Fünf! Briefmarke! Entschuldigen!

[Five! Postage stamp! Excuse me! . . . the German words I have acquired on this trip thus far]

Houses overlooking the Neckar; the Philosopher’s Walk is hidden up on the hill in that shrubbery.

Chicken marsala and spätzle for lunch at at the Goldener Löwe [Golden Lion], a popular spot that serves five changing specials each day for a flat rate of 4.90 euro, washed down with a large apfelschorle.

One Heidelberg nutshell — bold art and bicycles — on the side of one of the main bridges across the Neckar. I watched a couple guys with silver spray paint working on a new piece around the corner, calmly swooshing perfectly arced lines, prepared with step stools and a stash of about 15 paint cans. Underneath the bridge, welders worked late into the evening on a a half pipe for a kickass skate park.

Last year during cherry blossom season I was wandering the streets of Kyoto amid delicate white petals. Here they are opulent, lush woolly-sweater layers on the branches, carpeting the sidewalks in bright pink drifts. All of the flowers are blooming now — fragrant wisteria, tiny yellow pom-poms, lavender sprigs, adding pops of color to the corners of buildings and falling from door eaves. And the smell is fantastic, the lovely spring perfume floating through the streets to remind you that running water and unpopulated hills are just beyond the edge of town.

A classy drug store — as they all are — full of fancy skincare products and other methods of beautification.

Mound o’ stuffed pig stomach! [Don’t I look stoked?] This Heidelberg classic turned out to be big slices of a sausage and carrot mixture, slightly firmer than the foamy extruded chicken “fillets” you get on United flights. Also Nuremberger wurst, sauerkraut, and fried potatoes with bits of ham. I plowed through the Nurembergers and almost all of one round but left a good two-thirds of my food on the platter. What a bad German! It’s customary to finish everything you are given here, and you see skinny little women putting away enough spaghetti with bolognese to feed a small family. This food is all meat and carbs and cream sauce — not the “healthiest” cuisine — and yet no one is obese! They must have superhuman metabolisms.

The requisite medieval cathedral, the Church of the Holy Spirit, centering the old town in a cobblestone square and harboring a kitschy souvenir shop out back.

I’ll be here in Heidelberg through Saturday morning and will hopefully visit the castle tomorrow. It looks spectacular from afar but I want to wait to post photos until I can get up close and personal! What do you think, NB, looks the way you remember it?


  1. That’s a mound of food in front of you! Never heard of the dish before. “Saumagen” in German. Another word for you.

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