Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bike Trip on the Rhine: Heidelberg

Our boat chugging down the Rhine



Our next bike trip was one of the longest with a butt-numbing 48 Kilometers (30 miles) along the Rhine and through some more nature reserves.  Somewhere around Mannheim we stopped for lunch.  Looking at all the buildings I tried to see some trace of the Germany I remembered when I was a kid back in the seventies living in Germany.  Then Germany was still very much a post WWII society and firmly entrenched in the Cold War as a divided nation.  I did see one old apartment building with the little balconies outside each apartment.  This style of apartment building was prominent when I lived there. Other than that I could conjure up no sense of nostalgia.  It was like I had never been there before.

http://bitburghigh6370.com/images/photos/air_bases/bitburgHousing2.jpg
This was slightly before my time but the apartment buildings looked exactly the same in the seventies.





There were places on our bike ride where we had to cross the river on a small ferry such as the one above.



As usual Josh took photos of geese and ducks.  They are beautiful, aren't they?











We finally made it to Heidelberg and since we didn't want to waste time we parked our bikes at the dock and wandered around the town. I stopped at a pharmacy and bought a few Chocolate bars.  Some people like to sample beer from different countries.  I like to taste chocolate from every nation.  I fully intended to bring some back home for my family but the heat melted the chocolate bars pretty quick so Josh and I had to eat them so they wouldn't go to waste.  Which was sad.  Sad for the people back home, that is.  They were yummy!
 Heidelberg Gate


The following photos were taken as we walked around the downtown area of Heidelberg.






On the hill you can see part of Heidelberg Castle.  I visited it as a child and would have liked to again, but Josh and I were too hot and tired to walk up the mountainside to get there.  So we contented ourselves with admiring it from a distance.


I don't know the age of the bridge above the house, but it looks Roman.

Heidelberg Castle


Some of the buildings in the town square.


Later we took a tour led by a slightly crazy German woman who, nevertheless, was passionate about her subject:  Heidelberg history.  She took us to the University there and old apartments of important historical figures such as Robert Schumann.  It was also where Martin Luther went to defend his 95 thesis, Heidelberg playing a significant role in the Reformation. Below are photos of a Lutheran church.  I found it remarkable in its contrast to St. Peter's.  The one filled with opulent, gold plated figures and adornment, the other striking in its almost Shaker-like simplicity.

St. Peter's Cathedral interior


Another view of St. Peter's Cathedral in Worms



Lutheran church below


















There's more to Heidelberg than these photos but I think that's enough footage for now.  I hope and pray you all have a blessed week and very Merry Christmas!!

8 comments:

  1. Great photos, Sharon! Wow, it's amazing how unadorned the church is. I assume it was intentional, an emphatic move away from the Catholic opulence.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas as well! It's pretty rainy and wet here, which is not very Christmassy, but there's much more snow on the mountains than there has been for the last couple of years, so that's nice. I do hope we get snow though before spring rolls around again.

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    1. HI Cleopatra! I think you're right about the Lutheran church. I loved it's beautiful contrast between wood and white.
      Here in Texas it's a balmy 75 degrees. I wouldn't mind a little brisker weather or even rain. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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  2. Great photos Sharon.

    Your comment about there being little connection with the Germany that you knew in the 1970s is so interesting. I am not far from the areas that I grew up in so this is hard to relate to. It must have been a little disorientating.

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    1. I had left home as a young adult before I realized that most people did not grow up like me. There's pros and cons to both.
      On the one hand I got to live in a lot of interesting places and meet people from all over the world but on the other hand I've never in my life felt as though I fit in anywhere. Take care!

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  3. Wow! Your pictures are breathtaking. Amazing!! I just love those pictures of the church. And what a great opportunity to take in all that history, right where it unfolded.

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    1. Hi Ruth! You are so right. Churches are my favorite place to visit and take photos of. I wish we had the resources or creativity or whatever it is we need to make churches like that today. Nowadays, it seems we're lucky to get a church with windows anymore.
      Actually the church I attend is old so it has giant stained glass windows and beautiful buttressed arches (even if it is Baptist :)

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  4. Happy New Year from R.T./Tim at the new and improved http://beyondeastrodredux.blogspot.com/

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    1. HI R.T. I look forward to visiting your blog. Happy new year!

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I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.