Wednesday on our Rhine River cruise was spent in and around the city of Heidelberg. American author Mark Twain was a huge fan, spending three months there in the late 1800s and writing lovingly about the city in his book, A Tramp Abroad.
Heidelberg Castle, whose earliest structure was built before 1214. Over the years, repeated damage from lightning and wars has left much of the structure in ruins. Dicker Turm tower was destroyed in 1689, and bears a plaque flanked by statues of the Elector Louis V (left) and Frederick V (right).
Christmas markets, including one in the town's Marktplatz that features the "Heidelberg Christmas Pyramid," a larger-than-life version of the candle-bearing table ornaments that are popular in Germany and Central Europe during Advent.
I enjoyed Heidelberg, even feeling that between the weather and being part of a tour group I barely got to experience the city at all. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to return for a longer visit at a different time of year!