we had to go to the bathroom and you had to pay, so might as well get a coffee with that money and pee for free. Sorry, TMI. I also love the way Germans tend to spell “Gill” maybe I’ll start spelling it that way, spice it up a little.
Okay, enough of that. We walked through the streets of Old Town Heidelberg which was like an outdoor shopping mall mixed with historically beautiful storefronts. We found the well-known Karl Theodor Bridge, literally called the "old bridge." But we were sad it was so foggy and hard to really see a lot of the cool landscapes and castle views.
After this we found another info desk and the nice lady informed us the fog was out of the norm and she hadn’t seen it this bad in pretty much ever. coooool. She did however sell us tram tickets plus entrance to the Castle for €4 euro a person (with the student discount), we will take it!
We eventually stopped for lunch at a little cafe. I had a mozzarella and tomato focaccia sandwich. It was cheap and definitely worth the carbs. Wade had ham & cheese pizza bites, which was essentially a calzone with a garlic sauce.
THEN, my nerd dreams came true again and we found a packaging museum. It was €3 a person and a cute little spot. They were showcasing a traveling exhibit on Stollwerck. Stollwerck is a German chocolate manufacturer. It was founded in 1839 and expanded internationally in Europe and America, becoming the second largest producer of chocolate in the United States by 1900. The museum showcased an assortment of packaging designs, processes and tons of really beautiful intricate designs.
After our museum visit we took a tram up the mountainside to the Heidelberg Castle. This was very cool. They had a free exhibit of the history of pharmacy. They also had what I assume is the world’s biggest wine barrel. That thing was massive!
We started to head back to the Airbnb but were pleasantly surprise when we stumbled upon a little store front with loads of people outside. I asked what they were waiting for and they said Schneeballen... um sure, sign us up! Turns out they are essentially a fried crunchy dough covered in your choice of chocolate, cinnamon, or whatever option you could dream up. We got an apple cinnamon sugar one and one with chocolate inside. So good. The stranger in the street really sold us on them, maybe he was secretly getting paid by them, who knows. He said they were a Heidelberg tradition, but he could also be making that up. Nonetheless they were yummy. After our accidental find we took an afternoon break and relaxed at the apartment for a bit.
Being the culturally adventurous people we are, we went to an Indian place for dinner. Then we were pooped. Fun day.
day 17 // sun jan 28
Totally writing this from a McDonald’s waiting on our train. I forgot from my last study abroad that Germany closes shop on Sundays. Like everything. That being said, we had a little time to kill before our train so here we are. ALTHOUGH, I am usually never disappointed in McDonald’s coffee. Isn’t that right, Netta? Haters gonna hate, but the flavor of their coffee is pretty good.
Our train leaves soon then back to Bonn we go! We have a busy week with several excursions to Cologne for school things. Tomorrow we go to a cinema to see the moving ‘Loving Vincent’ and then again on Tue/Thursday for museums visits.
Brussels, Belgium this weekend. We also bought our tickets to Spain which I’m pretty pumped about! Also, Ris and Jarrod have officially booked their flights to France for Easter. All the good things to look forward to, or as my boy Mat Kearney says, “all the feels tonight are real. All that’s real you can’t buy or steal.” Except train tickets to different countries, those you can totally buy.
Lastly, here are some pictures from our Airbnb! I love the way it was styled. We rented this space for two nights. The owner was a photographer and had a very cool style/vibe in his apartment. We picked up the key at a restaurant across the street which made it feel even cooler? Maybe that was just me. Here's the link if you're interested.