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This is my home town

I was in England last week, attending my sister’s wedding. This gave me a chance to show the world where I come from.

Herrenberg II

The BattlefieldDoktor has posted his own Herrenberg video. A few more pictures in this one.

Herrenberg

Herrenberg, near Stuttgart, is one of my favourite places in Germany. I spent a year there in 1988, and it’s pretty much unspoiled and, in my opinion, quite charming, with an impressive church.

I had reason to mention this to one of my YouTube subscribers, BattlefieldDoktor, who lives in the Black Forest. His girlfriend, britishsazzy, is currently paying him a visit, and is also addicted to Ritter Sport chocolate. Not surprisingly, they planned a visit to the Ritter Sport factory, which happens to be not far from Herrenberg, so I suggested they might want to visit the town if they were in the area.

They duly obliged, and britishsazzy put together a photo montage. Since she disables embedding on her videos, I can’t add it directly to this page, but I can give you a link:

YouTube - Ritter Sport - Germany (actually, most of the video is of Herrenberg…)

A day out in Heidelberg

This is my little portrait of the city of Heidelberg, which I visited last Monday (a public holiday in Germany). It was a fairly warm day, considering the time of year, and the tourists were out in force. I think we heard almost as much Japanese, Korean and English as we did German.

Among the facts that didn’t make it into the video:

  • Heidelberg is the warmest spot in Germany.
  • In the 1930s, the locals enthusiastically embraced Nazism; at the end of the war, however, American soldiers were able to take the city with almost no resistance, despite the fact that it was unscathed and unbombed.
  • The US forces set up their headquarters in Heidelberg. Even today, Heidelberg boasts the largest US community outside of North America.
  • Homo heidelbergensis, a descendent of the more famous neanderthal, was discovered here. “Heidelberg Man” lived about 600,000 years ago.
  • The area was also settled by the Celts (around 500 BC) and the Romans. The city of Heidelberg is first mentioned in documents dating from 1196.
  • The castle boasts, among other things, a huge barrel. In fact, there have been four in all, completed in 1591, 1664, 1728 and 1751. The current barrel has a capacity of 219,000 litres, but has only ever been filled three times, as it leaked.
  • A court jester, originally from Tyrol, was asked if he could drink the barrel dry. He is said to have replied, “Perché no?”, Italian for “Why not?” This earned him the nickname Perkeo. It is also said that he was given a goblet of water; he took one sip, and, since he had never drunk anything other than wine, promptly died.

A Day Out In… 2006-07

It’s become a sort of a tradition, I suppose. We go out and about (whether and workload permitting) with the camera and I put together a little travelogue-style movie.

This is what this section is about. As new videos go online, they’ll be posted here. You’ll find some of them in the archive, from this site’s previous incarnation, but here’s an overview of locations featured in my “Day Out In…” series.

  1. Gelnhausen: An important trading town, connected with the legendary Barbarossa.
  2. Seligenstadt: A town on the river, boasting a fine basilica.
  3. Büdingen: Half-timbered houses in a state of neglect.
  4. Würzburg: Capital of Lower Franconia with an imposing fortress.
  5. Wertheim: A town on the border between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg with a surprisingly boring history.
  6. Marburg: Built on a cliff, this city is probably one of the few in the world where public elevator is a viable way to get around.
  7. Sommerhausen, Ochsenfurt and Marktbreit: The area at the southernmost bend of the river Main has a pleasantly Mediterranean atmosphere. [High resolution version]

Hopefully soon we’ll be out and about again. As videos go up on YouTube, I’ll also post them here, perhaps with some extra information if I have it.

We haven’t made any specific plans yet, but Bamberg and Nuremberg are two possibilities which spring to mind. Also pencilled in is a trip down the Romantic Road, which takes in places like Augsburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Watch this space!