Monday – Day 32
Posted on 23rd August 2012
Sleeping in a bit to account for the 2:30AM return home from the walk, we got up at nine o’clock to prep for the day. Following that it was out onto the streets again to see Heidelberg and the castle by day. During the walk Elisabeth was on her mobile phone an awful deal, eventually revealing that she had in fact ended up with a most romantic guy by the name of ‘balcony boy’ as attributed to him by the fact that she had slept on his balcony the night before arriving to Heidelberg. The name stuck, and for the rest of the afternoon she received more than a little flack from Damian and I.
Again we began the walk up the hill, and this time through the sprinkler system, to make it to Heidelberg’s premier tourist attraction.
Following the repeat walk all the way up the mountain to return to the castle, it was time to go for icecream in Old Heidelberg! This time at an organic bio-friendly icecream place that charged an extra fee for the privilege of feeling pleased with yourself over its environmental care. Next stop was a lolly shop by the name of Zuckerladen that Theresa’s boyfriend’s best friend had told me was a must see. Owned and operated for twenty-four years by the eccentric Marion Brecht, Zuckerladen is a minuscule boutique, tucked neatly away in a corner of the Old Town of Heidelberg. Hanging from the roof is a large posted with a graphic of a tourists on it: “No tourists allowed” proclaims the sign. Arrayed on the shelves are hundreds of varieties of soft lollies, from the sugary fruit to traditional black liquorice, if it exists, Marion has it.
However, one does not simply pick out their desired sweets for themselves! Marion must come and select the ideal mix for you, by the amount you desire to the flavouring you like. “Sweet or sour” he proclaims in a questioning tone. I reply sour and he walks back and forth along the shelves selecting his finest.
When it comes time to pay he points to a large cup with three oversized dice inside and asks me “two of the same or all three different?” I reply two of the same (despite later calculating that it has worse odds) and sure enough the dice turn up: 2-2-5. I am then presented with a selection of ‘candy’ prizes and leave the store well fulfilled.
After a brief snack back at Damian’s place we set off to see Heidelberg University. Another forty-five minute walk and we come to the Max Planck Institute, which I am most excited to see.
Next we stop over at Damian and Elisabeth’s University for a little look around and food and drink. As we start to walk away to go back home, the previously sunny sky opens up on us and floods the path. We retreat to underneath a flimsy umbrella on the side of the path and huddle together as hailstones begin to pelt down on the hot ground.
As the storm started to pass, the beating sun was so strong that sheets of steam rose from where there were previously puddles. The air became thick with moisture and the air quickly reheated, to make for a most uncomfortable next section of our walk.
The next point of interest along our walk was a bear, simply placed in an enclosure along the side of the road.
After stopping to take a photo I asked Elisabeth for a little help on my Russian (she’s originally from Novosibirsk) in order to wish a dear friend back home Happy Birthday in her mother-tongue. Following a good few minutes of practice I had it down and made the call home, feeling quite ebullient to connect a little with what I was missing back in Melbourne.
When the phone call ended I looked around and we were now in a field of corn, in an agricultural region of the town.
Next followed a discussion of the ability of an individual speaking the German language, to make long words simply by joining together nouns. My first try ‘beenenfleisch’ meat bee meat but things only took off from there. Eventually we managed to put together the hideous ‘hauptüberapfelbluttransportsystembeamtenaufsichtsbehörde’ which is something along the lines of the receipt for the transportation of the main commander of the super-apple blood army.
After arriving back at Damian’s at about 6PM I tried to check in to my iceland air flight online. Unfortunately, the flight was not appearing, online the connection to NYC. Thus as I started to stress I called the airline (closed), STA Travel (closed) and then resorted to pulling my hair out. Damian’s parents then mentioned to me that there was an STA branch in fact just down the road. Rushing to the branch before my train to Hamburg, I hurriedly asked the girl at the desk for help. She reassured me that it was just the computer systems playing up and that I was to inquire about it at the check in desk.
I packed my bags and the three of us traveled by tram to Heidelberg Hbf and said goodbye.
The next part of the day is in the post that follows, and will cover both Monday night and Tuesday. My long day of travel to the states.