For those of you who are new here, my mom and I just returned from a wonderful two week tour of central and northern Germany (where we have many relatives).
Our first two days were spent in the charming town of Heidelberg. Our intention was to spend two days on our own as our bodies acclimated to the time, weather and food changes. It was a good idea and worked perfectly for us.
This first shot was taken from the castle, overlooking the town and the Neckar River. Our hotel was ideally placed at the left end of the historic pedestrian-only bridge in the center of the photo.
Although we knew there was a botanical garden in Heidelberg, we never made it over to that area but no worries, there was plenty of flowers for us to see. It seemed like everywhere we turned there were balconies just dripping with wonderful annuals.
In most cases the plants were ones that would not survive the summer heat and sporadic droughts here in New York so I imagine it would be the same for most of the USA. The ivy Geraniums in this photo were the number one, most popular plant we saw in all the German cities we visited.
It was hard to decide what to photograph. The storybook-like historic buildings built into the hillsides or the plant material that so gleefully took hold in every possible nook and cranny.
Corydalis lutea was like a weed, it filled the surface of so many stone facades and still had quite a bit of bloom in July.
Walking out of the tourist areas, where the locals lived, we came across balcony after balcony just loaded with blooms. Wisteria was fairly frequent, trained to grow up the sides of the buildings.
Also popular were these Hibiscus syriacus shrubs which were the most amazing shade of lavender blue. Unfortunately I took many shots but my camera just couldn't capture the true depth of color.
It's funny, I see these shrubs all over my neighborhood and yet I always had the feeling from gardeners that they were kind of "junky". Now of course I want one for my garden and I'll have to start shopping around for the right color.
The hotel we stayed at was a total surprise. As we rolled our heavy suitcases along the cobblestone streets, we were exhausted and our first impression when we saw the entrance was "uh oh". It turns out that our impression was totally wrong, the place was total perfection in our experience.
Inside the simple doorway was a cozy courtyard just filled with gemutlichkeit (German for comfort, warmth, ambiance and so on). The owners of this hotel bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable, even lending us umbrella's as the skies darkened.
The tables in the hotel were all filled with simple arrangements of fruit. We learned quickly that the German people love their fruit and I must say that we ate an abundance of locally grown, organic, freshly picked fruit in every part of Germany that we visited.
Last stop in Heidelberg was the train station, this was just a corner of the bicycle parking lot. Watching all the pedestrians and cyclists, made me wish for a similar lifestyle here on Long Island.
Stay tuned, next stop on our tour is up north in the Hamburg vicinity.