October 4, 2019: Heidelberg/Frankfurt Germany

This morning at around 6:30 am CEST we woke up to a gong in the hotel’s loudspeaker. It sounded like Big Ben fell down inside our room (We later asked the hotel and they said it was a mistake.) After we all realized that we would not be able to go back to sleep, we got up and decided to start our day. It turned out that we should have got up earlier because when we got out of McDonalds (no hotel breakfast today) it was already 9:30 am. By the time we arrived in Heidelberg and parked next to Heidelberg Palace, it was already 11 am. My dad said that his ankle was hurting, so he found a nice cafe to stay in while my mom and I bought the palace tickets. My mom and I entered the castle and took a few pictures before the tour. On the tour we were told the long history of Heidelberg Palace with a funny and witted explanation. (Feel free to skip over the history lesson, travel article resumes in two paragraphs).

Heidelberg Palace was destroyed three times before deemed a ruin. Two times by war and one one time by lightning. Around 12 million people come here every year to see this ruin and even though not everyone goes inside, the palace is truly captivating. The moats of the palace were filled with wild animals such as deer, pigs, and rabbits. Even though many moats were filled with water, this moat had none. Our guide said that the inhabitants of the castle must have been quite a lazy hunting party!

The first war that destroyed the castle was between the Catholics and Protestants, though the second was with the French. In one war 40,000 KG of gunpowder was put inside the towers in order to destroy it. In the lighting strike the palace burned up for three days and four nights. Most of the palace did survive, though out of what got destroyed, little was rebuilt. We were able to get exclusive footage because normally photos are strictly prohibited. We got exclusive access to the defensive walls of the palace. We also went in secret walls and tunnels over 7 meters thick. Many of the large tunnel bricks were branded with the stone makers name. There are also holes in the bricks in order to have a grip so claws could transport them. I was the only one who got access to pumping the kings real wine barrel from the 1700’s. Legend says that one king only ever tasted water once in his life. When people offered him wine, he would always say “why not” in Italian, which is “perchè no”. Frederick and Elizabeth who were once the palace inhabitants, had thirteen children. Nine reached adulthood. Carl Phillip was another prince elector at the palace who was Catholic. No one wanted to become Catholic so he invited the Protestants to a church service and offered free beer afterwards. Many of the Protestants showed up.

After getting a few souvenirs and some chocolate from Lindt, we headed back on the autobahn towards a second hand shop to possibly see some interesting items. We went shopping at Aldi and even got some pizza from a fresh food vending machine!

The town is very picturesque and pretty. Especially like today, when we were in the rain. We got to see a couple get married on a tall tiller ladder in the sky; this is the exact town to hold a wedding or to go on a river cruise and the ruins are perfect for touring. Even though my dad’s ankle was hurting, he eventually got tickets to go in the palace too!

Standing in front of Heidelberg Palace on a bridge over the Rhine
Local shop owner who gave me the best hot chocolate and a free cookie
What the palace used to look like when it was not in ruins
Statue that got destroyed in the wars and lightning strike
Ceiling of a palace hall