Among the options to move there we took into account the weekend bonus for up to 5 people for EUR 41 for all RB trains (it takes between 90 and 100 minutes), however by schedules we finally decided to buy online ( 58 EUR) the direct routes of the IC / EC that also departed from the Frankfurt Hbf.
After breakfast at the Intercity Frankfurt Hotel (ALL THE ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION HERE), it was around 8'00 when we discovered a new area (that of regional trains) of this spectacular intermodal station, which combines regional trains, with S-Bahn, U-Bahn, tram stops, buses and taxis and from which you can reach virtually anywhere. Our destination was from Platform 10 the EC1113 that would leave us in Heidelberg
He journey takes about 50 minutes and passes almost without knowing. Around us, a landscape of low fog continues to accompany us all these days in this area of the country.
To find out we almost went to Heidelberg Hbf station with the sleeper we brought, thankfully Paula opened her eye a few minutes before.
Heidelberg is a romantic city on the banks of the Neckar River, which also has a fascinating history for many centuries and proof of this was the discovery of the "Jaw of the Man of Heidelberg" in 1907 with more than 600,000 years old. Already more recently, in the S V a.C. the existence of a Celtic fortress and a sacred place in the old "Mountain of Saints" is confirmed
Among so much legend and history, we have decided to start with the great castle that dominates the city, so finally our route of the day has been something similar to the following:
Walking (there is option of buses and trams from the Hbf as well) and having a coffee to get warm on the road (we are at -3ºC, it is really cold today), we have reached the so-called "Golden Mile" of Europe. We are on a large pedestrian avenue, the largest on the Continent, with its 1600 meters of pastel houses, exquisite taste stores, sloping roofs and picturesque lanterns. At this time there are hardly any people yet (it's Sunday, they must still be seven dreams) except for some running or cycling (as in Frankfurt, here people have endless bike lanes throughout the city, even sometimes prioritizing the sidewalks for pedestrians).
We don't stop too much in the big squares (we'll do it later) and behind Kornmarkt we take the Bergbahn (funicular) which will take us to the entrance of the castle (both tickets combined are worth 5 EUR Isaac and 3 EUR Paula with student card). The wagons are absolutely modern and the slope, almost entirely paved, really inclined.
If only for the beautiful views of Heideberg With the Neckar River in the background, it is worth getting here. Those red roofs, that imposing church, those bridges or those hills framed in the hills of the Odenwald forest, are the delight of anyone. Just imagining it with the summer sun or all snowed in other times make us point it in our agenda of places to return.
Paula, !! turn around !! Ohhhh We have another set before us. Is the Schloss or Castle of the city which, of red sandstone, is one of the most spectacular fortresses in Germany.
We enter? Although nothing has to do with the Bavarian Castles (those never had defensive ends), the atmosphere recovers us to the one we already lived. DAY 3 in Neuschwanstein during the getaway to Munich and the Austrian Alps in 2010 or even the fortress that dominates Brasov that DAY 2 from the getaway to Bucharest and Transylvania 2011.
The patio as soon as you enter is really impressive, in the Renaissance style, but it is possibly the new views from the terrace that attract the most attention
The fortress, or what remains of it, dates from before 1214 and underwent extensions in 1294. However, in 1537, lightning destroyed the upper castle. Also the sieges of Tilly in 1622, the Swedes in 1633 and the emperor's troops in 1635 the structure seriously deteriorated, and in 1650 the existing one was finished. However, again French troops in 1689 would set it on fire before its withdrawal and in 1764 another line would destroy some sections. Finally, after a time of different decisions, it was between 1897 and 1900 when the current tourist attraction would be rebuilt, a success in our opinion, well worth it (as well as its views)
Going back, in the eastern part of the courtyard, is the Pharmacy Museum, a curious museum that houses details of everything related to the "potingues" (said grandmother cotters that always accompanies us) of other centuries as well as real apothecaries. Even aspirins from other times (we think not effervescent, hehe)
Going through several rooms we are visualizing all kinds of potions, recipes, furniture, containers and other tools that were used since the 13th century, including a laboratory of those of old films, until finally leaving through the museum shop where there are "strange souvenirs" "as incense in specimens or soaps particularly presented
In another of the rooms, the one located west before entering the terrace, in addition to a small place where to taste a wine (with expensive prices) is the Grosses Fass or Grand Tonel, with capacity for 220,000 liters next to the Kleiness Fass or Small Tonel that was worth to keep a good harvest at home. It seems to be the largest in the world ... we must look at the Guiness. How would they do to use a copichuela, if we almost did not arrive? Hahaha
It is time to return on our steps, return to take the funicular (this time down, because there is the possibility of continuing to climb) and plant ourselves in the historic center. Before we had gone through the Kornmarktz, which is the former Wheat Market Square and that today is a beautiful square with the statue of the virgin and very good views of the fortress in the background.
This whole area of the center is very well preserved, and it is a pleasure to walk and buy a gift (3.50 EUR)
Later we arrive at Heiliggeistkirche (If we write a name wrong, ahem, it is inevitable, there is no one to pronounce it) o Church of the Holy Spirit, built between 1399 and 1441. Formerly this was a traditional market area and around the church the stores were located in the 15th century and today we see that it still lasts. Moreover, it seems as if the whole town had grown up around this square, because it is the impression it gives from the views at the top we had before.
We continue walking through the historic center observing the Haus Zum Ritter or House of the Knight which is currently a hotel / restaurant although it was built in 1592 by Huguenot merchant Charles Belier. Also stopping in all kinds of little shops, although the ones that most attract our attention are those of decoration, especially a Christmas two-story (which is currently closed) and that seems to be that! AS WELL !! It is the largest in the world (!! We do not believe it !! but it looks incredible). In a cross street we also reach the Studentenkarzer, closed today, but that seems to be a kind of prison for the students.
The atmosphere of Heidelberg not only attracts tourists and travelers, but it must be emphasized that we are facing the oldest University city in Germany, and where countless students make their lives every year. Of course, the most claimed is Medicine.
In front of Ruprecht Karl University, created in 1386, is also the Fountain of the Lions, and a little higher the old library.
But within all this conglomerate of atmospheres, student, baroque, Renaissance, romantic, one draws our attention especially at this time, that of the numerous alleys (some of them narrow) that take us to corners that house really picturesque places to sit to eat something. !! And already tighten hunger! and it seems that not only us, the streets - full of careful details in every store we pass - have already been filled with people and the ambience is spectacular
Going down to the Alte Brukentor area, a bridge that we will visit in the afternoon, we have found one that we like. It is a kind of Tavern called Hackaeutel or something like that.
If these days we have eaten great, today even more on the brink of freezing, we have put everything for the body, between beers, pork, soups and others (40.70 EUR). It is such that between that, the warmth, and the cogines that have the little tables, we would have stayed there to take a mini-party
The cold is responsible for waking us up. Well, that and something else. We have remembered the advice of a traveler who recommended us to try the delicious chocolates Heidelberger Studentenkuss. This together with a good strong coffee will give us life. !! Thank you very much Ramón! Where can we find them? In this corner no ... in this chestnut stand and caps (curious mix) either ...
In this cafe yes (6.95 EUR). Here we go…
It seems that for generations Heidelberg has developed a reputation for lovers known throughout the world. One of the reasons is that a small café called Café Knosel, located in the center of the old city, dating from 1863 was the usual meeting of dozens of students who came to enjoy their chocolate creations, especially the Heidelberger Studentenkuss who worshiped the young girls who served as a message with their heart shape. And here they follow. Paula, this is for you.
Strolling now along the bank of the Neckar River we arrive at Alte Brukentor, which is actually called Carl-Theodor-Brucke or Carl Theodor Bridge.
The bridge dates from 1786, although there really were several bridges from ancient times on this site and perhaps that is why it is known simply as the Old Bridge of Heidelberg
After overcoming one of the icons of the city, and already on the other side of the river, you have to continue lowering the food, right ?. The challenge is called the Way of the Philosophers, a road along the slopes of Heidelberg dating from 1817 and where you have to ascend 200 meters between nature and narrow cobbled roads to access.
However, we believe it is one of the best decisions we have made and a place that no traveler should miss. !! THE VIEWS ARE STILL BETTER THAN FROM THE CASTLE !! From here you see everything, with the castle in the background, the bridge and already dusk. There are also small viewpoints, benches for lovers (well, the rest are also allowed to sit, haha) and a pleasant path parallel to the Neckar.
It's starting to get dark and a city as romantic as this should not be missed, nor illuminated. That is why we go back down to the river bank and see how little by little (and until there is barely any light) the Castle, the Old Bridge, the houses, the lanterns, start to light up ... as if a real model decoration were involved.
The temperature keeps going down, but being here even for a few more minutes while night falls is worth it
Heidelberg, the German romantic city on the banks of the Neckar will already be in our retinas. Idyllic, cosmopolitan, with an incredible atmosphere, it is one of the great successes of all those small towns that we are getting to know in Europe. No wonder now that every year visitors from all over the world, especially Japanese, come from those we have not stopped seeing. A perfect getaway finding cheap flights to Frankfurt combining it with some other small town in the area. An adventure to live that romance that we all want and that Paula and I have revived once again.
Today's kick has been important, and the return to the Hbf takes 40 minutes. There, after buying some gifts (7.55 EUR) we can only wait the train that takes us back to Frankfurt (after passing through the paid baths for 0.50 EUR each, they charge you for everything! and other coffee for 4.80 EUR) and what happens on time at 19.46
The rest does not have much to tell. Tiredness can with us, and with some food that we bought at Frankfurt Central Station (6.19 EUR) we ended a really beautiful day in another corner not to forget about this planet. We have to sleep, that tomorrow we have to go back and see the panorama that we have read, with all the flights of Spanair canceled and Iberia on strike (we touch wood for ours since it can only affect us in A Coruña -the other is Air Nostrum-) What can be on the cover is the photo of the panel of canceled flights ... Tomorrow I return home.
Isaac and Paula, photo of Heidelberg, already in Frankfurt (Germany)
EXPENSES DAY 3: 73.84 EUR and GIFTS: 11.05 EUR