What to do on our last day? Find more castles and/or ruins? See more churches? Take a hike? Yes (for the hike)! Knowing that we would be spending a good amount of the following day on a plane, hiking sounded like the perfect activity to stretch our legs and get a bit of exercise before crossing the Atlantic.
Across the river was a series of hiking paths, including a garden area called Philosopher’s Way. There was also a biergarten near the top so this was going to cover all of our interests. First task was to cross the river, guarded by this statue.
We started early in the morning, as eventually the weather was going to be rather warm for hiking mid-afternoon.
We found some interesting sites along the way. First this tree house, and then several gates. It seemed (though confirmed by no one) small sections on the hillside were being cleared by individuals for their own private enjoyment. I’m going to assume they were renting the spaces, much like the community gardens we’ve seen in the past.
We walked past this kids rustic play equipment with a nice covered area for the parents to rest and watch. Great theming and placement as it was a natural fit for the area.
We found the Philsopher’s Walk Garden and I grabbed a few photos. Most of the plants I could identify, a few I could not.
Just up the hill, we came across this interesting structure. I said “Karen, come on, we’ve got to try it!”. OMG!!!! It was an absolute hoot! Just in case the video doesn’t work, I included a few photos.
Nature was definitely the inspiration for everything from fences, directional signage and sight-seeing lookouts. It was nice.
We (finally) reached the biergarten. It was a nice break in our hike and a well-deserved break. We had a few wrong turns and after asking a few other hikers, we still weren’t sure we were headed in the right direction.
Naturally, beer was involved. 🙂 Along with sausages.
This is one of the best things I like about Europe – we’re always eating outside. If the weather is chilly, you need to bundle up. Sometimes there are blankets available for warmth, but I love eating out in the open. We don’t have enough of that in Florida. We’re just heading into Florida weather that allows for eating outside.
A short distance away from the biergarten was an amphitheater (Heidelberg Thingstatte) with an unfortunate past. It’s an open-air theatre, built during the Third Reich for propaganda events, seating 8000 people.
I’m sitting about halfway up the venue. It is now used for a wide range of summer concerts. It was a cool place. The day we were there, very peaceful, but I can see this being a real jammin’ place.
Sorry to say, Eric and I had reached our hiking limits. While Karen and Rich went further up and saw some ruins, Eric and I headed down. It didn’t take nearly as long to get down as going up – go figure. We finally made it to the bottom and while enjoying the hike, realized we are out of shape, way out of shape.
We did a little more walking around town, getting one more gelato before leaving Europe.
I wanted to visit this Heidelberg church that we’ve been walking around all week. It’s surrounded by small markets selling a variety of souvenirs. Sad to say, I never discovered any of the history surrounding it. I went inside our last day in the city and there was a christening taking place, thus I couldn’t get past the vestibule – darn it.
We had a nice European meal that evening and packed for the plane ride home. Read – some in our party were tired of sausages & sauerkraut, I was not. The next morning we got up early to drive to the Frankfort Airport.
It’s never fun when the trip is over. It used to seem like the flight home took forever. This one took longer than expected. That tailwind that helped us get to Europe quickly, several weeks ago……………….became a headwind and made our flight back over an hour late. Uugghh.
One thing I try to keep in mind…………………Europe is a short hop, compared to traveling to Shanghai.
While I expected this to be my last European post for this trip, I found some photos that I took, but seem to have no real home. Be prepared for some randomness.