I did not enjoy work at all today. It was between 29 and 33°C all day (roughly between 84 – 91.5 °F if you prefer) and we have no air conditioning. Also, I work upstairs and you could literally feel the air getting hotter with every step you walked up. I was aware that heat rises but unti, I started working here had no idea of the extremes. Also, I ended up working on a financial translation pretty much all day, which is not exactly my favourite type of text at the best of times. And on top of that, a customer had complained about one of my translations while I was off, so I had a lovely e-mail to come back to as well. Cue hot, bored and grumpy Bev. Ugh. But enough about that. I am now going to cheer myself up by reliving my sister’s visit, starting with day one.
So my sister and her boyfriend arrived on Wednesday evening. I went to pick them up from the airport straight after work, then we went to get a train home… which turned out to be 50 minutes delayed. So much for German efficiency… We did, however, arrive home eventually where we immediately opened a few bottles of beer and set about making our evening meal: Chicken enchiladas. Or it may have been turkey. Some kind of bird. Either way, they were delicious.
The next morning (the first of my days off), we were up bright and early for breakfast before heading off to Heidelberg. I’ve been there many times before, but it’s pretty, it has an English shop, which I never have any objections to checking out, and it was one of the places my sister wanted to see, so off we went.
If you ever decide to visit Heidelberg, there are two things you should know:
- It is absolutely beautiful
- It is incredibly – and I mean incredibly – touristy, to the extent that they actually sell T-shirts with the slogan “I’m not a tourist – I live here”.
The first thing we did on arrival in Heidelberg was go to the English shop, because it’s opposite the train station and I needed proper English gravy and crumpets. Unfortunately, they are currently getting ready to close down for a while for refurbishment and had almost nothing in. I managed to get some gravy granules for chicken (I actually wanted ordinary granules), but there was no self-raising flour, no crumpets… basically no anything. A (the sister’s boyfriend) then went into the Jack Wolfskin store and after much umming and aaahing decided to buy a rain coat, then we finally managed to get round to taking a tram into Heidelberg proper. Our guests requested that we stop for lunch before doing anything else, so we took a walk down the main shopping street on the look out for something suitable. I don’t remember the name of the place we decided to stop, but the entire menu was translated into English (see, touristy!) making it the first and only menu that we didn’t have to translate. Our guest then got to try their first taste of German food (my Enchilidas may have been delicious, but traditional German they were not!). I had Wiener Schnitzel, which is technically Austrian (Wiener = Viennese) and the other three all had a platter of various goodies including potato fritters (which the menu called fried potatoes), Nürnberger sausages and Pfälzer Saumagen (Sow’s stomach – it tastes better than it sounds – honest!). And we all tried a glass of Heidelberger beer. When in Rome and all that… Suitably stuffed we then went off to explore the town and work off some of the food we had just eaten…
We looked at the castle from down below…
Walked down to the river and took photos of the old bridge…
Then crossed the river and walked up Schlangenweg (Snake’s Way) to Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Way). I had never been up there before and Jan chose not to tell us just how looooong the Schlangenweg actually was! I certainly worked off my beer… and then some! Apparantly up on that hill is where the photos for most postcards of Heidelberg are taken, so we took some too:
Also, on the way up we spotted an East-German style Ampelmann, which I got slighted excited about.
I think my sister may have thought I’d gone insane, but I don’t care. I took photos anyway 😉 Isn’t he cute in his little hat
Then we took the long walk back down into town and rewarded ourselves with a nice cold beer before taking the train back to Karlsruhe.
The evening was spent meeting friends and eating delicious food at Marktlücke in Karlsruhe, until we were asked to leave because it was 1 a .m. and, it being a week night, they wanted to close.
… and that was day one of our adventures. For the rest, you will have to wait.