Willkommen in Heidelberg Castle

Heidelburg, Germany

Willkommen in Heidelberg (Welcome to Heidelberg)

A while back I took a trip to Germany to visit a friend who was living in Wiesbaden, Germany. Unfortunately, she had to work during the day leaving me to my devices. I would take day trips and buy train tickets to explore castles in neighboring cities. The funny thing was that I knew very little German and could even speak less but, that didn’t stop me from heading out to explore Heidelberg Castle.Heidelberg, Germany

Arriving in Heidelberg

I had quite the adventure switching trains in Mainz that I almost didn’t make the switch on time. With some difficulty reading the signs and figuring out which line I needed, I ended up running to my train. I barely sat down before it left the station.  I was so excited to see Heidelberg Castle that after I got off the train and got on a bus that I thought was going to drop me directly at the castle, I got promptly lost twice.

Getting Lost

The bus I chose to ride dropped people off below the castle, and you were supposed to walk up the stairway to the castle, which I was not aware. Once I realized I missed my stop, I stayed on the bus thinking it would make a return loop and stop at that site when it came back. Boy, was I wrong! I took an hour-long fabulous tour of the city through lower-income areas. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would get to the castle but, I finally made it.

Heidelberg CastleHeather standing in front of the Thick TowerFrederick CastleOtteinrich PalaceBell TowerEnglish Palace, Library Building, and WestwardCastle Chapel at Heidelburg Castle, Germany

Prison Tower "Seldom Empty"

Prison Tower “Seldom Empty”

Heidelberg Castle is a site to see. I only had less than an hour to explore this massive structure after my first bus fiasco. Even with the short amount of time I was determined to see as much as I could. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps, and the view from the castle of Heidelberg below is stunning. Each section of the castle ruins is so different with its ornate window decorations and statues. The castle has been destroyed and deteriorating since the 17th century with only a small portion of Heidelberg Castle that has been refurbished. The rest is left to ruins. Opening hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you wish to see the inside of the castle, you will have to take a guided tour. Tickets to explore Heidelberg Castle are €8.

View of Heidelburg from the Castle

Second Time Getting Lost

After my tour of the castle, I hopped on a bus that I thought would take me back to the train station. Oops! Got on the wrong bus again. This one crossed the river and came to the end of its run for the day. I couldn’t be further from my intended destination. What even got me more nervous was that I was the last person on the bus. The good thing was that the driver spoke a little English.  He told me that this was the end of the route. I told him where I was trying to go, and he helped me transfer to another bus that was going back over the river and was able to drop me off at the train station. When I got to the train station, I was starving since I hadn’t eaten all day. Thank God for McDonald’s & the $5 I had in my pocket.  Nothing like experiencing a little bit of America in a foreign country. “Vielen Dank!”

Even though it was scary and stressful at times, I’m glad for the experience to see the whole city. This adventure gave me more confidence to be able to handle any situation that comes my way when I’m out on my travels solo!

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Further Reading

If you would like to see more of my nomad solo travels, check out my post on my first month of traveling full-time: One Month of Nomad Travel. If you are coming to Europe for a visit, check out these posts:

2 Comments

  • Meg 16July2017 at 4:29 PM Reply

    Love it! My experience was so similar. I spent a couple of days in Heidelberg with my husband, but then he had to go to work in Bensheim, leaving me to my own devices for a couple of days. I went to Frankfurt & to Wiesbaden! 🙂 In the same boat with you as far as having no German, and having to just do my best and ask for help to get from one place to another, but I was so glad that it worked out for the most part. I love being in a European city and just hoping on the train and going to see the area as the whim hits me. So much fun, and I hope I get to do it again soon! <3 Great to meet you!

    • Heather 16July2017 at 4:36 PM Reply

      My friends were living in Wiesbaden so, that is where I took the train out to other places. Besides Heidelberg, I went to Rudesheim as well. We even drove to Paris for a weekend. I haven’t seen Frankfurt yet. So many places to see, so little time.

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