Heidelberg Travel Blog› entry 4 of 81 › view all entries
Scott and I were impressed with the punctual trains in Europe. Comfortable heated compartments with padded seats could accommodate six passengers but we never saw one fully occupied. Dining cars boasted tables cloaked in white cloth and offered snacks, meals, and excellent European beers. The folding table in our cabin worked perfectly for rolling dice so we played Yahtzee as spectacular winter scenery rolled by.
Castles towered high on snow-dusted hilltops while vineyards awkwardly clung to the steep slopes of twisting river valleys. Navigable canals sliced farmed fields of the flat-lands. We watched a low-profiled barge skillfully negotiate one narrow waterway, gliding under a stone bridge.
Heidelberg was a pleasant town tucked neatly into a wooded valley along the Rhine River. Besides Scott, myself, and a few other travelers lodged at the youth hostel, there were no tourists that time of year. We strolled vacant cobblestone streets while white smoke drifted into the bitter cold air from red chimneys. The huge bell on a towering church steeple echoed four muffled gongs. On a bridge spanning the Rhine, we paused to watch a pristine black barge pass through the locks, bound for Frankfurt. Across the river, a trail led into the woods and up to a high ridge-line which offered magnificent views of the town and valley. We liked Germany.