This past weekend, our group took our big weekend outing. On Friday, we woke up at 6 in the morning to catch the train to Heidelberg. After about 6 hours of riding the train, we reached the town. Heidelberg is the town where, during WWII, the Americans bombed the city with pamphlets that said, “We are not going to bomb your city because we want to live here after the war is over.” Because of this, all of the city’s old buildings are still (mostly) intact, and the place is fairly Americanized. The sights were awesome, as Heidelberg is kind of nestled in the foothills of the Alps so it’s an absolutely beautiful place
Heidelberg from the castle
While we were there, we saw the Heidelberg castle. It is a pretty incredible building as it was a site where for a couple hundred years, one of the selectors of the German king lived. When a new ruler of Heidelberg would take power, he would build his new palace amongst or on top of the other palaces already in place. So there are buildings from 1500 all the way to 1800 within the fortress. The fortress was partially destroyed by the French, so now some of it is in ruins, but it was still a great sight to see.
The next day we woke up and went on the train so we could go to Koblenz, and then Köln. Because of the way our tickets work, we can’t reserve seats on the train, so if someone does reserve our seat, they can kick us out. If all the seats are reserved then we have to find a place on the ground to sit. This happened on our trip to Koblenz. A few of us found a spot near the back of the train to sit, and we spent the time looking out at the Rhine River and admiring the landscape.
We also passed the time playing with a rubix cube
We only spent a couple of hours in Koblenz, taking a quick cable car ride to an old fortress and exploring up there for a bit. There was a festival going on so the place was buzzing with entertainers and tourists from all over. Again the view was absolutely amazing.
After our couple of hours of free time, we boarded the train yet again for Köln. The major sight to see in Köln is the church right outside the train station called the Köln Cathedral. This thing was massive! I tried taking pictures of it, but there was no way I could get a picture of the entire thing in one shot. The building took almost 600 years to fully complete, and it is one of the highest stone towers in the world.
|A large church indeed|
|The church spire|
We went to the mass on Sunday, which was interesting. It was my first mass, and it was in German with a little Latin dispersed throughout, so I had no idea what was going on. It was a good experience though. I can say though that I am not a fan of the smell of the incense they used.
After mass, we got a group together and climbed to the top of the tower, all 530 stairs in a single spiral staircase. We finally got to the top and spent some time observing the city (sorry no pictures, but I can assure you that it was very pretty)
Eventually, we had to get back to Berlin so we could start school the next day. So we boarded the train to take the 6 hour ride back to Berlin, get some sleep and start the next week of school.
There’s my super quick summary of last week. It was a whirlwind of activity, but I enjoyed it immensely. Getting to see so much history in so little time was fantastic. The amount work that had to be put into all of those buildings still astounds me. I’m now about halfway through the program here. Classes have been going well. The trips have been awesome. I’m alive and well, and God is good. Thank you for all of the prayers and I hope everything is going well in the states.
I think that’s all for now. If you want me to expound on anything or have any questions for me, feel free to ask.