In summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: Berlin – Weimar – Heidelburg – Freiburg – Lucerne – Lake Como – La Spezia – Cinque Terre – Bussana Vecchia – Monaco – Éze – Gorges du Verdon – Moustiers-Ste-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin.
After spending the morning in Weimar, we headed off to Heidelberg, day 2 of our European road trip. The sky darkened as we were driving, and it started raining just as we arrived. Nonetheless, we were keen to get out of the car and explore Heidelberg. We headed to the main street and found that it was very crowded – Heidelberg is obviously popular with tourists.
As we were all hungry, our first priority was eating lunch. After that, my husband and I decided to walk up to the castle while our friend decided to avoid the hill and walk around in the lower town.
I liked the Renaissance castle, built of red brick. The first mention in the historical records of a castle in Heidelberg was in the early 1200’s; however, later two castles were mentioned, a lower one and an upper one. The earliest structures of the upper castle, thought to be from the 1200’s, were later expanded, and had many royal inhabitants over the years. Now it is left to ruins, with the plants climbing in and out of the bricks. It apparently had bad luck with lightning, being damaged by lightning strikes in both 1537 and 1764.
While we were there, it suddenly started pouring with rain, so everyone ran for cover under trees, archways and awnings. I was lucky enough to have the Elisabeth gate to shelter under, as we were just walking through when it started raining. The Elisabeth gate was built by Frederick V for his wife, Elisabeth Charlotte Stuart, the daughter of the English king.
The views of the river and the town below are also great from the castle.
After the rain had abated, we walked down to the lower town and walked around with our friend, visiting the bridge (where there is a famous monkey statue) and one of the churches, and just looking around the town in general.
Time flies when you are climbing hills, so after a rest and coffee break, we headed off to our next destination, Freiburg.