Our Heidelberger Birthday Holiday! Part four

After a nice “lie in”, as the Brits would put it, Bill and I headed down to breakfast, which I had pre-booked with the room. There are plenty of breakfast options nearby as well as a grocery store, so it wasn’t necessary to have breakfast at the hotel. But I like to try everything I can when I stay in a hotel, and this was a splurge. We were seated outside in the lovely garden area, and a very friendly and professional waitress seated us, brought us coffee, and a three tiered serving tree with smoked salmon and roe and mustard dill sauce, cold cuts, and cheeses. She also brought a basket of bread. There was a buffet in the dining room, but I never even looked at it, because she also offered eggs and bacon, which we did order. The orange juice was excellent– fresh squeezed– and if we’d wanted it, we could have had sparkling wine. I passed on the wine at breakfast to give my liver a much needed break.

I think my favorite item at breakfast was the excellent smoked salmon. The mustard dill sauce that came with it was a perfect accompaniment. Here are a few photos from breakfast.

After breakfast, it was back to the Hauptstrasse, which was bustling with activity. It felt strange to be among so many people after hanging out with Bill alone for most of the year. We headed for the Neckar River, which famously runs through Heidelberg. We know this river well, because it also flows down near Stuttgart. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the Rhein River, which is probably Germany’s most famous. The Neckar passes through some pretty awesome German cities. According to Wikipedia, one can see and sail the Neckar in: Rottweil, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kilchberg, Tübingen, Wernau, Nürtingen, Plochingen, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Heilbronn, and Heidelberg.

There were several boats available for tours. In the distance, we noticed the Patria, which is a ship operated by the other spendy hotel I had considered booking. One can book a very special floating meal on that vessel, which cruises the Neckar. Maybe if we get a chance to go back to Heidelberg, we’ll try the Heidelburg Suites and take a cruise. Hopefully, the pandemic will be even more controlled by then. It looks really nice. Here are some photos from our morning walk.

Once again, we were steaming hot after our walk, which was pretty leisurely. We went back to the hotel and Bill booked us a slot at the pool. Because of COVID-19 regulations, it’s necessary to make appointments to use the pool and sauna area. We were assigned 1:00pm until 3:00pm, but when we got there, the spa manager said we could stay until 5:00pm if we wanted to. All we really wanted was a quick dip and a few laps. There were a few other parties who joined us, so we had to be extra considerate about sharing the pool. Only two people are allowed in the pool at a time and they have to be from the same household. Did I mention what a pain in the ass COVID-19 is? Still, everyone was considerate, so it was a nice way to cool off. We were satisfied after about 45 minutes and decided to go find a snack to tide us over before dinner.

Since we had dinner reserved for 7:00, we decided to have a snack to keep us going until then. As we walked along Hauptstrasse, we became aware of a commotion. A man wearing mismatched blue socks had set up a station near the Galeria– a great place to be on a hot day, thanks to the super strong air conditioning that can be felt all the way across the street. He had a dog and a sign asking for money. He was yelling at someone.

My German isn’t so great, but I noticed two people– a young man and an older woman– holding a heavyset, middle-aged woman with straight black hair and many tattoos on her legs. People were crowded around, gawking at the scene. She was screaming and fighting, and I got the sense that maybe she’d been caught shoplifting or something… or maybe had even tried to rip off the guy begging for change. She was wearing what looked like Birkenstock slip on sandals, which had come off her feet during the struggle. The man and woman who were wrestling with her were being humane enough. The guy handed one of her shoes to a bystander, but she slipped from their grasp before she managed to put them on. The woman took off running barefoot down a side street, and she quickly disappeared.

One thing I noticed was that no one seemed to be videoing her, which I thought was pretty classy. I think in America, there would be many people training their phones on the spectacle. I don’t know what happened, but it appeared to me that she was up to no good. Someone probably did get a video… but at least it wasn’t everyone.

We stopped at the Dubliner Bar, an Irish pub and hotel. The inside looked really nice. I kind of wished we’d flashed our vaccination paperwork so we could sit in there and listen to the excellent classic rock they were playing– American music in Germany at an Irish pub! But we sat in the Biergarten instead, which was small and lacked umbrellas. The one table in the shade was booked, so I ended up sitting in God’s flashlight for about 30 minutes. Still, it was an enjoyable stop. We used our QR code scanner to see the menu on our phones, although printed menus are also available, of course!

The Dubliner appears to be very popular. The waitress told us the tables in the back were all reserved, probably so people could watch soccer. I think if I wanted to watch sports, I’d rather do it at home. But we were only there for fuel. While I was sitting there, my watch started ringing– probably because my phone was near. This was the first time I ever got a phone call on the Apple Watch. It was the restaurant, Chambao, which is where we enjoyed Saturday night’s dinner. They were calling to make sure we were still coming, since they were fully booked. Apparently, people have a habit of making reservations and not showing up. I assured the caller we’d be there… and boy, did I make a great dinner choice! More on that in the next post.