Monday, July 03, 2006

Glorious day

I don't have to be jealous no matter how fabulous the weather in Ottawa has been today - I guarantee that Heidelberg was just as beautiful. I slept in much later than I had planned (which fortunately was still only 10:30am - I guess I was even more jetlagged than I had realized) but still got to see everything I had planned.

I started with a visit to the Schloss, where I walked the castle grounds exhaustively and then went inside to see the inner courtyard. I elected not to take the guided tour; I could see that the castle was very impressive without it, and I'm not that interested in history. All in all I spent a couple of hours wandering the grounds, then went back down into the marketplace in search of brunch, which I found in the form of a crepe sandwich with emmenthal cheese, salami and an herb mixture including at least rosemary. It may not sound good as a concept, but let me assure you that it was tasty!

Then I ran into one of the guys staying in my dorm room, a young man named Colin, and he talked me into taking a boat ride up the Neckar with him. We spent two and a half hours lazing around, watching the scenery go by and soaking up the sun. We made it as far as the four castles at one of the towns upriver before turning around and coming back; we went through two locks on the journey. It was thoroughly relaxing, much more so than my original plan to cycle the 14 km to those castles, and as it turned out, it was cheaper than renting a bike would have been too.

I followed this up with a show situated at the castle (nestled into the north-west corner in the "Thick Tower," which is open to the world on the outside of the castle, as it has half fallen away, but in which they had constructed two rows of seating on individual balcony levels). The show was "The Youth's Magic Horn" - as far as I can tell this was not the better known composition by Gahler inspired by that collection of poems/ballads, but a rearrangement (or maybe a contemporary setting) by Heiner Kondschak. Nonetheless it was very enjoyable to listen to, and all but one of the singers was quite accomplished (there were 5, and one of the men had obviously not had classical vocal training). In those songs where they were all singing together, the harmonies were fantastic.

Tomorrow I'm heading back to Frankfurt, to take in a little taste of World Cup fever.


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