Friday, August 27, 2010

Heidelberger langes Wochenende - Teil 4

Three times a summer in Heidelberg they have a special firework display. The display starts with a simulated burning down of the of the castle, they light up red flares around the castle and it glows as it did when it was sacked in the 1700 by the French. Then there are fireworks from the old stone bridge. We were lucky to be here for one of those Saturday nights.

Here is the Castle on "fire":

And more fireworks:

Heidelberger langes Wochenende - Teil 3

Back to the Heidelberg old city on Noah's planned itenery, here is the castle from the tower of the Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Ghost Church):
Noah on the Heiliggeistkirche:
Inside of the Heiliggeistkirche:
Around the Heiliggeistkirche was a wonderful farmers market with great fruits and things to buy also there was a famous walking street through the center of old Heidelberg that was a busy shopping corridor, were English seemed voices seemed out outnumber German, which was a first for us as this was a very popular area for English speaking tourists.
Thoughout the old city you can find many cool statues and artifacts like this one:

The famous statue with the Heidelberg castle in the backgound is a very iconic image of Heidelberg:
Back up to the castle with David, he finished his test and caught up with us, looking back on the Heiliggeistkirche and the Neckar river:
David and Noah in one of the guard houses of the castle, again notice the red rock:
Cool red castle walls against the blue sky:
More of the old castle:

A very German emblem on the Heidelberg Dam over the river:

Heidelberger langes Wochenende - Teil 2

Another shot of the famous Heidelberg old bridge:
Next we were going to explore around Heidelberg while David took his College entrance tests at a US military base. I let Noah pick out the travel book and he did all the guiding around the city. First off was up to the Castle, the view from the castle was very beautiful:

The Heidelberg castle is a very well known ruin and it was not hit by any WWII bombing, however it was sacked a few times in the 1700 and 1800s. Inside the Castle walls:

The Heidelberg castle ruins is considered one of Germanys most famous ruined castles and was written about by Mark Twain in the "A Tramp Abroad" back in 1880 as he thought this was the perfect ruin:

Here is a quote from "A Tramp Abroad" as Twain describes the next picture, which is the ruined Powder Turret:

A ruin must be rightly situated, to be effective. This one could not have been
better placed. It stands upon a commanding elevation, it is buried in green
woods, there is no level ground about it, but, on the contrary, there are wooded
terraces upon terraces, and one looks down through shining leaves into profound
chasms and abysses where twilight reigns and the sun cannot intrude. Nature
knows how to garnish a ruin to get the best effect. One of these old towers is
split down the middle, and one half has tumbled aside. It tumbled in such a way
as to establish itself in a picturesque attitude. Then all it lacked was a
fitting drapery, and Nature has furnished that; she has robed the rugged mass in
flowers and verdure, and made it a charm to the eye. The standing half exposes
its arched and cavernous rooms to you, like open, toothless mouths; there, too,
the vines and flowers have done their work of grace. The rear portion of the
tower has not been neglected, either, but is clothed with a clinging garment of
polished ivy which hides the wounds and stains of time. Even the top is not left
bare, but is crowned with a flourishing group of trees & shrubs. Misfortune
has done for this old tower what it has done for the human character
sometimes−improved it.
From his description you can image that the ruin looks pretty much the same way as when Twain saw it in 1880:

Coat of Arms over the entrance to the castle from the hillside:

Another ruined turret:

The Upper Prince's Fountain build in the 1730's:

Lots of tadpoles and Newts in the pond:

One of the Newts:

Part 4: Neckarsteinach - day trip off the beaten path

On the way back from Neckarsteinach we took a boat ride back, the was the end to a perfect day. The boat went through 3 Dams which Noah really enjoyed.

On the way back to Heidelberg we saw castles again, they were from 1100 to 1230 AD, Vorderburg:




One on the Dams on our way back to Heidelberg:

Heidelberg castle from before 1214 AD:

The old stone bridge, from 1786:

Part 3: Neckarsteinach - day trip off the beaten path

After lunch off to Dilsberg (Burg Dilsberg). Neckarsteinach promenade;
Noah in front of the Dam that we need to cross on our hike up to Dilsberg:
Close up of the Dam:
View of Neckarsteinach from the Dam, you can see the two castles that still have people living in them:
Dilsberg church on the hilltop:
Ruins of the Dilsberg castle, our 5th castle of the day:

War memorial right at the base of the castle, WWI and WWII:
More of the hilltop town: Dilsberg is a walled in city and in the picture below you can see the wall:
Up on the Castle ruins, look closely and you can see Noah on the wall:
Me near the tower:
The main entrance to the city, we came up the back hill so this entrance was on the otherside of the town, this would be where you entered if you came by car, although when i look up this place i heard it was hard to find the road to get here, so i this was again a perfect trip, off the beaten path, just what Noah and i wanted to see.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Part 2: neckarsteinach - day trip off the beaten path

Another castle to explore:

Noah heading up


Dilsberg, on the hilltop out the window, our final destination:

Check out the walls, they were made of a local red stone:
View out the top:
Another view
Noah playing viewing the surrounds as a king might have done:
Interior walls:
More ruins:
Interesting find in the forest:

Crest on the lived in castle:
Back in town, Neckarsteinach, heading to a beer garden:
Time for a lunch break, one of the best thing about Germany is the wonderful beer gardens, this one is right off the Neckar river in Neckarsteinach:

Noah enjoying thebreak: