This morning I woke up around 9AM and headed over to Cafe Gundel, a traditional German bakery founded in 1896. I got two pastries and a cappuccino for €7,20, journalled on their outdoor patio, and then ventured off to find a famous hiking trail on the other side of the river.
When I looked up directions on Google Maps before leaving the hostel, I was under the impression that I would be able to get up to the trail not far from the Old Bridge. This was not the case, as the trail was closed to pedestrians for some reason so I walked a few kilometers upstream until I found an alternative way up.
The hike was very steep initially, but very worth it. I spent several hours wandering around and taking pictures until it started to rain. I stayed underneath a large tree for a while until I realized it wasn’t going to stop raining anytime soon so I started to head back when the raindrops seemed slightly smaller. I took a few breaks under large trees when the rain became heavier, but the sun came back out no more than 30 minutes later. It became very hot and I could see water evaporating from the pavement.
I got lunch at a small cafe near Heidelberg University, then headed back to the hostel where I stayed in the lounge and edited pictures for a little while. An older Indian man approached me while I had my headphones in and asked me what part of South America I was from. He first guessed Brazil, then Costa Rica. He gave up shortly thereafter.
I met a Korean student doing a year abroad in Morocco studying history and literature. We talked for a while about identity and university experiences in Korea, Morocco, and the US. Alana, an Australian au pair working in Switzerland came into the lounge next and we talked for a long time about a variety of subjects and really began to bond. Then Gregor, a German guy working on his masters in Chemistry, came into the lounge and we decided to all get dinner together.
We ended up at a German restaurant in Altstadt which was very good. I got the “pork specialty”, which with the help of Gregor’s German knowledge and Google Translate we figured out was some sort of pork stomach dish. It was very tasty, and Gregor confirmed that it was authentic German food.
The Korean guy (who for the life of me I can’t remember how to spell his name) had to leave after dinner, so Gregor, Alana, and I went to a sports bar and got beers and shots of a peppermint liquer Gregor highly recommended. The shots didn’t taste like they had alcohol in them, but were apparently 18%. The bar played an interesting array of music, ranging from German house music to The Pussycat Dolls to early 2000s RnB.
We then went to a different bar and sat outside and talked about German university and housing issues in different areas. They were both really surprised to hear that I was paying €850 a month in Berkeley.
I got back to the hostel around midnight and am planning to get on a train to Munich in the morning.