After a long time, finally I could sit to clear the backlog of memoirs.
There were a couple of places that I had the chance of visiting during this time.
So let me start where it started.
On the 7th of October, after a long day of attending office alongside attending a conference, finally at 7:30 PM I, along with a colleague of mine, boarded the flight to Chennai, and from there at 2:00 AM, the flight to Frankfurt.
The flight was smooth and reached Frankfurt by about 8:00 AM.
Now began the time which would be one of the memorable and enjoyable times that I have had.
First of all we had some problems in locating our luggage, then in finding the cab which would take us to our hotel.
Crossing these initial hurdles, we reached safe and sound to the hotel.
I was looking forward to lying down and catch up on some sleep(as I could not do that on the flight). But it was not to be. One of our colleagues, who had reached there a few days back, had already made plans of going over to Mannheim. So she asked us if we were interested and we having nothing else to do, agreed and I just had enough time to have a shower and change. The shower invigorated me and I was ready for another long day.
After reaching Mannheim, we first had a nice Indian meal at a restaurant, which was run by a Bangladeshi national.
Then we started on our shopping spree (more of window shopping than a real one J ).
After that we went to buy my camera and then returned to the hotel.
We were too tired by the time we reached back and so simply had the dinner of some chips and biscuits and went to sleep.
The next day, my colleague and I decided to visit the Heidelberg castle. We found one more colleague who was also interested in coming along. Now once at the bus stop, we were unsure of how to operate the ticket vending machine.
I stopped one lady who was going on a cycle (In Germany, it is a common sight to find people on bicycles). She tried to help but we were not convinced, so decided not to take a chance with the vending machine. So we thanked the lady and waited. After some time there were more people at the stop and we tried asking some more people but could not get much help as most of them did not speak English. Then I approached two aged ladies, they also did not speak English, but with the universal language of signs, they explained that we could get the tickets from the bus driver himself and should not worry about the vending machine! Phew, it was so simple!
Then we reached the picturesque Heidelberg and got down at a place beside the river Neckar. Then we were just wondering how to proceed from there on, pat came a handsome guy and I asked him the way. He gave us the directions and then we started on foot towards the castle.
To reach the castle we crossed the UniversityPlatz, the Marktplatz and I was just getting awed by the beauty of the place. It being a Sunday, not many shops were open but the windows were beautifully decorated and I was wishing that I could be there when the shops would be open!
Anyways, my colleagues were egging me to proceed towards the castle and not get stuck everywhere I would see a beautifully decorated shop J.
But the climb to the castle was tough(or may be I found that so because of not having rested properly for the last couple of days) and I was tired in a very short time but somehow managed to reach the top of the steps.
The view from three was worth the effort.
Two of us went to see the castle from inside while one waited out as he was not interested in seeing the same, having being traveled to many places in Europe.
There was an apothecary museum inside the castle which told the history of medicine in Europe.
Also there was a wine shop which was housed in some sort of an underground place and had the wine in the barrels. People were buying wine bottles as souvenirs from there. We came out and were joined by the third colleague and then went ahead and found a lovely garden with a beautiful fountain. We walked along a bridge and could see a beautiful view of the river Neckar. We then started our journey down the hill. There was a path which was not being taken by a lot of people and I was having my inhibitions about taking that route. But it turned out to be a beautiful trek through a small jungle. In some time, we were back in the market place. By this time we were so hungry, that we simply were interested in going to a restaurant and having whatever we could get. Two of us were vegetarians, so the seasoned traveler colleague suggested that we go to the subway and have a tailor-made sandwich in which we could pick and choose the fillings.
We bought our sandwiches and went to the bus-stop at the UniversityPlatz, worrying about the bus timings. But there was no reason to worry as the buses were till about 8 PM. So we finished the lunch and started again towards the market and this time we were not in any kind of hurry so I got my chance to exclaim my oohs and aahs at the beautifully decorated shops.
Then after a long and enjoyable day, we took the bus back to the hotel.
And this was how I spent the first weekend of the trip.