Frankfurt, Germany // Heidelberg, Germany // day eight // day nine
Now that our trip is over, and I have adjusted to the grove of real life again, I can finally write about our last day/night of this adventure. Our eighth day was a little more low-key than the rest of our trip. We spent a good portion of it in Heidelberg at a 700-year old castle and wandering through the cobblestone streets of Marktplaz. We took a funicular train from the base of the mountain, because every castle is on the side of a mountain, and toured the grounds much of which have been turned into a museum. The castle, while in ruins from its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries, was absolutely stunning and is home to the world’s largest wine barrel (58,000 gallons and two stories tall!). The views from the side of the castle overlook the city, the river Neckar and the Old Bridge that crosses it.
While we took a train to the top, we decided to walk back down the side of the mountain to the city where we came across a fresh food market located outside of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Heidelberg is a college town which was very evident as we walked around. There were an abundance of cafes (with gelato of course) and slightly more affordable stores as well as bustling diversity at every turn. We stumbled across a Hindu festival that was being held right outside of the university and while we didn’t stay for the parade, we were able to talk with some of the people participating in it. Many of them were not from Germany, but instead surrounding countries and travel as a group of missionaries spreading the practice of Hinduism.
As we continued to wind our way through the streets of Heidelberg, we found a local beer hall (shocker, I know) and decided to eat there for a later lunch. The food was great and the atmosphere was extremely vibrant. After lunch, our entire tour group met up on the bus to head back into Frankfurt for our farewell dinner. We had a few hours to rest or explore before dinner and I took the time to catch up on some postcards and take a short nap.
Our dinner was at a restaurant a short train ride from the hotel and the food and wine were particularly good. Once back at the hotel, we grabbed a few last drinks at the bar reflecting on the trip and taking about where in the world we want to travel next (maybe a return to Belize anyone?!).
Our mid-morning flight from Frankfurt to Detroit on the 18th was fairly pain free and full of sleep and movies. We even made it to Detroit in time to catch an earlier flight to Des Moines. While our bags didn’t make it, we landed in our beds before the sun went down in Iowa. Until the next adventure, Prost!