I think, that Germany's autobahn infrastructure, much vaunted as a high speed system in the past, has reached saturation with too many cars and trucks. I don't recall these traffic jams happening as much when I was here in the mid-80s but that could be my memory as well.
Parking can be at a premium here in Heidelberg but we managed to snag a spot at a parking garage near the hotel we're staying at.
We wandered about town after a short set of naps and climbed up to the top of one of the towers belonging to the Church of the Holy Spirit that was near the bridge for which Heidelberg is famous for in pictures: The Alte Brucke or Carl Theodore Bridge.
A friend of Martha's from here college Army ROTC detachment lives nearby, working for the US government. Joe C. met us at the Church of the Holy Spirit and we walked a short distance to the Black Swan restaurant where we had a great meal and Martha and Joe rehashed old times.
Joe C. and Martha
After dinner, we said our goodbyes to Joe, and the boys walked back by themselves to the hotel. Martha and I went across the Old Bridge to look for the spots we wanted to recreate for some other Then and Now shots.
The Heidelberg Fortress from the Altebrucke
After nightfall, I went back out by myself, to see what kind of lighting the fortress was illuminated with at night.
While I await for full darkness (the sunset itself was nothing to write home about), I did see a couple of cruise/dining boats motor by the town, here's one of them.
Finally, it was last light at 10:19 PM (though the sky was still lit) and the lights shining upon the fortress walls became evident.
and a little bit later.....
Then and now: Martha on the Altbrucke
(I'm going to have to add a wide angle lens to my kit)
then and now
After 10AM and with Miles in tow now, we took the Bergbahn or funicular railcar up to the Fortress in order to save the hike up (turns out, it would have been easy).
The main objective was to check out the Apotheken Museum, or Pharmacy Museum which Martha was quite interested in seeing as she's a medical professional.
Next stop within the Fortress was the Grosse Fass or Great/Giant Vat. Back in the day, one paid one's taxes with wine, and it was all poured into this giant vat for storage. Now, call me crazy, but mixing wine made by different folks/wineries doesn't seem to be the way to go for fine wine?
Miles with a statue of Perqueo, the cellarmeister
Next was a walk along the fortress walls, with a pretty nice view of Heidelberg below:
A lot of the fortress is in ruins.
One of its towers got blown up by lightning when
it struck the gun powder stored within!
back on the bergbahn funicular car
Church of the Holy Spirit
Lunch at the White Swan Restaurant
The highlight of the day was a visit by Sonja and Roland! They were driving back from visiting family and graciously agreed to stop in Heidelberg on their way home to visit with us for a bit. We had a good time chatting about motorcycles, life in Germany, and generally catching. We learned several new things about living in Germany from them.
Great way to cap off the trip as a family.
Roland, Sonja, Martha and yours truly
The Chang Gang
Tomorrow morning, we leave for Frankfurt airport and I drop off Martha and the boys to fly back to Colorado via New Jersey. I will then catch a train to Wels, Austria where I will overnight, picking up the Ural rental in Marchtrenk, Austria just a few miles from my hotel.