Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mannheim Dec 18

Mannheim & Heidelberg December 18, 2008

Last night the noise from the engine and the ship moving through the water made sleeping practically impossible. But now we are in Mannheim and we go to Heidelberg this morning.

We took a short drive to Heidelberg and started at the castle. Except for the wine cellar, the visit was all outside. The large and huge barrels were both there and I took a picture of Peter in front of the really big one but otherwise the wine cellar has been turned into a cafe for cake and coffee. I could appreciate the history of the castle more since I know more about the 17th century and the Winter King and Queen. I really didn't know anything about the Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and the wars of Louis XIV when we came in the 80's. While I hadn’t been thinking about shopping, I saw a beautiful silk scarf at the castle shop but it was out of my price range. I seem to have a “thing” for scarves.

Then we had a short walk through part of the old town with the guide before having free time to wander around. It was all Weihnachtsmarkts. Not really our thing although these seemed focused more on food and not as much on stuff

We got back got back to the ship and set sail for Rudesheim. We are still on the way. Looking out on the river and seeing the lights reflecting through the darkness is beautiful. We passed through Mainz and I thought about how much we liked it when we were there on my first trip to Germany. I remember having to buy shoes because my feet hurt so much from the cobblestones and how walking was painful for several days. But we really had a good time.

This afternoon I had to rip out my entire scarf and start over. I also got to watch a demonstration of how to make Rudesheim coffee. Coffee and brandy and whipped cream and chocolate. It would probably be ok. Fun to watch anyway. We had some Bach and some traditional Christmas music earlier. Now we are sitting in the lounge listening to Danny play easy-listening music and waiting for the daily briefing. Then a German dinner and a glass-blowing demonstration by Karl Ettig from Wertheim.

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