Being Philosophical with Heidelberg
Heidelberg is in Baden-Württemberg state and the Neckar river flows through the city. Every year tens and thousands of international tourists are drawn to the city due to its romantic landscape. One should not miss the old town of Heidelberg (Altstadt) as well as the old castle (photo 2–5) on the mountain. However, I don’t recommend people pay the fee to enter the castle due to the fact that the beauty of this castle lies in its unique relics appearance rather than its inner design. Aside from the castle, there is an old bridge with a monkey sculpture. The monkey holds a mirror and beside it is poem that implies that the Heidelberg people should be humble and not look too high of themselves. There is a saying, if you touch the monkey’s mirror, it will bring you fortune; if you touch the monkey’s hand, it will bring you back to Heidelberg again. Nevertheless, due to Covid-19 pandemic, the monkey sculpture is blockaded to avoid the spread of virus, which looks pretty sad. So much philosophy is underlying one sculpture that one can imagine how philosophical the whole city is. Beside the bridge is another stone called stone of love (Liebesstein) with a poem showcasing love for Heidelberg. One can take a picture from the stone with the view of the castle.
There is a trail called the “Philosophers’ Walk” which is said to be a trail quite famous among scholars and philosophers at Heidelberg. Walking along the Philosopher’s Walk will give you the overview of the Heidelberg old town. Keep walking and you will see the Monastery of St. Michael (photo 4–5) which was ruin from the old monastery built from 1023 and abandoned in the 16th century. Maybe it is the beauty of this trail that offers scholars and philosophers some rest from their work, the University of Heidelberg has many Nobel prize winners in physics and chemistry. In addition, the University of Heidelberg is the oldest university in Germany. It is probably worthwhile to have a visit of this university and its library to feel the academic atmosphere. However, it is very important to know that most of the tourist attractions are at Heidelberg Altstadt rather than the main station, so make sure you stop at the right station. For people who don’t enjoy hiking to reach the castle, a gondola is available to help you reach the peak. Speaking of hiking, I once encountered an ox on my way down from the Heidelberg castle. I suppose the ox is not wild, but it is still relatively shocking, thus a hiking company is strongly recommended.
What to eat at Heidelberg? I would highly recommend two places to eat. One is Cocodec beside the Neckar river near the old bridge (photo1–2). It is a very local Korean fried chicken. In Germany, there are just not many places where you can have a proper Korean fried chicken, but Cocodec is one of the good places. Also, you get to enjoy the view of Neckar if you choose to eat outside. Another must-try is Gelato Go, an ice-cream shop that I really enjoy. Gelato Go offers lots of flavors and the price is low. Other than that, what I like about their ice-cream is that you can really feel the creaminess of the ice-cream. Those two shops are my must-visit each time I come to Heidelberg.
In addition, all year round, there are plenty of events taking place at Heidelberg. For instance, I once joined the Castle Illumination where they place many fireworks to light up the castle. Unfortunately, my pictures weren’t that great to share, but I would recommend people to join this event. Another artwork display I ran into by accident was the work from Jürgen Goertz. Nevertheless, maybe my friend and I are not artistic enough to understand his work loll, we find it a bit creepy, though quite creative. Lastly, to bid farewell to a friend of mine, I went to Heidelberg one last time during Christmas. The empty streets are so sad, that I had to put on my reindeer ears to have a tiny bit of Christmas atmosphere with me QQ. As I was browsing through my photos, I missed the fact that Heidelberg has the world’s largest wine tun, but I lost this photo. Hope all my information are helpful to you. What do you enjoy about Heidelberg? Feel free to share and discuss them with me.