We started the day by witnessing the amazing Douaumont Fortress. It is a destroyed fortress that held great significance in the battle of Verdun. The fortress was surrounded by shell holes, trenches and crumbling rock. Some people managed to stumble across old pieces from the war.
After that we bunkered down for approximately 4 hours as we headed for the beautiful city of Heidelberg. As we travelled we witnessed plenty wide spread farms and peaceful compact towns. When we reached Heidelberg we stopped beside the Neckar River which runs straight through the city. Due to conflict in history and the landscape, the city has a long shape that stretches along the river. The combination of the large mountain and housing alongside the river it creates a vibrant colour scheme.
We had two wonderful tour guides who guided us to the top of the mountain. We scaled the winding road and reached the top of the mountain. The bus was parked and the group split off into two groups each with a tour guide to explore the old ruins of the mountain. In my group we trekked to the other side of the mountain to experience the Nazi Amphitheatre of Heidelberg. This amphitheatre is one of 27 built amphitheatres in Germany but is now one of the only ones still standing. It's quite a large piece of architecture that follows the ways of Roman architecture. It is now used by the people of Heidelberg for parties and gathering. The other side of the mountain was home to old ruins of a cathedral. You can just make out where the altar would have stood. Beside the ruins is a large tower built in the late 19 century that over looks the city. There was a shake alongside the mountain that contained an approximately 5m diameter hole that reached 55m deep. There was some very interesting stories about why the hole was there and it's purpose. After that we headed back down the mountain and walked over to the castle.
After walking down a mountain with an amazing scenic view of the city, we moved on to the Heidelberg castle. Here we explored many historic aspects of the castle including the largest barrel of wine in the world, the medieval aspect of the castle, the fantastic view of the city overall and finally the footstep of a knight who killed himself to save a family member.
The wine barrel was a massive barrel which consisted of wine in the past. Two interesting points are that the creator of the barrel consumed half of it every year, and secondly that children were sent into the barrel to clean it, however they were rapped in a white cloth to insure that they could be pulled out in case of an often reoccurring problem of the children fainting. Overall the wine barrel was interesting because it was still standing after approximately one hundred years. Also the medieval side of the castle was based on medieval aspects which spiced up the castle.
Once we reached the top of the castle we were rewarded with a stunning view of the entire city of Heidelberg and the river dividing it. Here we could see two Catholic Churches which conveys the amount of scenery there was from this point.
The knights footstep was also very vivid and intriguing because there was literally a footstep which was a few centimetres deep. There are many stories explaining what happened however the most believed one was that he jumped out of his window onto the castle roof which is where he left his footstep, and then jumped into the river and died. Overall the castle was a good experience because we were able to learn about the historical features of Heidelberg.
Once we left the castle the teachers gave us approximately one hour and half of free time to explore the shops. There was a very long road filled with many shops which we explored before having a great German dinner. Chicken Schnitzel.