Since we had gotten to Heidelberg, and more specifically, had been late finding our hotel, we decided to spend the morning of today in Heidelberg. We had a nice continental breakfast (plenty of food and drink for the 6 Euro charge) at the hotel, and then set off to use the funicular railroad to see the top of Heidelberg--meaning in this case the mountain and not the town--and then the Schloss Heidelberg--the famous castle.
We walked about 800 meters to the funicular base station, bought tickets, and were on the next train uphill. We went past the Schloss station to the next station, got off and then took the final train to the top of the mountain. The view was very good of a wide area around the city, but a big smoggy. We came down at the next opportunity, reversed the system, and got off at the Schloss station to walk around the castle grounds and take photos. There are very good views from the outside walls, and Marilyn and I walked out to the end of the garden to see nice views of the city and the river. Photos will show what I mean. Then back to the funicular for the ride to the bottom.
When we got off the train, the ladies started back to the hotel and I set off on foot to get the car from the parking garage. It turned out to be a 2-mile walk, and after some confusion on process, I was driving again toward the hotel. The ladies were waiting with our luggage (the hotel stored it for us while we were touring), and we were off to Strasbourg, France.
Since it was Friday, there was a good deal of traffic, and the GPS helped us around some slow spots. That is until we got about 5 kilometers from the center of Strasbourg, then it all slowed down. We managed to find our way to "Petite France", the old part of the city, and were lucky to find a parking spot and an English-speaking young man to explain how to use the machine to buy a parking ticket.
Because we had spent the morning in Heidelberg, we only had about 90 minutes to browse around Petite France. Most of that was spent in shopping by M&M, and we also got to see the Notre Dame cathedral. It is really impressive, and professional photos will show that best--our photos won't do it justice. There were also several old, old buildings around the cathedral square. Then a little more shopping on the way back to the car, and we were off to our destination for the night.
When Linda and I lived here in the early 1980s, we visited a couple of times the village of Riquewihr, France, and we wanted M&M to see it too. The drive was not as simple as we remembered--more roads and a lot more cars, especially at 1700 on a summer Friday. We got to the village about 1730, and the GPS was not real helpful at finding our hotel. I knew it was outside the village center, as I was looking for something in our price range that had an elevator/lift. With our mobility issues and luggage, I did not want us carrying bags up stairs in old buildings. We dropped off M&M in the village center, and Linda and I finally found the hotel. After checking in, we set off to find M&M. We went to our "home base" spot, and were all back together in a few minutes. Shopping had been just so-so since many of the shops closed down at 1800.
We checked menus posted, and decided on one that seemed to offer something for everyone. We sat outside to enjoy the views and ambiance, and enjoyed our evening. Linda and I even had Escargot/snails as a starter. Marilyn had flambe', which is like a pizza but no tomato sauce. Marsha had a cheese plate with bread, and we talked the young server into a couple of helpings of cornichon/pickles. Linda had a 4-meat Charcoutrie, which she said was OK, but a bit bland. I had a dish whose name I cannot remember, but it was basically a stew of potatoes and carrots with beef, pork, and lamb. The food was OK, but I think we all agreed we liked German offerings better.
I walked back to get the car so I could pick up everyone else. The half-mile walk was not appealing this late. We got our luggage into the hotel, and started to get settled for the night. One more obstacle, though. Europe does not have the same codes for electrical outlets that the US has, which means it can be hard to find an available plug in for your chargers and CPAPs. I finally went to the desk, and the clerk provided us with an extension cord that solved the problem. The room has A/C, and it will really help as the air is warm and humid. Getting to sleep was no problem.
NOTE: I"m not sure we'll have wi-fi connections for the next couple of nights, so there may be a gap in postings. If nothing else, I'll catch up our final night in Germany, and then add more when we get home and over jet lag. See you then.