Oct 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

German Jewel Awaits Seniors

So seniors, have you been to Germany lately…or at all?  This city is one of the best-known among the many great cities in Europe.  It is no secret that Heidelberg is a jewel among German travel destinations. Heidelberg was voted the best place to visit in Europe. It’s called “The Town of Enchantment.”  You’ll see why once you arrive.

The number of visitors each year is estimated at more than 3 million. It is situated in the south-west of the country.  Heidelberg is part of a densely populated region known as the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.  Over 145,000 people live within the city’s area. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.

Heidelberg, located about 55 miles south of Frankfurt, was fortunate to escape destruction by air raids in World War II. Consequently, original buildings from the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance are still standing. Historically, though, Heidelberg is a young person’s place; the oldest university in Germany is based here, dating to 1386. The student population and university life impart a palpable energy, felt especially in the narrow lanes and lively inns of the Altstadt. It’s no surprise Mark Twain cavorted in its lively streets in A Tramp Abroad.

The city is loaded with attractions for folks of all ages. TripAdvisor adds many good suggestions  as well. Looming over the town among terraced gardens, the Heidelberg Castle beckons you to climb up to the Gothic-Renaissance beauty; its cellar houses the Heidelberg Tun, the world’s largest wine cask. The Bergbahn (mountain train) whisks you up from the Kornmarkt in the center in a flash. In the Altstadt (old town), cross over the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) and visit the Heidelberg monkey bronze statue — touch his mirror to get rich, touch the paw to ensure a return to Heidelberg.

It’s fairly easy to travel to Heidelberg as you can arrive via ICE (Inter City Express), Germany’s fastest train, running at 300 km/h (180 mph) from both the Frankfurt or Stuttgart airports. If you don’t like trains, but prefer to see the German Autobahn, Lufthansa provides a shuttle bus from Frankfurt to Heidelberg.

Senior Wine and Castle Lovers

Many attractions are located close to Heidelberg and make for ideal day trips and excursions. Close to Heidelberg are various walking trails around its surrounding countryside, along the River Neckar and throughout the Neckar Valley, which is home to no less than four castles. For senior wine lovers, there is a wealth of vineyards and wineries nearby, offering wine tasting and tours, with the official German Wine Route being a good starting point.

Learning a bit of German before you arrive will almost certainly make your stay more enjoyable. At the very least learn to say hello, please, thank you and goodbye – it will be appreciated by the local people. Do check out my Best German Websites as it can surely help you with learning a few important travel phrases. As they say in German.. Gute Reise!  jeb

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