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Monday June 8, 2009


             I woke at 9:00 AM and got up at 9:50 because I was determined to try this huge free breakfast they have here.  At 10:00 I enjoyed this extensive repast at a time of day that is very unusual for me.

            I also had them serve me two cappuccinos.  When I was finished enjoying them and the scenery on the balcony...

...at 11:15 AM, I asked Stephanie at the desk if she would try and book the hotel in Heidelberg that we stayed in on our visit there in 2007.  She did it and got us a very nice deal, as it turned out.  Thanks Stephanie.  I got back to the room and packed and by 12:20 PM we checked out of the hotel.  I only discovered days later that I still had the room key chain (left.)  I still carry it and will return it on my next visit.  Below is the room we had which was quite adequate with the beautiful scene we had from the balcony.

 

            At 12:35 PM I started my run and headed to the lake bridges.  Outside the hotel they had this billboard with a wonderful aerial photo of the hotel.

            I went a different way this time, along side the "river" end of the lake with it rows of eclectic buildings, many of which house restaurants.

 

            At 1:00 PM I bought two shirts I thought would be good for running in for 50 CHF.  I got back to the main wooden bridge which is quite special.

   

            Below are zoomed-in shots I took of Château Gütsch [ +41-41-248-9898,] where Dr. Thomann put us up in their Presidential suite (on top floor) in 1997, when we came to lecture and it became the nidus of the meeting we are attending now (See Italy97 and Scandinavia03.)  The hotel was closed for several years, but they are now in business.  It is a fabulous place with incredible views.

      

            In 1859, Burkhard Pfyffer bought a plot of land in Lucerne, directly adjacent to the parade ground of the Artillery Company of Our Lord.  In the same year, the Lucerne City Council authorized him to run an inn there (below left.)

 

            As the years went by, what started out as a simple hostelry developed into Château Gütsch (stock photos above.)  I took some photos of interestingly decorated buildings.

             

         

            I wended my along the left bank (below) and then crossed the ancient wooden bridge (not the main one) that didn't burn.  I got to the other side and...

            ...then went back and took photos of some of the medieval artwork on the roofing triangles above.  Anabella (my granddaughter 6) said the below photo was the nicest.

            Here are the other four.  Skeleton warriors seemed to be a common theme.

 

 

            After leaving the bridge and coming down the left bank, they had these signs showing the planned refurbishment.

  

            A swan came up to me as I finished covering the lake on the way back to the hotel.

            I got back to the hotel, changed and we now had to plan our way to get to Amsterdam for the S.O.E./AAO meeting.  Looking at the map it looked like a good idea to spend three nights on the road, since I didn't need to be there until the 12th.  This way the trip would be leisurely.  We would spend one night in Heidelberg and then stop in Maastricht, Holland for two nights.  At 1:35 PM we pulled out of Luzern (A) and Marcia drove northwest then northeast the first 116 miles heading to Heidelberg (B.)  At 1:55 PM we stopped for gas at BP which cost us $5.82/gal.  By 2:05 PM we were back on the road.  Marcia had to have lunch so we stopped at 3:45 PM at a very "German" Burger King (below) so she could get her favorite chicken strips.

 

            I had ordered sparkling water for €1.9 and after we were on the road I discovered I had been screwed, since it was just plain still water.

            At 4:00 PM I drove the remaining 99 miles northeast to Heidelberg and at 5:45 PM we arrived in the city and checked into Room #206 at the Romantik-Hotel zum Ritter St. Georg [Hauptstraße 178, +49-6221-1350.]  The GPS took us straight to it.  It was a great deal because we paid €20 less than we did two years ago.  It is the most historic and most photographed building in Heidelberg, a great place to stay right in the heart of the old town.  I highly recommend it.

    

                As you can see the hallways (above) and room (below) are quite nice.

            We got unpacked and settled in and at 7:00 PM I had a cappuccino just down the street at MoRo Caffé and Thé [Hauptstraße 160, +49-62-212-8192] which was just OK.  I had forgotten about the place I really liked when we visited here in 2007.

            At 7:30 PM, I drove the BMW from right in front of the hotel down Oberbadgasse (the pedestrian street) to the Parking Deck 5 to keep the car there overnight.  I walked back to the hotel area and at 7:45 PM joined Marcia at the Café Extrablatt [Hauptstraße 53] for water and wine.

            At 8:45 PM we were joined by Dr. Urs Vossmerbäumer and Katrine (who is also a physician) for a beer and wine.  They had gotten held up by traffic onthe Autobahn.  Our waitress Carmen was very nice and served us all drinks.  We first met Urs while picking up our umbrellas at a museum in Chicago after the ASCRS meeting there in April 2008.  He is a young ophthalmologist (from Mannheim, Germany, at the time.)

   

 

            We invited him to join us for dinner at a fancy restaurant in Chicago.  We have kept in communication ever since.  After a bit, we headed across and down the street to the Palmbraugasse [Hauptstraße 185, +49-62-212-8536] patio and I had a Palmbrau pils beer while Marcia surprised us by having a glass of weisse wein.  Above are stock photos of the place.

 

            We enjoyed chatting on the patio (above left) and getting to know Katrine.  Finally, at 10:15, we gravitated to a table inside for dinner (above right.)  The menu at the Palmbraugasse was interestingly presented.  We weren't quite sure what some of the items were so we took a gamble.

          

            Marcia went for the sliced turkey in cream sauce with spaetzle and side salad which was pretty good.  I helped her finish it.

    

            I went for the "Heidelberg Castle Platter" which was rump steak with a pork steak and grilled sausages with fried potatoes.  It wasn't bad but not exceptional.

            It was a very enjoyable evening and Urs was a sweetheart by treating us to drinks and dinner.

            They had to take off, so at 1:00 AM we had a beer and wine nightcap while watching the people passing by and then headed back to the hotel and got to bed at 1:35 AM.

KJH                                                   Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #7 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com                        RETURN TO INDEX

Heidelberg, Germany

2-15-2010

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