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Heidelberg 1.0: Report


From: Uwe Milde <umilde@gmx.de>
Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
Subject: [F] Mini-Meet Heidelberg 1.0 - Germland 4.0beta - A report of kinds
Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 16:23:42 +0200
Message-ID: <tjm1ptsh76jkf2b59ovcvcd7iosq8jjoht@milde.ndh.net>

Not that it was anyone's business, but to still the voyeuristic needs of
those meet-deprived people out there... A report. ;-))


On short notice it was decided that we couldn't leave visiting Maaike
without company of AFPish persuasion for too long, so the last weekend
of her stay in DE (i.e. the 26th August) was hijacked for that purpose.

Apparently the announces on de-meets and dafp were too short-noticed,
and with holiday-time and coinciding Green Man IV Meet in London, the
meet amounted to a mini-meet, only just being quorate. 

We had agreed to meet on Heidelberg's Bismarckplatz at noon. There we
arrived somewhat early, taking the opportunity to refresh a bit at the
fountain after a long drive by car through blasting sun. A couple of
minutes later Maaike showed up and our first move was to invade an
ice-cream merchant.

As two of us hadn't been in Heidelberg before at all, and one had seen
less than she wanted to, we started on a relaxed sightseeing through the
old town.

We marvelled at some of the old buildings, and the numerous fountains.
And found that one stereotype is certainly true, Heidelberg is a tourist
town (e.g. the "Historical Student Pub" looks as much tourist-catered as
anything else, probably more so). 

We went out the old town, passed unter the Karlstor, crossed the
Wehrsteg (leading over weir and sluice) and back down-river along the
tree-shaded river side, finding one or two very romantic places.
Over the "Old Bridge" (Karl-Theodor Bridge), looking slightly confused
at the unnamed statues of greek style on it, and wondering about the
(brass?) monkey (looked a bit like a pavian) statue, that probably is
clear when you know more about local lore (inscription roughly saying
(in dialectic spelling) "What do you look at this monkey, look to the
left and right, there are lots more monkeys around" - whatever that
means).

We went on along the river, stopped to buy something to drink and then
decided to take the northern round up to the castle.

The castle is an old job, built from the reddish bricks typical for that
area, built and extended in the 13th (although the oldest still visible
houses are from the end of the 14th century) to 17th century. Quite
extensive park areas you can roam for free and which look a good choice
for a family visit (just ignore the tourists). The park lacks that
overly 'artificial' feel you get in some other castle parks.

If you want to see more of the castle, you have to pay a reasonable fee
and get to see the courtyard, the apothecary museum (including a
crocodile dangling from the ceiling), a romanticism exhibition
(unbearably hot) and more important the Large Wine Barrel (not to be
confused with the Small Wine Barrel, which holds only 48000 litres
(instead of 221000 litres[1] in the large one)).
If your mind's set that way you can get a guided tour through the inner
rooms with old furniture, etc. or you can get a tour along the outer
buildings of the castle, along the railed edges where good parts of the
castle dropped off some while ago (most of it 1688-1693 when the French
burned it in the name of Louis XIV. It was never fully rebuilt, only
partially restaurated and stabilised). We, however, skipped the tour.

After that we walked downhill again, found a street café, ignored the
outrageous prices and got some drinks and some cake.
We had some entertainment from street musicians around the corner
playing classical music. Quite well-played, but a bit tedious after the
5-tune-arrangement restarted the 2nd time (starting with Ave Maria).
Eventually they gave up and were replaced by a Cello player, who was
apparently mainly there for practising (though fairly good), while only
a stone-throw away two guitar players got into position and started
playing old rock and western songs - I say playing, it was mainly
hammering the strings and a pretty much forced, if enthusiastic,
singing.
At one point the cellist took up his gear and moved *closer* to, almost
opposite, the guitarists, maybe he wanted to see if he can play even
while ignoring irritating background noise... ;-) 

After enjoying ourselves for some more, we got up and wandered around a
bit more, over the Neckar and finding a nice patch of grass beside the
river, observing rented boats, swimmers, kanus, swans and other
water-live. Quite romantic if you're so inclined.
There we stayed until the sun waned and the "peach jelly shapes"
("horrible but somehow fascinating") had been severely decimated. 

What we talked about? Well, that's mostly confidential.
But rest assured that some thwappings were handed out for deliberate and
sometimes almost appalling punning. ;-)

A very nice meet, and probably a proof that small meets can also be fun.
At least I doubt that with many more people we'd been able to do the
walking part to that extend.
Apart from that, for once I managed to talk to everyone at the meet at
some extent (even if I had liked to go on for a couple of hours
(days/weeks/...) more with one person *g*).

Cheers
 Uwe

[1] That's what the placard says,
 http://www.schloesser-magazin.de/hd/hd06.htm says 195000 - might be
 that one is the inner volume and the other the possible wine-content.

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