Monday, June 3, 2013

May 17th - Filling in the Gaps

Hi everyone!
Today, I'm back at my aunt and uncles house and have successfully completed the journey around Europe. I decided to take some time out of my oh-so-unbusy day and fill in a couple of gaps that I hadn't had time to write about before! Also, I have pictures. WOOT!
So, the day after my last post with pictures (chapter 4), my group (Talia, grandparents, and me) went to tour the Heidelberg castle. It was so BIG and AWESOME. But the weather was so rainy and cloudy. :( We got up at 8 and were headed out by 11ish. I was excited for my first big adventure in Heidelberg. Taking the same route to Heidelberg that we had taken the night before (when we went out for dinner with my whole family), we arrived at the train station, where we parked our car. Talia and I were standing next to a sign while my grandparents talked to a man about parking and saw this smoking sign that said 'Non-smoking station':
It's so nice to know that someone cares enough about non-smokers lungs to keep the station smoke-free. However, right next to this bulletin board was this:
A cigarette dispenser! The man that my grandparents wete talking to was smoking next to the dispenser, too. We scratched our heads at that logic...
After paying for parking, we headed back to the cathedral square where we had eaten out the night before and stopped at the 'Cafe Extrablatt' for lunch. Talia and I ordered barbequed fajita pizza (it was so delicious) and some caffeinated drinks. I got a Caramel Latte Macchiatto, and Talia a Schocmoc. Out of all the other coffee's that I've had throughout Europe have never matched up to that Caramel flavored Latte Macchiato. I'll never look at coffee the same. *sighs*

A chunk of Heidelberg castle while walking to Cafe Extreblatt

A cool looking house... There were a TON of those. ;P

A lonely statue standing by herself in a small square. :( She was very beautiful.

Talia and me waiting for our meals. The cafe had mirrors all over the place!

Front: Schocmoc, back: Caramel Latte Macchiato. Yumyum :3
Anyway! After lunch, we walked up to the station that would take us to the top of the hill where the Heidelberg castle sat. After buying our tickets, we made our way to the cool 'people gates' that turn every time a person walked through. We had a bit of trouble figuring out how to actually get them in. Grandpa stuck his ticket in the slot that scanned it, and it only turned red. We all repeated after him, and it did the same thing. After looking like fools for a couple of minutes, one of the people that had already passed through one of the other gates finally showed us that we had been sticking out tickets in the slots upside down. Finally we pushed through the gates and waited for the vertical train to stop at our station. We all got on when it arrived, and were carried slowly up the steep incline.
This is the inside of the vertical train.. thingy... And a random lady. ;)
At the top, I took pictures of everyone by the guard post. The moment I saw the small building, all I could imagine was the British guards with the tall, black furry hats that probably took up half of their weight when they wore them. 

 Then, the fun began. I could already see a bit of the castle starting to come in site, and started taking pictures right away.We walked through the big arch, and entered into a large square. I took tons and tons of pictures! I could only post so many of them on here (I'll probably post the rest on Facebook when I get home).
Random stair case that leads to the wall. Coooool. :o

Souvenir shop and place where we bought tickets for the castle tour.

Castle clock

A look at the inside of the castle courtyards
The square
The lady who was going to be giving us a tour of the castle was a little late, so we sat outside the touring door and waiting in the pouring rain. She finally arrived, a very nice lady, and let us in! She immediately started giving us a bit history on the building that we were in and showed us models of the castle.
The room that the touring door led into.

A model of what the castle originally looked like.

A model of what the castle looks like now, after the fire in the 16th century.
Then, we left the room and went outside. She gave us a bit more history, and also clued us in on a lot of the architecture.
See those shoots that are by the round part of the building? Those were toilet shoots. You can guess what comes out of them! That was considered modern plumbing in the day...

This was kind of like a big party room that was used for plays and is now used for recitals, bands, concerts, etc.

An awesome sundial that the tour guide showed us while we walked across the square to another building.

These pictures are of the knights hall, the only original building that was rebuilt after the raging fire of the 16th century.

A sitting room in the knights hall, and the top of Talia's head!
 The tour guide brought us into a long hall with lots of wardrobes and elaborately wood carved door frames.

This was at the end of the hall. It's a painting of a deer's body, and the head nailed to the wall.

This was the end of the tour. We ended up in a nice chapel with a huge organ behind it (didn't take a picture of it sadly)
 Earlier in the tour, the guide had been telling us about how the castle happened to have the largest wine barrel in the world with a volume of 500, 5,000, or 50,000 gallons... I can't remember. It had a 5 in it somewhere! It was so big, that there was a stage built on top and people used to dance on top of it!

This is the top of the big barrel

This hole was in the ceiling above the barrel, it was used to suck the wine out of the barrel and transport it to the floor above.

This is Perkeo. Perkeo was a rich drunkard who was famous for never turning down a drink when offered to him. It is said that he dropped dead after drinking the first mouthful of water he had ever had.

This is a view of Heidelberg from the castle terrace.

This lone footprint on the castle terrace has it's own story! Legend says that the prince, that was living in the castle at the time, went fishing. His wife, who stayed at home, got bored and decided to have an affair with a random knight (because everyone does that when they get bored *facepalm*). The prince returned unexpectedly, and the knight jumped out the window in a full suit of armor. His intention was to save the lady's dignity. Apparently, his suit of armor was so heavy, that he left a lone footprint on the terrace. It's true, I tell you!

You could never guess what this is. B-)
Okay, well, yes. It's a lion's head. BUT, that's only it's disguise. In reality, it's a ventilation route from the bathroom behind the wall. Who knew that a lions breath could ever have such a putrid smell!

View of the castle from the terrace (it was super rainy that day, so a lot of my picture's aren't the best)

The apotheke, or pharmacy, in the castle museum.

Talia: tired of walking, tired of the rain, and just plain tired.

More of the museum

I found a unicorn! :D

A shelf of old testing tubes. They were awesome!

THIS is the watch tower. It was blown apart by the French during a siege.

Views of the castle courtyards ^ v

Walking down to the courtyards

We found this grate while going through a little archway. We couldn't really guess what it was for, so our imagination's filled in the gaps.

View of the castle from the courtyard

This is the archway leading towards Elizabeth's bridge. It's so elaborate and beautiful, a person would never guess that it was built in a single night!

Tree ^_^

The vertical train tracks

The vertical train on the vertical train tracks.

A cascade of beautiful lilacs outside the train station.

And that was the end of our castle adventure. :)
My cousin Talia also has a blog, and wrote about a lot of what we did in between the gaps that even I have not yet told you all about! Feel free to read more about our adventure here!
FINALLY I HAVE FINISHED THIS POST. I thought I had finished it a couple days ago, but I had forgotten to put the link to my cousin's blog at the end, so I added it. However, when I published it, half of the pictures ad captions that I had added just disappeared! So, I spent all of this morning put my post back together. :P
Anyway, I'm off to edit more pictures for my next post!
Tschau! :)