Blog Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Ladenburg, October 2010
Also Strasburg, Alsace, France
Off to Heidelberg to stay with Sylvia and Bo at their place, on the border of the forest, on the outskirts of Heidelberg. It was a very pretty drive to get there and it was great to see Sylvia and Bo again after 10 years!
And such a lovely house in the forest. All the autumn colours are still dominating. Sylvia took us in to Heidelberg for a “reccie” for the late afternoon. Wow – It is such a beautiful city and has a nice feel about it. We saw the old bridge which has the towers that are well known in Heidelberg. The river Neckar flowing through the city; the castle dominating over the city from on high.
After a look around and a glass of wine in a local pub, Bo picked us up and we went back to their place. Sylvia had made a NZ lamb ragout for dinner – yum! We drank some wine and had a good catch up.
The next day we went to explore in more depth the city. Well, that is, the retail part of the city that is. Hee hee. Sylvia had computers to sort and such so we took the car in, instead of the bus (only a 7 minute drive). Later, once we had got home and had a bit of a feet up, we caught the bus back in to town to a wonderful local restaurant. The ambiance, food and company were so good. It was a great night.
After a morning’s good catch up with Sylvia we went again in to Heidelberg. This time to go to the local Saturday morning markets, to see the castle and to catch the vernacular cable car up to the top of the hill for superb views over the city and river. Also you could see in to Mannheim. Apparently you can usually also see the French Alps, but it was too hazy this day. It was also VERY cold!
On Sunday it was a bit wet and cold, but after a few admin chores we went to visit the towns of Ladenburg and then Weinheim. Ladenburg is a very well preserved historic town dating back to just after BC, the Romans etc. The houses are so well preserved and have the dates they were built on them. Blew us away and they were so pretty! We had lunch at a local café and ate a traditional autumn dish of onion flan, washed down with a drink called neur (new) wine. That is, the top layer of fermenting wine before it is filtered and bottled. Tasted like juice – oh – that could go down too quick! We both enjoyed the pie and the wine.
Weinheim is also a pretty town. It was very quiet being a Sunday.
In the evening we were treated to Bo and Sylvia’s amazing Indian cooking and their daughter called in for dinner also! Mmmmmmmmm – such good food and friends – a true feast!!
Monday we left for two days and a night down in Alsace, France. We did a little of the wine road – it has over 70 vineyards on it! We managed three! On the way we went to look at the underground station of the Maginot Line from WWII. Unfortunately it was closed so we couldn’t go inside but it was quite amazing to actually be there and to be able to touch it!
Then in to the town of Strasbourg. Oh – it is so beautiful!! We only had a night here but we think we could easily spend 2 or 3 weeks in the Alsace region in the future. It was stunning.
The cathedral in Strasbourg was amazing! And the day wad warm so we enjoyed lunch in the sun!
That afternoon we went back to Heidelberg area to meet up with Heike’s parents. Unfortunately due to the road works we were late, but what a spread awaited us – cakes galore, including a home made plum tart which was very delicious! It was wonderful to catch up with Inga and Dieter – and to see their lovely home and garden and their new conservatory. They took us over the river to see Ladenburg – and although we had been with Sylvia when it was a bit raining, it was so good to go again and see it in the fine weather and to learn more. Very nice indeed. And the history…………
We had a lovely local dinner back at their place before we drove the 20 minutes back to Sylvia and Bo’s.
Wednesday we packed up and left for Bad Steffilstein. A small village near Cobourg with a spa resort and excellent swimming pool! We had three nights there and spent a day with Heike’s Uncle Dieter – what a lovely day. We had met Dieter once already in NZ. He treated us to his Chicken Tikka for lunch and then local white sausages and other meats for dinner. In the afternoon we took a walk through the town and up to the local castle on the hill.
It was so lovely to see him and to spend time getting to know his town.
Today we left and have arrived at Koln – also known as Cologne. Next we will go to Brussels where we drop our trusty lease car off and head in to England via train and the Chunnel.
Unfortunately during this period our good friend Bruce died, back in Chch NZ. We were so very sad not to be there to help out and support Jacquie and the family (hugs and kisses to you all xx). I met Bruce and Jacqui when I first graduated as a teacher (oh, a looooooooooong time ago) and went to teach with Jacqui down in Riverton (great times thanks Jacqui!!). Bruce was such a strong, caring and wise man and he died too young from a nasty illness.
But, we hope this finds you all well. We’ll be home for Christmas – landing in Auckland on the 23rd December. Then we will travel South after Christmas and a wedding in Wellington on the 31st December – so hope to see as many of you as we can.
Before then we will be following the All Blacks over in UK on their Grand Slam! I shall send photos of cold and snow I am sure!!
Love Jo and Peter.