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On our week-long away break in Heidelberg we found that there was so much to do. Yes, for sure, being CLOG, our walks were an important focus, and for some of us, e-biking was a novel attraction. However, those of us espousing the historical dimension also found that Heidelberg and its surrounding area was a showcase of European history and a proverbial gold-mine for the sightseers in our group. Whilst on our first day we had some low cloud, we otherwise enjoyed warm and sunny weather, without any heatwave. Just right for all that we were able to fit into a week's visit.
I chose the time of year to suit participants' preferences and also to try and avoid the extremes of summer and winter weather. It's always busy with tourists in Heidelberg, but again, we were able to avoid the summer crowds.
The start of a number of walks into Odin's Forest was the King's Chair or King's Throne towering above Heidelberg. Indeed, the wooded hills rising on either side of the Neckar Valley invited us to explore places which are part of the history of mediaeval times, the later Thirty Years' War and the Napoleonic Era. The time honoured places of Dilsberg_Castle, Neckarsteinach and Neckargemünd were amongst those that featured on our active walking schedules.
We also had plenty of opportunity to do sightseeing, with so many famous places and palaces to see - all steeped in European History. For many of us, our busy schedule included the Palace of Schwetzingen and Baroque Bruchsal, not forgetting Speyer Cathedral and - on the edge of the Black Forest - Rastatt with its Baroque influences. We were of course based right on the doorstep of Heidelberg Castle, a visit to which we were able to incorporate nicely into some of our walks.
When it came to evening dining, we found that Heidelberg simply oozed numerous reasonably priced restaurants and eateries, ranging from the up-market to those catering for more basic culinary wishes and ranging from traditional fare to vegetarian and vegan offerings. Essentially, being based in down-town Heidelberg (the Old Town or Altstadt), we were spoilt for choice. On Wednesday evening (mid-week), Sonja had also arranged for us a nice group meal at the nearby "Kulturbrauerei".
What you will see on these pages has been mainly divided up into each of the days which we had. Being a CLOG visit, there were of course a number of parallel activities. What you will see here is mainly from my perspective. In a few cases, I also took the liberty of incorporating pictures I had taken on earlier occasions.
A big thank you to all those who helped me to organize this trip. Melissa thought, knowing my familiarity with this part of the Continent, that it might be a good venue for a CLOG visit. Indeed, once in Heidelberg, we all agreed that there was so much to do and that the seven or so days at our disposal had turned out to be too short! Thank you to event leaders for helping to lead walks and cycle rides; here I include Sonja who not only led a walk on Wednesday, but also arranged a group meal for Wednesday evening.
For the history and sightseeing enthusiasts, Julie, CLOG's resident history expert, played a significant role in leading the sightseeing visits to some of the numerous castles and palaces which were readily accessible from our Heidelberg base. Thank you to all for your company and for your contributions. Thank you to the Weather Gods; indeed, apart from some interesting low cloud and mist on our first day, we had good walking and sightseeing weather throughout our stay!
(The "clapping hands" picture above is taken via MS PowerPoint ® and Bing® Search
from the online "Creative Commons" library. Thank you!)