Heidelburg and the beginning of the burgs.
As Becky’s training class was in full swing, Dave headed out on his own for some site seeing. It turns out that Karlsruhe is conveniently located for day trip explorations of this portion of Germany, being that it is at the center of a rail hub. The short commuter rail trip from Ettlingen, leads to the Karlruhe Bahnhof (train station). From Karlsruhe, a direct train heads to Heidelburg and a city bus leads to historic district.
It was explained the night before by Becky’s German colleague, that Heidelburg is much more popular as a tourist destination for American tourists than it is for Europeans. He postulated that this was the result of the former presence of a US military base near by leading to return visits from veterans and relatives. That could be correct. It certainly works for me.
The town itself is touristy, but worth it as many of the buildings in the historic district have been nicely restored. On the hill above town lies the massive Schloss or castle. The Schloss is accessible on foot or by the funicular (one of Dave’s favorite words). Dave took the train (funicular) up the steep hill to the Schloss.
The Heidelburg Schloss is huge with the fortified area and the gardens making for a commanding presence over Heidelburg. Although some parts of the castle are in near original condition, many parts of the castle have been destroyed over the years through fire and through conflict. In particular, the French seemed to have a penchant for blowing up the towers of Germanic castles throughout this area of Germany.
Overall, the visit to Heidelburg was interesting and worth the hour train ride from Karlsruhe.
Heidelburg pics and a bit of Ettlingen on a sunny day: