|Hessische Bergstrasse Mai 09|
As usual the photos give the full story so check them out!
We started in Heppenheim, just as we did last time. The stretch between Heppenheim and the first wine stop is just too gorgeous - I didn't want to pass it up in favor of the unknown parts of the trail up near the other end in Zwingenberg. The weather was more hazy and a little less hot than last time, which worked in our favor - we made it to six stops instead of just four! You can get a stamp at each stop and with six stamps you can be entered to win one of 100 prizes, ranging from two nights vacation in the Hessische Bergstrasse to a bottle of wine. Parts of me are still sore, however. ;) Including getting to and from the train stops, we must have walked around 20km up and down hills. All kinds of people can be seen along the path - retirees with their amusing Nordic walking habits, parents with strollers, hen parties, teenagers getting progressively sillier (I think the age to buy wine is technically 16? but in wine country, seriously, who is going to ask?), and on and on. It just reminded me of another difference with the US - where alcohol can only be drunk within a fence or wall, everyone is IDed and the drinking age is much higher, everyone would have to have bands on their arms, no one would want to deal with taking little kids along, there wouldn't be any public transit to the countryside so there would be higher drunk driving risks, etc. So, I am determined to enjoy as many wine walks this year as possible in case we have to go back to the US at the end of the year!! I've already found a couple we've never been to by poking around the intarwebs, plus we can't forget the super awesome one in Freinsheim in fall!! (DAD, I'm looking at you...last weekend in September... don't you still like Riesling? ;) )
If anyone can recommend a wine fest they find especially great, please leave me a comment!!
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Heidelberg (well, today too). It was also the long night of shopping as I mentioned in an earlier post. It's very cute how a really big deal is made out of the shops being open past 8pm. There are candles lining the sidewalks outside the open shops, food stands, promotions like DJs and drinks and food in the shops - it's very festive!! We went out to get a Wurst at one of the food stands and enjoy the evening, and I was looking for some Sharpies so we stopped in a couple of shops. I didn't find any Sharpies, but the paper store on St-Anna-Gasse had free Sekt (champagne) and snacks for just walking in the door. I got some Edding and Stabilo pens instead. I'm not sure Sharpies are available in Germany (boooooo!) and I needed to restock on several colors of the ultra fine tip. I'll see how the Stabilo ones are as a substitute. They kept trying to give us more Sekt, so I totally recommend shopping during these things! :)
There was also some extra hullaballoo in Heidelberg because the mayor set up tonight to show off the fancy new lighting he had installed on the Old Bridge. After much blathering on over a mic, they turned on the new lights, which are....something we'll have to get used to. There is just a lot of lighting now, highlighting every inch of the rail along the bridge. It's kind of overkill, but, maybe I'm just being too conservative and will get used to it with time. We already know I don't like the new benches over there and the tunnel under the city idea is theoretically cool but in reality a total disaster waiting to happen. I think the mayor's a little goofy...but he does seem to be a man of action.