September 30, 2022
The storybook Neckar Valley city of Heidelberg, Germany, is charming to the core. There it sits in haze and sometimes fog (later today was clear and sunny) with its old medieval city gate and bridge standing proudly along the river and the majestic schloss (castle) ruins positioned on its perch on the hills above. The pedestrian walkways through this ancient university city are bustling with fine shops and eateries inside picturesque buildings with an old German architecture. Towers of churches and conical shaped turrets are around every corner. It is a joy to the eyes and, thankfully, the cobblestones in the city are easy on the feet—not so in the castle ruins above. The Standly’s and Paluch’s enjoyed taking the funicular up to the ruins and seeing the sweeping sights of the river valley and city below. They also saw the world’s largest wine barrel which holds 58,124 gallons.
All of us got into the wonderful Lutheran/Evangelical Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Ghost) church and, fortunately, an organ student was practicing on its mighty pipe organ. Karen Paluch and Kathy visited with him and eventually, he played for us a marvelous Buxtehude piece with soaring sounds and intricate foot work on the bass pedal keyboard. It was a grand experience in a beautiful church.
We spent time walking the quaint streets and going into wonderful shops, eating ice cream (gelato) and enjoying good food. A very large Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas store is in the city with its large stock of wooden Christmas items; we were quickly put into a Christmas spirit. It was a relaxing, refreshing and beautiful day!