Friday, August 19, 2011

Heidelberg & Speyer

We got up in our quaint hotel and came downstairs to perhaps the most sensational breakfast we've ever had, and that is saying something. But we've never had a candlelit breakfast before, or one with personal jars of fruit salad and bottles of juice.
Rob and I had looked at the menu at the Weisser Bock, but the fixed price menu was waaaaay above our budget. Too bad, because it was all Spanish-German, and we are Spanish-German foodies if ever there were some. So at least we got the swank breakfast offerings.
The kids enjoyed it, but they probably would have picked Krispy Kremes or Count Chocula over the cold cuts and croissants and muesli if given the choice. We went to church at the LDS ward and had a good time. We came back with all of the students to this restaurant Rob had picked out the day before called Perkeo on the Haupstrasse:
Perkeo was a jester with a legendary drinking ability.
We had our own room and we got to order our own thing (usually for budgeting and serving ease, we all get the same thing). We had a calm, leisurely lunch.
I had a salad which is what I've needed after all of the pork and potatoes we've been eating! Maddie took Joss out to walk up and down the street while we settled the bill. The waitress asked what kind of a group we were. I suspect that in Heidelberg, renowned for students and drinking, a group of 30 ordering alkoholfrei was pretty noteworthy.
When Maddie and Joss returned sopping wet we realized that it was raining outside. Also that all of our umbrellas were in our luggage, a solid 8 blocks away. So we all got soaked getting to our luggage, then we split up trying to get our car, only the people at the parking lot didn't have the keys, so we all got even wetter and it took us another two hours to get the car, settle the bills at the hotel and the hostel and leave Heidelberg. They were not our best two hours; we shall leave it there.
But because we're gluttons for punishment, we decided to stop by Speyer. It was only 25 minutes away and had . . .
. . . everybody say it with me now, a rare three-aisle romanesque church! Only our third in a week!
To be fair, though, the Speyer cathedral is the most important of the three and by far the largest.
Sheer age and size impress -- this thing was started in 1021 and took 50 years to complete.
Speyer is where the Catholic parliaments were held for centuries and where in 1529 the mother of all protests (the one that spawned Protestantism) took place.

Sebi and Rob explored the crypt where emperors, kings and a whole slew of bishops are buried.
Outside there was a huge party going on. I have to say that Speyer had great street musicians: a guy on a xylophone playing Bach and Haydn, and a quintet playing La Cucaracha.
Joss was sleeping in the car, Maddie was reading the iPad, and we had these two with us. We bought them ice cream cones and sat them on these stairs while we tried to look around the Speyer altstadt.
There was too much party. As a woman in Reichenau said "That's a lot of mutton" and it was. Tourists are the very dumbest creatures, waddling down the street and bleating to each other.
But it was nice to see Speyer, the cathedral, and here we are -- our one drive by of the Rhine this trip. We drove home in a blaze of sibling-smacking screeching unhappiness, but the kids were as quiet as mice once we got back to their Tübingen house.

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