We slept in. No alcohol involved though it was as if the whole family was hung over. We stayed up yesterday to get on a normal schedule and wards off jet lag. The kids were so absolutely tired that they fell asleep on some stairs.

We caught a train from Kaiserslautern to Heidelberg. I greatly recommend using the tourist information center just outside the train station as the staff was tremendously helpful and next to the train and bus stops.

We stepped out to a local grocery store where we picked up fresh fruit, baguettes, cheese and lots of water. It was the best $18 dollars spent on this excursion. We enjoyed a picnic on a spot of shaded green, freshly mowed and enjoyed by all. A wonderful breeze began to cool us and helped stop the frequent comments of “it’s hot”. The kids laid out with full bellies and smiles. Then they played tag.

After boarding the bus, we headed to Altestadt or old town to the Rathaus where we took the Funicular to the top of the schloss (castle).

A wedding was taking place in the chapel of the castle so as I tried to take photos of the church, I was quickly ushered out. Even offering wedding gifts did not allow me to stick around. We toured an apothecary museum in the castle. A group was setting up to perform classical music after the castle closed for another event. We headed back down. I encouraged the family to stick around the town. Originally, I was out numbered. The kids wanted to head back to our lodging. As we waited for the bus, the kids wandered down the alleyway that opened up to the city center with Peter’s Church (peterskirche) and many restaurants. The kids were drawn to the central fountain so we ambled about. The crowds were friendly. We walked past the outside cafes then across the bridge. We returned to the cafes and decided to have some dessert and coffee. Crowds meandered past us glancing to see what others ordered. We watched hen parties ( bachelorette ) sell small items such as schnapps and lighters. A tour guide dressed in garb of the 1700s with a tri-cornered hat and pikepole led a group through town lending a bit of history to those around. Our wait to order food grew longer and we noticed we were seated next to a hidden foul dumpster. As my patience grew thin at the restaurant our waiter appeared. In the end, the restaurant service was terrible and they did not have tap water or sweet wine available. We ordered deserts for the kids and espresso for the adults. The waiter said he was from Kabul and was really friendly once we asked him where he was from. He spoke Dari, Urdu, German and English. The desserts were fantastic. Über sweet tiramisu and mousse was paired with currants and blackberries. The espresso was exquisitely strong, the way I like it. The kids were smiling again.

We wandered about the shops where we stumbled upon some great stores and my wife picked up an apfelwein.

After finding our way back to the bus stop, we met up with some acquaintances we met earlier from Holland. They had gone to the church where they saw a Bach classical concert. It was 2130 hours and the sun did not even think about setting though it was cooling. The bus took us to the hauptbahnhof and bahnhof (train station). The sun finally decided to let hold of the day. We caught a train and headed to the hotel. As I type this, young eyes have grown heavy and the train lists here and there rocking gently side-to-side as it gains speed.

Good night sweet angels.

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