The Neckar River can be a lion or a lamb. Two weekends again J and I and Mike, our friend and J's grad student, visited Heidelberg. Holy cow that city gets a lot of tourists. We were the only non-Japanese at the tourist-book-highlighted old student bar where we enjoyed the local predictably good, predictably titled, and predictable Pils, Heidelberger. We had a fantastic day, mostly because the sun was shining for one of the few times this spring. Instead of rushing, we made sure to take in the local traditions, which in this case meant unbelievable filled cake pop conconctions (much better than the dryish dough "snowballs" thingees more famous here). We had the chocolate one on the top.
Heidelberg's castle is ruined but spectacular. Long history there. Shorter entry.
Great views from the top.
After endless days running through the rain in various cities chasing Bruegels, we deserved a beer in a touristical square, this one near Heidelberg's famous Old Bridge. Rick Steves would be proud.
A week later, and a little southeast on the Neckar, it was time for the annual Stocherkahnrennen in Tübingen -- I think that translates to silly boat races. Basically a bunch of drunken college students parade in punt boats, and then some of them race, trying to knock other racers out of their boats, while a bunch of semi-drunk locals wonder why they spent their holiday picnicking standing up in the 55-degree and cloudy weather watching a non-athletic athletic contest (just kidding Betty -- we loved it!).
You may think I staged the following pictures just for comic effect, but, really, Ella kept trying to take a sip of one of my favorite Zweifalter Abts.
Our Utah friends Brian and Katie were passing through on the way from Switzerland (via Denmark) to northern Germany, and while they escaped a group shot, they get credit for the first true Ella-smiling shot of the trip. Everyone loves our local pub.
You want cliches? How about four Americans in a German beer garden? Our friend Nader on the left from Hawaii (next to Mike and Brian) is an astronomer who studies planets and the age-old question, "What happens at the end of the universe?" He was skeptical about Noah's Ark. But I told him about a new theory from gotquestions.org that explains that pesky problem of millions of species fitting into a boat: "God may have brought Noah 'infant' animals, which can be significantly smaller than adult animals."
Today we could see our breath at the bus stop at 4:30. Maybe this is getting biblical.
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