Thursday, December 27, 2007

last full day in Heidelberg

Oh dear, it's Thursday, the day before Friday, when - if all goes as planned - I head back to the States. Not that I dislike my home! But it has been marvelous here and it has felt wayyy too short. 3 weeks in New Zealand must have spoiled me!

Dee and I started out the day by heading to Heidelberg castle. It had loomed tantalizing over our heads for every previous visit into Heidelberg, day and night - so it was time! It was great fun; it's one of the largest ruined castles in Europe, and it truly was difficult to comprehend both its age and size. We had a guided tour that was helpful, but even so there was much I missed with my abysmal knowledge of European history. People to look up: Lisalotte and the little sun king (that's a note to myself!). One of my favorite bits was the huge tower that the French had blown up as they ditched the castle at the approach of the Germans. Check out the width of those walls! Another was the huge underground wine cask; apparently a big-time status symbol at the time it was built. I would think it would work for today as well, but it might be a tight fit in my garage! And just when I was hoping so much to impress everybody...

Deanna had to work in the afternoon, but her friend Christina offered to take me to Dilsberg in search of good chocolate! There was no resisting that one, so we took off this afternoon for the tiny walled city. It used to be one of four fortresses protecting Heidelberg. Unfortunately, the chocolatier there runs on odd hours, and apparently today was not one of her days. It didn't slow us down much; we wandered the town, the castle ruins, and even a few shops. We found amazing pottery in the quaint attic of one - it's probably a good thing it was closed when we came back through - and we stopped for crepes at another one. The were AMAZING! Pear-honey-green pepper (as in the seasoning, not the fruit), and plum-ricotta-cinnamon. Really fun to try. And the shopkeeper had on an Arwen necklacy thing. :) The castle was locked, but still neat to see from the outside walls, and it was funny in such a small town to find a Protestant church on one side, and a Catholic church on the other. I'm sure there are interesting stories about that one.

After a stop at a grocery store for chocolate (we had missed it at Dilsberg after all, and I couldn't very well be readmitted to the 'States without it!), wine, and greyere cheese (which I've really developed a taste for since I've been here) we returned to Deanna who was making roast! I don't remember if I mentioned this but she's a great cook, and this was no exception. She hadn't even made it before, and this one was smothered in small tomatoes and whole garlic cloves - ooh la la! Robert & RJ came over for that too, and Lane and Jacquie even stopped by for a bit.

The evening ended on a less lovely note - I had to pack! And fit in everything I'd bought with everything I'd brought! And now to pray for gentle baggage handlers... :)

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