Next was a day time journey to Heidelberg on regional express (RE). The train journey was beautiful and I enjoyed the different scenes moving behind me as train moved forward. The few glimpses from the train journey are added here. 

Just outside the Heidelberg station I got all necessary information related to visiting the city from tourist information center. I bought a Heidelberg card valid for 4 days which gave me unlimited access to all public transportation. The Heidelberg card also provided me with a free ticket to visit the castle and a to and fro journey on Funicular railway till the castle station. I have used the Heidelberg card very frequently to access bus and tram services.

           The conference was at ATC Building of EMBL and the way to conference venue from city center (Bismarckplatz) was a pleasant experience. The venue was a beautiful building constructed as based on double helical model of DNA.

                I visited the city in between and the panoramic view of city from two opposite mountains are spectacular. On one side I took the Funicular railway to reach Königstuhl. The lower railway, one of Germany’s most modern funicular railways, starts at Kornmarkt in the old town and runs via the Castle (Schloss) station as far as Molkenkur. From there I continued on with one of the oldest electric funicular railways to the Königstuhl. Königstuhl (Kings Seat) is a 567.8 meters high hill in the Odenwald Mountains and the summit provides a spectacular view of the city of Heidelberg and the Neckar River.  The walk through the paths in Königstuhl is memorable one.  In the freezing cold it is awesome to walk around the woods and take selfies. There is a falcon breeding station, Tinnunculus at. I returned to the Königstuhl railway station where I could see the working of railway in the machine room (Video). There was an exhibition on the history of the Funicular railway inside the waiting room. I came down (Video) to the Heidelberger Schloss (Heidelberg Castle) and the panoramic view of city was really great.  The castle’s barn was also open to public visit. The Deutsches Apotheken-Museum (German Pharmacy Museum) was eye opener into the history of medicine as well as alternative medicine. From Castle I walked into the major market area in old town.  I bought Lind chocolates from there. 

           Taking the pedestrian bridge I crossed the beautiful river. On the opposite side I climbed up to the Philosophenweg (Philosophers’ Walk) on Heiligenberg mountain which gives another beautiful panoramic view of old town including the Castle. Historically, this was just a simple rough path through the vineyards; however, it would later be renamed Philosophenweg during the Romantic Period because of the many professors and philosophers of Heidelberg who enjoyed the path for its solitude, natural beauty, and great views of the town. I walked across the same and reached the Philosopher’s garden. This has several flower beds and some benches as well, which allow visitors to sit, relax, and enjoy the view. Also in the garden is a memorial stone to Joseph von Eichendorff, a romantic poet.


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