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Linds Across Europe, Day 8

October 25, 2014

Today was a very exciting day for the Linds on vacation…we explored old Heidelberg.  The old market place downtown, complete with stands, an ancient church and city hall with a wedding ending out front!  We wandered around, after finding [cheap] parking three levels under ground.  Actually, we first raced around trying to find a bathroom…one of the joys of traveling with a newly trained three-year-old.  No problem there.

Then, we enjoyed the sights of the old city, but it was our first being surrounded by tourists and accompanying traps, so we were a little sad by that, but we found cheap brats for lunch (and a grocery for kid snacks) and set off on our next adventure…the castle!

The Heidelberg castle sits strategically on a steep hill.  It has sat there since the 1600’s (though construction began in the 1200’s).  It has sections where it has fallen apart, but this actually makes it more beautiful to visit today.

To get to the castle, you can hike the hill or take the hill train…we mis-read the sign and thought it was very expensive, so we hiked it.  Oh my stars.  So steep.  Amelia ran up, and Matthew and I were huffing and puffing after the first half!  But, we got to see one of entrances and how secure these were.  Axel picked at and ate some sandstone from one of the original floors.  Not too many babies can say they’ve eaten a 600-year-old castle before…

To get into the castle grounds, it was a very small fee and all three kids were free and it included a ride down on the train!  Yay!  So, we got to see the courtyards, tour the barrel cellar, which really isn’t worth mentioning without pictures, but the main barrel holds up to 200,000 liters of wine.  It was larger than a small house.  We also got to tour a pharmaceutical museum inside the castle.  This was quite interesting, plus it allowed us to see a couple of the interior rooms.

Finally, we just enjoyed the perfect fall weather outside, and took a lot of pictures.  Our kids got their pictures taken, too, by the many many tourists from Eastern Asia.  It was hilarious.  Matthew said it used to happen to his family all the time, and now here it is with our kids!  I wonder if they realize we aren’t German?  (Well, technically I am and the kids are, but not presently native to Germany, of course.)

The kids loved the brief train ride down the mountain and we headed back to the square to see a few more sights. 

Dinner was on the way back to the hostel at IKEA.  We’ve really been eating a lot of lovely German food, so we didn’t feel too badly about IKEA, plus it’s fun for the kids and it was right off the Autobahn on the way.  Of course, we grabbed a few necessities for both our French apartment and for Congo.

Tomorrow we will attempt to attend (again) the reformed church in Heidelberg, the birth place of the Heidelberg catechism, of course.  Then on to another adventure.

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