On the heights of Heidelberg – Viking River Cruise Day 4 (morning)

We arrived in Worms, Germany at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday to take an excursion to Heidelberg, one of Germany’s oldest cities.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _38Our main destination was the castle Schloss that overlooks the old town or Altstadt.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _01

Fortunately, for me and my arthritic joints, the Viking tour bus drove us to the top of the hill.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _02Heidelberg castle was abandoned over 300 years ago and is partly, maybe even largely, in ruins. It was the residence of the Palatinate monarchy.

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While we stood and enjoyed a panoramic view of the Altstadt and Neckar Valley from the castle grounds,

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _06our tour guide, who was a native German, explained the history of the Schloss and surrounding area. He explained how much of Germany was damaged during WWII. One of the most touching moments of the trip, for me, was when he specifically addressed the Americans and Canadians. He looked us in the eyes and very sincerely thanked us for getting involved in the war and for our help in bringing Hitler’s reign to an end.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27-_06aThe Heidelberg Schloss is surrounded by a moat that was used as a hunting grounds for guests. Animals would be brought in and  basically slaughtered. Not such a great sporting event if you ask me.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _14This is a very large tower that provides entrance to the castle. In the late 17th century, French incursions totally destroyed medieval Heidelberg, including the castle. The ornate sculpture was one casualty.  The family shield, made of some kind of valuable metals, was removed from its prominent place between the two lions.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _15We walked through the arched entryway. I suspect in days gone by, this arch was equipped with a heavy door of some kind.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _17Through the arch, the courtyard is enclosed by beautiful buildings that comprised the vast residential complex that was built and repeatedly extended from 13th to 17th centuries.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _21 Like most of the sites we toured, Heidelberg also had a nice crowd of people. You can see Mark in the foreground. I think he may be snapping a photo of the architecture

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _26which was varied, interesting, and quite beautiful.

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This is a closer view of some kind of time or season dial. I really need to look it up and find out what it’s all about.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _25And this little window really appeals to my romantic sensibilities. Who might have stood there? What were they watching? What was the idea behind building this onto the side of the castle? So many things to wonder about.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _20This may have been the newest section of the castle, although don’t quote me on that. You can’t see very clearly from here, but the wall is very ornate with lots of sculptures.

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Here’s a close-up view.

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We left the castle on top of the hill and took a short ride down into the old town. The city was left in ruins by French troops in the 1600s under Louis XIV. It was rebuilt during the 18th century.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _41Heidelberg is the home to Germany’s first university that was established in 1386.

05-Heidelberg-2014-05-27- _48Today it’s something of a tourist attraction with its shops and restaurants.  Rick Steve, author of many travel books,  does not recommend it in his Germany guide book. We thought it was charming and might have enjoyed wandering around a bit longer. We had less than an hour to spend before we had to meet the bus to take us to our ship.

DSC_0189So we decided to take the advice of our tour guide who recommended this coffee shop

DSC_0192and used our short time in Heidelberg enjoying a sweet treat with coffee and hot tea.

 

Next up: Tuesday, afternoon – Cruising up the Rhine to Rudesheim

See links to other posts about the Basel to Amsterdam Viking River Cruise.

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13 thoughts on “On the heights of Heidelberg – Viking River Cruise Day 4 (morning)”

  1. I’m glad the tour bus included this stop. I love the architecture. Sadly, those types of animal “hunts” continue today, and not so very far away. It would be difficult to decide on ONE of those delectable desserts! It is heart-warming for him to recall those who came to their aid in WWII.

    1. I think you have to have the right attitude going in. If you are used to traveling on your own with the freedom to stay places as long as you like, it is a bit of an adjustment to be on so many group tours. But then, you never have to worry about where you are going to get your next meal, or how to get where you are going. I particularly liked the fact that we could visit so many places and never have to move our luggage.

  2. Thanks again for passing this along! I enjoy your comments along with the pictures. Very special!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. I’ve never been to Germany, so all these sights are new to me. The romantic little window does set one’s imagination spinning. I like the look of the buildings below the castle Schloss. I wonder what it would be like to live in them. Thank you for sharing your trip.

    1. It is a great place for one’s imagination to soar. It all seems kind of romantic, until you start to think about things like bathroom facilities, meal preparations, and medical care.

  4. I had the pleasure of taking this cruise in July of 2015..One of the brightest stars of our trip was the guide that is pictured on your journal…His name was Andreus…He is a retired Lawyer and a P/T guide with Viking…He had great insight into the places we visited along with his wonderful commentary and charm…he shared his time with me as i had a private conversation with him about life in Germany and life there…Andreus !

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