The 19th of February was not just another Friday in the life of this travelling Swede, on the contrary there was something very special about this day. Not only due to it being the day I was to fly to Frankfurt with a ticket that I paid 7 euros for, but rather due to it being the day that I was to step into a time bubble and return to 2006. You see, after more than three years me and my best friend from my Erasmus in Lille had finally managed to find a date and a time to meet again! I could hardly believe that it was true and to be honest I didn’t really let myself get too excited about the trip in advance, the idea was to believe it when I saw it and be happy about it then in order to save myself from getting to disappointed in case something fell through.
The journey from my door to the hotel in Heidelberg literally took me all day. I started early in the morning and arrived at the hotel at around 6 p.m. When I checked in (speaking GERMAN) the person at the front desk was unable to find my reservation, BAD omen, but then it all worked out when we realised that the person taking the order had misheard the name, big relief. About fifteen minutes after I opened the door to my room there was a knock on the door and within seconds I had been thrown from the 19th of February 2010 back to mid-December 2006, a time I then spend about 40 hours in.
After a couple of minutes of starring at each other while having our jaws down by our knees things were right back to what they used to be like. Conversation ran smoothly, laughter came within short intervals and the atmosphere was just very friendly.
In the first evening we took a stroll towards the old city centre and it didn’t take long until it , once AGAIN, was clear whom of us is equipped with the best inner-GPS. Without even having been in the city before I managed to point out the right direction, whereas my friend, who had actually been in Heidelberg before wanted to walk in the other direction. However, after having asked a friendly local we ended up heading the direction that I had suggested in the first place and a while later we came to the old city. This turned out to be the easy part though as finding a restaurant took about the same time. I must say that it ended well though as we picked one that served traditional German food and beer!
After dinner we went to the pub street where we found a cozy bar and I was so happy to be catching up with my friend that I didn’t even notice that people were smoking inside the bar until I had my second drink in my hand! I would have thought smoking in-doors was banned all through Europe by now, but apparently this particular bar had missed out on the passing of this law. Eventually we left the bar with the good music, funny drinks and disgusting smokers and tried our luck with finding another bar in the area. They all seemed pretty packed though so we ended up walking up and down the same street until I finally found an empty pub. I felt so sorry for the guy working in there, being all alone while all the other bars were packed, that I forced my friend to join me in there. It turned out that the pub being empty had nothing to do with it being unpopular, it was more of a result of it being a “TO GO”-bar. So, we bought ourselves some beers and then headed out in the cold again where we found ourselves emptying the beers in the middle of the street like two teens not allowed to drink alcohol. After this incident we found what was soon to be our favourite bar/restaurant: Schmidts situated at Hauptstraße 187. At Schmidts I got to taste the bananenweizen, a beer mixed with banana-lemonade. Despite what it might sound like it actually tasted ok. After this evening of experiencing the local culture we returned to the hotel, played some cards, ate candy and reminisced about the good old days before finally passing out after a very long day.
Saturday morning started with a coffee-to-go at the McDonalds next to the hotel. With the coffee in hand we had a stroll along the river until we arrived at the old parts of the city where we had breakfast at Schmidts before heading up the hill to the castle. Apparently Heidelberg is world famous for their Castle ruin, parts of which can be seen on the image connected to this post. I don’t think that I had heard of it before though. Being the tourists that we were we had the audio tour, which is actually quite fun with the right attitude – at least until it gets freezing and starts to rain. We took off from the castle in a rush once the bad weather started and traded freezing our fingers off for having coffee at a chocolate bar in the city. After this we returned to the hotel, had a nap and then got ready for this evenings dinner in the old city. Having learned from the mistake from the day before where almost an hour was spent finding a restaurant we had already picked a restaurant for this evening during our walk in the city the same day. It turned out to be far better than we had expected! Great food, wine and setting! (Despite all this I was not clever enough to memorize the name of the restaurant and Google proved to be of no help at all..) Unfortunately, the fact that this was already the last night of the mini-reunion put a little shadow over the evening but it was still a very good one.
Sunday morning we had breakfast at McDonalds next to the hotel and then took a short walk around the corner to the station where I bought some bread (I ordered in German!!!) and then finished off with a coffee at the station before I entered the bus that was to take me to the airport and back to February 2010.