If you're noticing holes in my story, it's because the internet access was shoddy!
On our way to Heidelberg, we visited some famous castles.
With some very pretty views.
So after that gloriously cold adventure, we spent time in Heidelberg, which is a beautiful place. Our hotel was pretty far from the center of town, so the first night was spent on sight. In order to avoid the cramped quad to which I was assigned, Matt and his wonderful aunt Jennifer were gracious enough to allow me to shack up with them on their luxurious couch.
The next day was sadly, our last of this wonderful trip. We spent the day in Heidelberg, with a fantastic guide who showed us many of the sites. Wyatt introduced the rest of the group to dönner, much to the delight of the shop owner. I was able to pick up some gifts for people back home too. We visited the University of Heidelberg, where, if the stars align, I might be able to do a summer program sooner rather than later. I would really love to spend more time there. We also had a tour of the ruins overlooking the city, with some very interesting stories.
(Jürgen in front of one of the largest wine barrels in the world. We all know how much Jügen loves wine.)
With our free time winding down, Matt, Tammi, and I threw down on a bottle of wine for Jürgen, to which we later added a note. It was the absolute least we could do (and was also probably a bad bottle of wine) for doing so much for our group.
The last night of the trip looked like it would be uneventful. We had dinner at the hotel for the second night (cheeseburgers, actually. And quite good). Much of the group went out to a local bar, where we stumbled upon a rehearsing mens singing group, which was really fun. Matt and I eventually left and grabbed our last two German beers from the hotel and went for a walk. We ended up back outside the bar, and walked the last few stragglers back home. When we finally got back, the night was not nearly over. We spent a long time at the hotel bar with two guys named Daniel and Mike (my cousins have the same names, oddly enough). Daniel spoke good English, but Mike did not speak a word. Communicating with him was perhaps the most rewarding part of the trip for me, and cemented my desire to return.
The next morning, we packed up and left. The trip was over in a flash, and will be one of my most fondly remembered times.
If I can say one thing about this trip, I will be angry at myself if I have to call it my "trip to Germany" and not my "first trip to Germany".