Journeying in Germany: Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany is easily an underrated city in Germany. I have learned to call this place my second home, since I have been studying abroad here since September 2016. It’s the cutest little town and I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be here!
For starters, I love the range of places to shop, eat, and explore the city. One of my favorite places to eat is Hans im Glück which is a burger place that has LA vibes all throughout it. There are trees in the restaurant and the food is hard to beat. For only thirteen euros (about fifteen USD), you can get a gourmet burger, fries, and a traditional beer. It won’t be a meal you’ll regret! There is also all you can eat sushi, Thai food, Mexican, Doner Kebab joints every other restaurant, and pretty much any kind of food you’d be craving while here!
There is a plethora of shops and stores to get your traditional Birkenstocks, or if you want something more Americanized, there is an H&M at Bismarkplatz (the center of the town). We have Starbucks, a ton of shoe stores, and of course, cute little German stores all along the Haupßtrasse (pronounced Hopstrosse) which is the main street in Heidelberg.
The history that is in Heidelberg itself is incredible. There is an old castle that is a five- minute walk from our house and it is so huge! There are churches that date back hundreds of years, and so much history from WWII. There all plaques in the tiles of the ground all over Heidelberg from when the Nazi’s would go into people’s homes and take them to Auschwitz and different concentrations camps.
One of my favorite things that I’ve been doing the past couple weekends is the Philospherweg Hike. The first time I did it, it took us two hours total. It’s a pretty moderate hike/walk, with the first ten minutes being the hardest part of the hike. We made it to the ruins of an old castle with the lookout tower, but what we didn’t know is that there is an old amphitheater past the ruins. We found this the second time we did the hike, which took us four and a half hours total, but that was because we took our time and stopped at a lot more of the lookout points. The amphitheater was made by the Nazi’s because that is where Hitler had planned to do his victory speech if Germany won WWII. The amphitheater is incredible when you make it! It can comfortably seat 5,000 people and 10,000 people can fit considering all the standing room. Just beyond the amphitheater is a monastery’s ruins. There are a couple people buried there, but overall it’s really cool to see the ruins of something dated back to the 1000’s. Overall, the hike is such an awesome thing to do because there are so many lookout points throughout it where you get a complete view of the city and the castles all in Heidelberg!
I love studying abroad in Heidelberg because it is so central to the rest of Europe. We have a train station that is only fifteen minutes away. We can train to the countries that are close enough to get to via train. The closest airport from us is the main airport in Frankfurt, which is an hour bus ride from the house we live in. I’m living in a house with fifty-two other people from my University back in the states, and our classes are conveniently located on the Haupßtrasse. I will be here until April of 2017 and I am so excited to travel all over Europe!