Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Philosophenweg, Heidelberg

We returned to the hotel for naps on our first full day in Heidelberg, though I wasn't too sleepy and was dying to go somewhere that I'm sure the kids couldn't handle and my wife said she wasn't interested in: the Philosophenweg, or Philosopher's Walk, another place with romantic charm in Heidelberg.

From our hotel, I crossed the Old Bridge to the north side of the River Neckar. The far side of the bridge has a statue of Athena, perhaps an appropriate guardian for the entrance to the philosopher's walk.

Athena, most awesome goddess of the Greeks!

Following a sign on the street, I found a tightly twisting path that headed up to the Philosophenweg, a climb of 15 or 20 minutes. Such a climb would have been impossible or at least very, very, very long with Jacob and Lucy.

Go this way!

This was the way!

First view of the town from halfway up to the walk

At the top, the walk stretched off to the left and the right. The leftward way was the most popular, so I headed that way. The hypnotic charm of the area is hard to capture. Below is a fantastic view of old town Heidelberg; above is gardens and growths full of lingering bees, slowly collecting pollen as if it was still late July and not late September. The hillside walkway is quite warm even though the weather was cool below. The sun soaks the walls and trees and you feel like you are in Tuscany, or at least what the word "Tuscany" evokes for me, somewhat like the life depicted in Kenneth Brannagh's Much Ado About Nothing.

View of town along the way

Proof that I was there

A nice, flat walk after the vertical climb

The gardens here were originally vineyards, back in the days of the 19th century Romantics. They evoke a happiness that is still palpable, the joy of anticipated wine or even just grapes juicily bursting in your mouth. Who wouldn't be inspired to write poetry or muse on the ultimate meaning of life or existence here?

If that wasn't enough, I also found a playground and a snack bar along the top!

Sandbox and rope climb! And space for a picnic too!

I don't really enjoy gardening, but I can appreciate a garden like this

The snack bar advertised a 3 Euro milkshake that was nearly half a litter. It seemed like a good deal since I could easily pay with pocket change. That's the funny thing about England and Europe. Thanks to having 1 and 2 Euro coins or 1 and 2 pound coins, your pocket change could easily be the equivalent of ten dollars in the USA. A USA pocket of change rarely exceeds two dollars. So the milkshake actually cost just under five dollars American. It was basically strawberry milk, not the rich and creamy stuff you'd get in America. It was a little disappointing, but I took it philosophically, as was appropriate for the surroundings. After all, how could you complain with views like this to enchant you?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful views! Any profound thoughts while you were up there? What's the meaning of life for zombies? To eat brains or not to eat brains? I eat brains therefore I am?