When I arrived in Heidelberg last night, I was instantly captivated. Well, almost instantly. I nearly panicked trying to figure out how to get to my Airbnb because the central station was under construction and I couldn’t find a taxi (and didn’t know how to call one), but eventually I was lead to a place that was swarming with taxis. I had a very kind taxi driver who I think was restraining his jamming out to Mumford and Sons and who offered to wait until I was safe to drive away. I told him he could go and then almost burst into tears when I looked up and saw a sky full of stars: something I haven’t seen in a very long time. Even in the taxi ride on the way over I was amazed at how beautiful the buildings and houses are. Walking up the stairs to meet my Airbnb host, I couldn’t contain my excitement and burst out with, “hello! It’s so beautiful!” to which she replied, “it’s dark.” She let me in and her huge black dog greeted me with gentle inquiry, and I gave her lots of pets before heading up the wooden stairs, past lots of bookshelves, to my perfectly quaint room. It’s very spacious with a gorgeous patterned rug, an orange chair with a fluffy throw over it, a bookshelf, and a desk facing two windows. The door is also round, and everything about the room and this house reminds me of a fairytale. With such a nice host and host dog, I couldn’t have found a better place to stay.
I first saw the view from my window when I woke up this morning. It confirmed everything I said about this town’s beauty last night. I took my time getting ready and then decided to walk the forty minute walk to old town. One of my favorite things in the world is a beautiful walk with trees and chill and adventure, and this one couldn’t have been more perfect to me. If I were to make a list of all of my favorite things, this city would check nearly all, if not all, of those boxes. For instance: mountains, beautiful fall trees, water, colorful wildflowers, cool temperatures, big dogs, castles, cottage-like houses. I could go on but you probably get it. I got to the old town and bought a laughen brotchen, a kind of pretzel bread my dad recommended from when he lived here as a kid. I walked around and saw tons of interesting shops including several Christmas stores that looked so fun, but ultimately I wasn’t feeling the shopping area so I decided to find coffee and head out for the castle. First, let me just say that I walked over twenty five thousand steps today and I think a good forty percent of that was up steep hills. A lot of the day was exploring, but a lot of it was hiking too. That’s what it took to get to the castle, but it was absolutely worth it. I have a new favorite place in the world, and that place is Heidelberg. But within that favorite place I have a new favorite spot, and that is overlooking the town and castle from the castle’s gardens. I could’ve stayed there the entire day, it was SO beautiful. When it started to rain, I decided to go pay for a tour of the castle. The only way to get inside is to pay for a guided tour which ended up being really cheap! I couldn’t take many pictures inside, but that hour of knowledge about Heidelberg’s history made me so happy. I thought of myself as Hermione Granger for my enthusiasm during the tour. Being at the castle was by far the highlight of my day. Seriously. Favorite place. After that, I went to the apothecary museum, and then back to town for an early dinner and some light shopping. I enjoyed town a bit more after being refreshed from the castle, but I still wasn’t really into it so I decided to head home after I ate a pumpkin and feta cheese quiche and tried a snowball pastry for dessert. I went home early, around 6:30pm, but it was pitch black outside. My plan was to come home, write, and study, but I had such a bad headache I just needed to lay down for few hours. Anyway, while I was walking back I passed by the castle one more time and got to see it and the city gorgeously lit up in the dark. Then, like something from a movie, I was walking down a dark road covered in leaves when an old lady rode toward me on a bike. She had a hat on and was looking at me. I turned around to look back at her, and she was gone. I couldn’t help wishing that I’d just seen my future.