In May myself and Mireille decided to take our first holiday in Germany, with the first of our locations to visit being Heidelberg which is only a few hours South East of our homebase in Aachen.
Our hotel lay right on the edge of the altstadt (old town) area of the city, so after a stop off at a local bakery for breakfast we made our way into the explore the baroque architecture of the old city.
With any old town in Europe, there were plenty of churches to pop in and check out the architecture.
While many tourists stick to the main thoroughfares, as normal Mireille and I wound our way up and down cobblestone laden side streets as we progressed along towards the market square.
Outside the church of the holy spirit there were hoards of tourists (and locals) basking in the late May sunshine, while devouring some local cuisine, all washed down with some beer, wine or pretty much any other tipple you could think of.
Just a few hundred meters further along the main street at the Corn Market and the partially ruined Heidelberg Castle clearly dominates the skyline above the city.
After a spot of lunch (which consisted of a drink and a few plates of tasty ice-
It was while walking around the castle grounds that we discovered a bust of Johann W. von Goethe who used to use this area for his poetry inspiration, and it would appear that Father Jack from the famous TV sitcom Father Ted was fashioned upon him, as you will clearly see below.
Surprisingly there is a good section of the castle grounds which are completely free to access, with only the innermost area of the castle and it's gardens requiring an admission fee. In the "freebie" zone there were a number of other sculptures lazing around in the sunshine, completely oblivious to the fact that their cask of wine had been knocked over.
The back side of the castle which you can't see from the city below is in a lot worse shape, and it's clear to see where the admission fees are being used to try and shore up the existing building and carry out renovation work to bring the castle back to it's former glory.
From the castle walls there are many locations from which the river Neckar and Heidelberg's old bridge can be seen and that would be our next target to aim for on our exploration of the city.
But, not before taking some more photos of the view back across the city first.
Our walk back down the hillside towards the bridge held many stop-
As we approached the bridge we stopped off at the shore of the river Neckar to have a look at the bridge itself which was laden with tourists and also to admire the view back up the hillside towards the castle.
On the bridge itself most people were doing their best attempts at shooting selfies either with the city, the bridge or the castle in the background, whereas something motorised had my attention.
From the other side of the bridge it was then time for us to shoot the view of Heidelberg that most people who've visited previously would instantly recognise. The bridge with it's twin towered entrance gateway and Heidelberg Castle sitting behind it on the Koenigstuhl while the river Neckar flows past endlessly. Just a pity it was so cloudy and hazy that particular day, but I'm sure you can all imagine how it would look with blue sky above.
And just incase your imagination isn't the best, then here's a helping hand from Mireille.
All that was left then were a couple of obligatory holiday snaps and then it was back to the hotel to pick up our car and head off to our next location...stay tuned...