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17 June 2011 / leggypeggy

Philosophical about Heidelberg

I know I’ve already written about Heidelberg (see the spiel about prescriptions and the pharmacy in the castle there), but it is such a lovely city that it’s definitely worth more than one entry—maybe even three or four.

So this time, welcome to the famous Philosophenweg (Philosopher’s Walk) on the north side of the Neckar River. Poor John and I are trying to get in a decent walk at least once a day, and this uphill jaunt was a must-do.

View over Heidelberg from the Philosopher's Walk.

Heidelberg claims to have Germany’s oldest university. Established in 1386, the Ruprecht-Karl-Universtät originally had four faculties—philosphy, law, medicine and theology. The institution drew many famous philosophers. This walk was popular with them—no doubt offering them a great chance to ponder why they had tackled this near-vertical (yes I am exaggerating) climb. But it does give you amazing views over the Aldstadt (Old City) and the 13th century schloss (castle).

After we descended, we crossed the bridge back to the Old City to see the statue of a brass monkey holding a mirror and surrounded by mice. The mirror brings wealth and the mice are supposed to ensure you have plenty of children. I told Poor John he’d better leave the mice alone. But maybe the theory applies to exchange students, too, which is okay because we have oodles of them.

The brass monkey of Heidelberg.

I love the cheek of advertising. Opposite the bridge and the monkey is a hotel with a sign that reads ‘Goethe almost slept here’. Apparently the receptionist wouldn’t let him in, so he stayed elsewhere. A lot of Heidelberg hotels could display a sign reading ‘Poor John and Leggy Peggy almost slept here’, but that’s because they were too expensive for our needs or budget. Imagine spending 130 euros a night for a place to sleep! We searched the town and finally found a place for 85, and we thought that was too dear. No wonder we take tent holidays.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sy Seltzer / Jun 18 2011 11:26 am

    Hello Peggy,

    If you are rich, you can spend all that money on fancy hotel rooms. However, the lower end priced hotels, pensions are just as good for me… you get to meet the local people and they often recommend places to eat (instead of the big hotel restaurants). BTW, I enjoy camping, so “Tent Holidays” is a fun way to spend time on holiday.
    Further, It has been so many years since I visited Heidelberg, around Oktoberfest time.


  2. Louise M Oliver / Jun 18 2011 3:06 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    I’m enjoying all of your comments so lease make repeat ones when you think it’s justified. The view over Heidelberg is beautiful. I’m not so sure about the walk though! It’s probably not suitable for people with gammy knees. When I go I will have to go to flat, or at least gently undulating, places. Take care. Looking forward to reading more.



  3. Jim Clark / Jun 20 2011 8:04 am

    Yes, Heidelberg is a very interesting city. If you have time, check out Wiesloch, (6K South) my “hometown” 2006-2008″.
    Jim Clark


  4. leggypeggy / Jun 20 2011 8:30 am

    Hi Jim — Thanks for the tip about Wiesloch. I’ll remember it for the next time we are in Germany.


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