On the up

Hello All

Here I sit at another lovely breakfast table.

This is it. Apologies for the no-show last night but I was plum tuckered out and took to my bed early. Embracing tourism sure tires you out.

Yesterday guess who was looking dapper and ready for the day (someone is building his part!):

I had booked myself on a coach tour confident in the knowledge that as it was a German and English commentary I would be amongst other English speakers. Not so. I was the lone English speaker. This was painfully apparent from the go get when the lovely tour guide asked if anyone needed the English tour. Up went my hand thinking it would be part of a forest or maybe a small woodland of hands but when all eyes turned to me I realised it was a lone twig.

To everyone’s credit the guide flowed seamlessly from German to English and no one seemed to mind me chuckling at the jokes out of sync. I even got a laugh when I solo clapped the driver for his superb driving about 5 minutes after everyone else. The bends and the climb up the berg are serious stuff he deserved that extra pitifully thin reward.

So off we set around Heidelberg. My feet were soooo pleased. We learnt about the connection of Bunsen, Mark Twain, Brahms and many others to the town. We were even treated to seeing a group of Fraternity members all dressed up in their finery, long black boots and duelling swords the lot (corrrrr!). Apparently this is a rare sight so we were lucky. Even the guide seemed in a bit of a flutter.

With heroic duelling scenes in our heads we set off for the Schloss on top of that STEEP mountain. You can of course walk it but you know me that was never going to happen. This holiday has – you have no doubt realised – revealed I have a certain abhorrence to heights. I wasn’t even aware of it’s extent. Afterall I live in a place famous for its steep crags. But here? Mein Gott! the drops. I was dreading the funicular down from the go get.

‘Come on woman you are made of sterner stuff than this’ my Tourist self said but my inner head whimpered ‘It is a long way down! And I have to go on a funicular….’. Never fear friends I strode forth and thoroughly enjoyed my tour around the magical Heidelberg Castle.

It was really nice to be guided and be looked after (‘ Where is my English lady?’) while hearing tales about this patchwork of a palace. Of naughty drunkard king Frederick who stands today with his tipsy lion probably still wondering how he got to bed:

And the clock by the big barrel – big? It is enormous – designed to make ladies jump and reveal their shoes … whatever turns you on!

The barrel itself was so big I couldn’t get a good shot of it without a crowd of visitors in front of it. Suffice to say it was used for the collection of wine in taxes and has stairs on either side zig zagging to a platform on top where revellers could carous and dance the night away. Apparently an orchestra of diminutive size was once placed inside for the amusement of those dancing on top. Ermmm.

Feet seemed something of a theme. ‘Where is my English Lady?’ (stop thinking about that funicular!) heralded a story about this footprint in the paving:

Possibly left by a feeling philanderer (the other story of running from a fire is much less interesting) the story goes that any man whose foot fits is supposedly a great lover …. will they dare try it out?! They did and apparently he is.

Having said goodbye to our excellent tour guide this English lady wandered off to look around and take a few pictures. (Don’t think about the funicular…). As you can tell like most of Heidelberg the place is thronged with visitors and I gave up trying to avoid people in the shot.

But if you like people watching here are some folk with a fantastic backdrop:

Not at all putting off plummeting to earth I spent some time in the Apothecary Museum which has several old pharmacies set up and hundreds of samples of things likely to go into the medicines of yore. Least said.

Despite the remedies of a by (thankfully) gone age hunger pangs were beginning to get the better of me. Good grief does this mean THE FUNICULAR?!

Well it did and what an anti-climax. I was down at the bottom before I finished a text to my nearest and dearest saying ‘Help!’ And I couldn’t see a thing cos of the crowds on board (my claustrophobia has definitely gone) and the fact that it travels down a tunnel. Feeling a wuss and heroic in equal measure I headed straight to the veggie cafe I’d spotted on arrival and tucked into their potato waffles with mushrooms and sour cream

Delicious. At that point with a brain filled with more information than it’s pea size can cope with I went and lay down in a darkened room fell into a deep dreamless sleep (what no long leather boots…) and re-emerged this morning.

Wool and museums are now on my agenda. But I may take it slowly today and definitely no heights.

Until next we meet.


Moke xxx

Around and About

Hello All

Isn’t it lovely how woolly crafts can be an instant icebreaker? I was back on the trains today and happily working on the scarf-shawl-thingy when a lady sitting next to me in the waiting area at Trier station asked what I was making. What followed from that enquiry was a lovely companionable journey.

Like me the curious crochet observer and her friend had been visiting Trier and we shared experiences and thoughts about life in general. I especially loved their observation that they had visited so many churches they should now be wearing halos!

As we chatted and chortled the crochet like the train moved on and I will soon be ready for Trier Burgundy.

With a little sigh I waved off my happy acquaintances at Neustadt and carried on alone to Heidelberg. By 3pm I was sitting in a new hotel – Goldener Falke – my home for the next few days and thanking my lucky stars to be staying right in the middle of the old town.

To illustrate this I went outside and took photos in front of the hotel just by turning around. Got dizzy and looked a bit of a twerp but it was very satisfying:

I didn’t notice the unusual spelling of Restaurant until I was checking through my gallery. But perhaps the elision of Restaurant and Restoration is just right. The hotel building dates back to the late 1600s and it has been an hotel and restaurant since at least 1805. Over the hundreds of years it has occupied this site it has undergone many a restoration and thankfully for me up in my third floor garret these included the inclusion of a lift. Yeah!

Sorry but I digress. Now turning to my left:

Here is the City Hall (Rathaus). Left turn again:

Quaint eh? And just look you veggies and vegans …

Could be zoning in tomorrow lunchtime. Oops yes one more turn left (easily distracted by food):

The Heiliggeistkirche which began life early in the 15th Century. I love all the little shops and stalls nestled around the church, part of the fabric of the building.

Now not strictly a left turn but just around the corner from the hotel is this gob-smacking photo opportunity:


Heidelberg is chocolate box top Germany and is consequently thronged by tourists. I am going to embrace this status and tomorrow I am off for a couple of hours on a coach tour. Expect many Schloss shots! And don’t be surprised if I come home in a dirndl.

A step too far?

Until next we meet

Moke xxx

P.S. Terence has been with me all day but until he gets a scarf is refusing to come out of my bag! Such a diva…. Mx