To get a feel for Heidelberg in a way other than prose, please read the Heidelberg poem contributed by award-winning poet Jack Kelso.
By D. Godfrey
If you are not planning a trip to San Francisco, Chicago, New York or Disneyland this year, you might have decided to make a quick European tour instead, and, contrary to most Americans’ destinations of Venice, Rome or London, you decide to include Germany, you certainly see yourself as a risk-loving individualist (!), and you certainly will not be able to pass up everybody’s favorite German city: Heidelberg.
A day trip to Heidelberg is one agenda stop for every trip to the Old World. One stop that isn’t made is the Klingenteichstrasse, in which my wife and I have a modest apartment in a building build at the turn of the 20th century. Although we are located less than a mile away from the castle, it cannot be seen because of the hill between us….with a great view of a cemetery no longer in use… the street certainly cannot be recommended for a visitor to this city. Perhaps this is the greatest advantage we have over nearly every other visitor. The street is possibly interesting to the Police department, however,… due to the incredible traffic congestion at certain times, especially on Sunday, in the early morning or after sunset. After all, the city is a place people live and many commute – yes commute – from villages above and beyond the valley of the Neckar River, on which the castle is situated. The Sunday traffic, however, is pure tourism.
But why mention Klingenteichstrasse… possibly again also interesting to the folks in the study of environmental change… The Klingenteichstrasse – the name itself – implies water (Teich = pond), although we are not familiar with a pond near our apartment, we do know about a stream that flows beneath the street itself and another which flows down our mountain, through the cellar of the house and into the Klingenteich-stream. (this might say something about the condition of our house).
To make a long story short and in order to get to the real story we want to tell here, we have to agree that urban planners and traffic control specialists are not the reasons one may travel to Heidelberg on that one day of their one day exploration of this town on their 2 week European vacation.
Let’s talk instead about a building, or series of buildings near the Klingenteichstrasse, which I have alluded to at the beginning of this article and which can be reached from our modest accommodations by walking up a hill for about 5 minutes, past a number of villas, most of which are perched on overcroppings of stone, natural and man made; regardless of the provenence of the stone, a look upwards at the villa, should one be so foolish as to wish to risk such a view, will have a painful impact on the viewer’s neck muscles.
Anyway, you have probably guessed I am speaking of the Heidelberg Castle, pictures of which you are being priviledged to view in other parts of this web site.