Barbara, Lauren, and I arrived at the Heidelberg train station a little before noon on the 18th. Taylor was waiting for us at the train station - he had been traveling in Hungary, Rumania, and Croatia since finishing his finals on the 7th and it was so good to see him. We checked in to our hotel, which was located in the alten stadt - the old city, and then went out to explore our surroundings.
Heidelberg is an old medieval town, more than 1000 years old. That afternoon we strolled along the narrow, cobblestoned main street, and then after resting for a couple of hours we hiked up several hundred stairs to the Moore Haus - Pepperdine's home in Heidelberg - to see where Taylor was spending his school year. We walked back down to the main part of town; it was beginning to get dark and the Christmas Markets were getting lively. We sampled the sausages, the breads, the crepes, and the gluwein - a hot, cider-like mulled wine.
Being gluttons for punishment, the next day we hiked back up the hill to tour the Heidelberg Castle. That evening we had our first sit-down German meal, and Barbara discovered Spaetzel, a small, dense noodle prepared with various sauces and/or cheeses.