One of our first weekend getaway from Frankfurt was to visit Heidelberg. Heidelberg is the location of the oldest university in Germany and has a wonderful old town area. Because the Heidelberg University has been considered one of the finest universities in Europe since it was built in the 14th century, it has attracted scientists, philosophers, and literary figures throughout its history. Located on the Neckar River, the scenery is absolutely stunning, especially in October, which is when we visited.
Sitting on the hill above the city is the Heidelberg Castle, which is well worth touring and hearing about its fascinating history. The views of the town below make the difficult climb up the stairs that lead from the city to the castle entirely worth it. Just walking around the castle grounds is amazing and is definitely a highlight of a visit to Heidelberg. In addition to the castle, taking a stroll along what is referred to as “Philosopher’s Walk” is an absolute must.
Heidelberg is definitely a popular tourist destination and even during the time that we visited, there were plenty of crowds. We enjoyed walking the streets of the old town area with its Baroque architecture. We enjoyed the local beer, Heidelberger, as well as a wonderful meal that didn’t translate to English very well (“pork stomach“), but was delicious none the less. The historic town square with the shops and restaurants is a great place to take a break from all of the walking and relax for a while.
After walking the streets of old town, we made our way to the Old Bridge with its old gate and monument statues. There is also another square called the “Corn Market” where you get wonderful views of the castle as you gaze at the fountain and statue in the center. Perhaps because it was one of the first places that we visited outside of Frankfurt, but our weekend in Heidelberg is definitely one of our favorite memories of our time living in Germany.
Today we are featuring a guest article from Nick at Our Best Doggo who embraces traveling with their dogs.
What could be more fun than a getaway with your best furry sidekick? If you and Fido are thinking of hitting the road, you’ll need to make some preparations to ensure you both have a blast. Read on for a few key tips to ensure fabulous adventures with your pup.
Modes of Travel
Generally speaking, road travel is the most dog-friendly option for going away with your faithful companion. However, it’s necessary to prepare in a manner that will keep you both comfortable in the car. For instance, even if he’s well-behaved, your dog will require some sort of restraint to keep you both safe while driving.
There are seat belt harnesses, barriers, and crates that keep your dog safely contained when you’re ready to roll. If you need to go out without him at some point, a crate also allows you to do so without worry, as it provides den-like comfort to your pooch and peace of mind for you. Many fold up to carry easily, and you can set it up in your hotel or vacation rental. Just make sure you invest in a crate big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lay down easily.
Hitting the Open Road
Even though road trips are a dog-friendly travel mode, they still require some thought. Plan to stop every hour or two for you and your dog to stretch your legs, and for Fido to do his “business.” HowStuffWorks points out virtually every gas station and fast-food restaurant that has a grassy strip you can use for exercising your dog, so it’s not hard to find places to take breaks.
You should offer your dog a drink at stops as well. If you bring along a bowl, you can always get water from a restroom or drive through to shake his thirst.
Of course, air travel is an option for you and your dog. Airlines have an abundance of regulations for pets and their parents, and as People explains, those rules and policies vary by airline. It’s not impossible; just do your homework and you should also consider acclimating your dog to places with busy, airport-like atmospheres before your trip.
Plan for Pet-Friendly
We all need to get away from it all now and then, and you want to feel at ease throughout your adventures with your dog. At the same time, other travelers aren’t always comfortable with dogs, and many places don’t allow pets. Because of this, a little bit of planning can go a long way in keeping everyone content.
With that in mind, think through your destination. As WPZL explains, not all locations are equally pet-friendly. Take into account things like the weather, animal protection laws, and whether there will be things to do together when you arrive.
Whatever destination you choose, make sure you find a dog-friendly place for you and Fido to rest at night. There are numerous pet-friendly hotels to choose from, although many dog owners like the privacy of a vacation rental — and there are still options aplenty; just use a filter when you’re researching your lodging. And of course, if you and your pooch enjoy sleeping under the stars, camping is another dog-friendly choice!
Activities and Adventures
Since you’re going to the trouble of planning a vacay with Fido, of course you want to be able to do things together once you reach your destination. Thankfully, there are virtually limitless possibilities! You can take your dog to fun dog parks, restaurants, and other attractions like zoos and amusement parks. The world is Fido’s oyster!
Just double-check policies before you buy tickets, make sure vaccinations are up to date, know where area vets are (just in case!) and keep your dog on a sturdy leash. The last thing you want is to become separated in a strange place!
Are you ready to get away with your best buddy? Plan your adventure carefully, research your destination, and invest in appropriate gear. Then, have a blast making amazing memories!
Things have been more than just a little hectic for the two of us over the past couple of weeks as we try to get prepared for being out of the country for several months. Working two full-time jobs and packing up our house has caused us to be pretty stressed, so we decided to give ourselves a break and head to Denver for the weekend. It was a pretty hot weekend, but the weather was perfect for being outside and walking through Denver’s historic district. It is hard to believe that after all of the years that we’ve lived here, we hadn’t taken the time to walk the historic district of downtown Denver. It was worth the wait, however, as we really enjoyed seeing all of the buildings and statues.
The capital is under some major renovations at the moment, but its gold dome still dominates the skyline, shimmering in the afternoon sun. We walked over to the Molly Brown House and Museum, which is a wonderful representation of the turn of the century Victorian homes. As most people know, she became famous after surviving the sinking of the Titanic giving her the nickname of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. We also walked around Civic Center Park with its columns, statues, and flower beds. In a couple of weeks we hope to return there to partake in the Taste of Colorado, which is happening in the park over Labor Day weekend.
By the time we made it back to the 16th Street Mall, which is a pedestrian street with lots of restaurants and shop, it was late in the afternoon. There are hop-on hop-off busses that will take you from one end of the street to the other, but we decided to have one of the bike taxis take us to the far western end of the street as we were hot and tired at this point. They aren’t cheap, but it is a fun way to travel on the mall as they are like an American version of a rickshaw. We’re back at work today and the pressure is mounting once again, but at least for a few hours over the weekend we were able to forget about all of our stress and enjoy a beautiful summer day in Denver.