|Friday, April 09, 2010
Time to leave Nurnberg. Tony had coffee with Uncle Ruddy and they made plans for bringing Erna and Wade next year. Dinner this week with Ruddy was such a treat for us to meet Tony’s relatives and visit with an elder member of the community. I hope that we can return again soon to visit our new friends and family.
Heidi/GPS is set for Heidelberg and off we go. Something about thoughts of home and the need to use a restroom, next thing you know we are in an Autobahn rest stop with a Burger King.
Steve is amazed that the decorations of the place are jazz related including an unusual picture of his two trombone idols: Turk Murphy and Kid Ory. What can I say? He took these pictures.
Back to the Autobahn headed for Heidelberg and Schloss Heidelberg.
Roland had tried to discourage us from this much driving in one day, but we were up for the adventure. Tony has fond memories of Heidelberg, time spent there as a youth and a visit with his wife. My Rick Steves book said that its too popular to venture a tourist visit nowadays – but our luck held for beating the crowds and this being the perfect time for an easy visit.
Heidelberg Castle sits up on the shoulder of an outcropping overlooking a river valley – clearly a long standing defensible position.
The wall evidences hundreds of years of labor on the ten foot thick walls. We climbed down from above through the vast garden and park areas. This approach brings you in to the palatial grounds without a clear understanding that the castle itself is still in ruins from the War. The town chose not to rebuild. Its understandable for this is a huge relic. As it is there are extensive scaffolding erected obviously for the purpose of just stabilizing what is still there. We were all stricken with the beauty of the valley, the views and the obvious labor and engineering required to create and maintain such a huge project.
We also visited the Pharmacy Museum, located in one of the cellar locations, as suggested by Marina. This was a nice view of the development of chemistry and pharmacology that gives a gracious nod to Middle Eastern contributions to the knowledge of herbs and pharmacology. There are also some early pharmacy installations that reminded me and Steve of the PBS series ‘Cadfael’ about a medieval monk healer.
Castle shop had coffee and ice cream – All Stop: its medicinal!
We wandered down through the old town city center – looking for a few last minute items. We had to call our Frankfurt hotel by six o’clock if we were going to be late and after 5 we realized we’d better get that done.
It turned out that we were only about 45 minutes from Frankfurt. Now this is a big city. Warehouse stores and high rises. Our hotel turns out to be a Villa more in name, but it is a lovely 4 story manse just off a main thoroughfare 20 minutes from the airport – perfect. As it was dinner time, we asked the concierge for a recommendation to have authentic German food on our last night – within walking distance. He did right by us.
Apfel Wein Haus was just past the Opera House.
Its down the steps in a former cellar with lots of wine barrel and rounded brick rooms. This was a perfect last meal location. Happy Tony had a Schnitzel to be proud of, “I don’t care who ya are.”
Steve and I had our share of sauerkraut (me) and sausage platters (Steve). Steve tasted their apple wine (more like apple beer) and gave it good marks.
The location was a great place for us to recap our experiences, practice our favorite new German phrases or words, and agree that we’ve had a wonderful trip.
We had a brisk walk back to the Villa Florentine. Thanks to a good job of internet hunting by Monika its wonderful.
We’ll sign off for tonight.
Our plans for morning are to grab breakfast and head to the airport by 8:00 a.m. With any luck dropping off the car won’t take long and then we’ll be at the airport with the recommended 2 hours prior to takeoff. 10:55 a.m. take off for Dallas, followed by the leg to Sacramento. We’ve forwarded family our itinerary with promises to call from Dallas. Here’s hoping this goes smoothly – I have enough still to read either way.