Trip Start May 15, 2006
Trip End Sep 29, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Heidelberg is a town I had visited before with previous trips to Europe and I didn't have much in the way of expectations going into the city but the two days I spent there turned out to be a very good use of my time. I needed to kill a couple of days before Oktoberfest in Munich and so I was left to decide between a couple of towns in Western Germany. Heidelberg was my choice.

I got into town after a reasonably long trip on the train and immediately took the bus downtown in an attempt to find a hostel/cheap hotel. I looked around for an hour or so and didn't find anything which meant that I was forced to retreat back to the train station and take a bus out of town to the HI hostel. I don't like HI hostels but as the only cheap place to stay in town, I didn't have much of a choice. HI hostels are a huge network of hostels throughout Europe run by Hosteling International. They tend to be newer facilities that are very clean, offer a good breakfast, and are reasonably cheap. That all sounds good but let me tell you why I don't like them. They are usually way out of town(this one was a 45 minute walk or 15 minute bus ride from the center of town), they are filled with all ages from really young to really old, they cater to school groups, and they feel like a hospital. This one was no exception from those tried and true rules. I luckily met a couple of other travelers from Australia and Canada because had I not, I might have shot myself sitting alone listening to the chatter of the hundreds of 15 year old school group kids that seem to invade the place.

Now that my little rant is out of the way, I spent my first night at the hostel just relaxing after dinner and then called it an early night. The next day, I met up with the Canadian Chris and his friends from Australia and we all went up to the one famous site in Heidelberg, the castle. Now I have pretty much had my fill of castles, churches, and museums after 4+ months but this one wasn't bad and was a way to spend the day. It is famous for being a)Huge and b) having the largest barrel in the world. We took the tour, saw the barrel, got the views/pictures of the city and then headed down to the main pedestrian walkway for a cup of coffee in the main square. I still haven't gotten tired of that part of traveling. We sat around and talked for a couple of hours before going back to the hostel(more free transportation, I just stopped paying for busses too) and eating dinner on the cheap at the hostel kitchen. It was everyones last night in Heidelberg so we decided to take a trip back into town that night and have a couple of drinks. We couldn't stay out to late because the busses back to our hostel stop running at 12:30 and we luckily caught the last one, otherwise that would have been a long cold walk.

The next day I had a good breakfast at the hostel consisting of breads, cheeses, meats, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea, and, everyones favorite, nutella. After breakfast, I checked out and hopped on the train for Stuttgart.
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