Day 2: Checking out Heidelberg
The next morning we had an exquisite homemade breakfast provided by the hotel. Afterward Mary Kyle, Ryan and I went out early to snag some pictures of the Neckar River and the local cathedrals before the crowds filled the streets. When everyone else was ready to head out, we went shopping in the market and strolled through more of the town until we met back up with the Tronts at 2 to visit the castle at the top of the mountain (Schloss Castle). Before meeting up we stopped for lunch at a random restaurant in the square which turned out to be a Thai restaurant.
The castle visit was simply amazing, and the weather for the whole day was perfect. We spent a few hours exploring the ancient fortress and studying its history in the museum sections. A couple of us went down into the cellars where they had the largest store Keg I had ever seen, probably 30-40 feet in diameter! I was more than impressed. We then did a little wine tasting from the castle collection (definitely an acquired taste), and then went to the gardens, where we held a mini photo shoot and had an awesome view of the entire valley.
We went to dinner as a group in one of the many town plazas, which was difficult because not many little restaurants would seat a group of 21. We did eventually find a place that would seat us all and had an excellent meal together. Once again we were free to explore the city again after dinner. Half of us stayed back at a pub and played cards, and the other half went dancing in a trendy club after getting some ice cream. While on the streets we witnessed a German wedding tradition several times, where for the bachelor party, the groom and all of his buddies dress crazily and the groom must sell a bag of random items to various passersby for cheap until the entire bag is gone. These groups were everywhere this night, and Stefanie ended up buying a neon green hat from one of them for the black-light club we saw. We were all back by midnight, but we stayed up later swapping stories and having some quality group bonding time.