To Bad Winpfen via Hirschhorn, Eberbach and Mosbach
Another great morning. Crystal clear blue sky.
Today is a short drive, about 80 KM from Heidelberg to Bad Wimpfen, but we have three stops planned for some small towns along the Neckar river on what is called the Castle Road. The road is aptly named as all along the drive, every few kilometers, you see a castle on the mountain top, or halfway up.
We're not even to Hirschhorn, less than 20 Km, and we stop to look at two, though only to admire and photograph. Otherwise we never have time to get anywhere. Many of them are ruins, and most are now privately owned. We spent some time walking down to the river and along the walks installed there, and then continued to Hirschhorn.
Hirschhorn was our first castle that we stoped at. The drive up is a one car road, but at least every 100 yards or so the road widened to 1 1/2 cars so the opposing driver could pass. When we got to the top there was a separate car and bus park. Haven't yet figured out how a bus made some of those turns. We climbed the old tower which had 121 steps that only one person could climb at a time to fantastic views over the valley and river. The village is small so after the castle we headed to Eberbach.
Where ever we walked there was a pig, or more accurately, a boar. It turns out that 'Eber' means boar and the word \bach' is a small bend in a river. So the town was named for the wild boars that were found at the time of its founding at the bend in the Neckar river. They are everywhere from the town coat of arms, to statues in front of the town square, and in front of numerous stores.
Eberbach was another cute town with half timbered houses and a medieval street layout. We decided to make our lunch stop here and since we planned on a nice dinner at Bad Wimpfen just had coffee and gelato, though the gelato was huge. About an hour later we continued our drive.
Before I forget, for whatever reason, on this trip we have never had any problem finding a parking place, they are plentiful, whether paid or free, and we have not run into one problem with traffic.
Next stop Mosbach.This was the highlight of the day so far. A small town with nothing but timbered houses, small alley like streets, most cobble stoned and all colorful. The TI provided a great map with a walking tour and we spent an hour walking the town.
By this time we lost count of the castles but we did identify two that we will go back and visit tomorrow.
Finally we headed off to Bad Wimpfen where we plan to stop overnight and arrived at 4pm. Bad Wimpfen is across the river and 700 feet high. The road is good, wide, and an easy climb. At first we could not imagine where they might have the hotel but it ended up being right on the side of the mountain and our room, on the third floor, looks out over the valley and river. We took just a few minutes to dump our bags and headed out. As a side note, every hotel we've stayed at, our room has been on the top floor and every proprietor has insisted on carrying our luggage up to our room. Everyone has been so friendly here.
The town is along the road we drove in on, just five minutes away. this is a quintissential medieval town. You can see the left over walls, and two entry gates and their towers. The streets are cobbled too and the map the hotel gave us just barely matched the street layout. But we made it across the town and down to the TI where we got a different map, with a walking tour and good explanations of the main sites, but almost equally not exactly matching the actual street layout.
The town is amazing. We couldn't stop oohing and awhing. Except for new shops and restaurants you could be back in 1100. We walked and walked and must have taken 100 pictures of all the beautiful half timbered buildings. About six we stopped for dinner. We found a great restaurant with outside seating and a ground floor for drinking and lite fare, and a second floor with an indoor restaurant and white tablecloth dinner service. We opted for dinner inside since it was getting cooler as the sun was going down. What a superb meal.
Dinner was worth waiting for. A 'chef's gift', sort of an 'amuse bouche', to start, then a 1/2 liter of 'rotewein', red wine, then a salad, big enough for two, with the usual lettuces, butter mushrooms, tomatoes, fennel, and some other great tasting vegetables and dressing.
Then the mains. Karen had a Rumpsteak, perfectly done with scalloped potatoes and a side of carrots, snap peas and green beans. For Mike, duck. Excellent duck breast with a risotto, some large baked mushrooms and a zucchini stuffed with a small diced tomato mixture.
Karen's definitely becoming a wine fiend. No longer do I just order a glass. But we finished it all and had to call it quits. Neither of us had any more room. So at 7:30pm we got the check and headed back. We did make a few stops, it was not totally dark yet, but it was a short walk back and by 8pm we were in the room.
Lots to do tomorrow so the wakeup will be earlier, about 7am.
Another great day and the weather continues to cooperate.
Typical Castle viewed from the Neckar drive
Castle from Road
Mike at Restaurant
More of Karen's Dinner
Night View of Restaurant