Home > Blogs > Robert Study Abroad, Spring 2007 > 29 June 2007 - Summer break is here!

29 June 2007 - Summer break is here!

Posted by admin on June 29, 2007

I had my last exam yesterday afternoon, and my summer break is finally underway! After this semester I'm going to be very appreciative of being done with spring classes after the first week of May.

I'm celebrating the start of my summer break by spending my last week in Europe traveling to/through Italy. I left Delft just after 7 am this morning, caught a train to Rotterdam, transferred to another train to get myself to Utrecht, and finally switched to a German ICE (InterCIty Express) for the remainder of the trip to Mannheim. Currently, I'm on the ICE train and I'm going to take these few hours (it's just under 4 hours from Utrecht to Mannheim) to get my blog caught up. Who knows, perhaps I may even make some progress on my photo album.

Once I arrived in Mannheim I met up with Jesse and Steve and after stashing my bags in a train station locker we got on the next train to Heidelberg. Heidelberg was pretty sweet. We climbed up the hill to see the castle and after that short hike I felt pretty out of shape. Holland's flatness has gotten me spoiled during this past semester. The view from the castle was simply amazing, though. We could see over all of Heidelberg and decently far off into the distance.

Jesse had heard someone mention a tram that runs up and down the hill, and on our way back to the castle entrance we found the station. We also found that the tram goes all the way up to the top, about 550 meters (~1800 feet) above sea level. The castle was at about 200 meters ASL, so there was no way we were going to try and walk all the way up to the top. The funicular railway up the mountain covered slopes ranging from 20 - 40% incline. Once we arrived at the top we had a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. We could see many, many German towns, including Mannheim. We could also see the low mountains surrounding the plain that Mannheim and Heidelberg are located on.

After heading back down to town-level we stopped at a restaurant and had dinner. This was my first "German" meal this semester and it was really good. I had sausages and sourkraut with a good Bavarian beer. Jesse and Steve did some last minute souvenir shopping before we left Heidelberg and after that we made our way back to their place in Mannheim. They were moving out of their appartments the next morning so both of them had plenty of packing to do.

We made a valiant attempt at cleaning out their cupboards that night so as to not leave any food after we left in the morning. Since there was only 3 of us we couldn't make it through the mountain of garlic toast, although we dominated the pizza and pasta.

The next morning we got up early (~5 am) and were out of the appartment by 6. Jesse and Steve needed to be on the 6:35 train to Frankfurt Airport, hence the earlyness. My train for Zurich left Mannheim at 7:36 so getting to the train station an hour ahead of that wasn't too bad. Jesse and Steve got on their train bound for the airport and I sat down to wait for my train to Switzerland.