Ascending the Throne

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Friday, March 15, 2013

Howdy folks,

I've been bugging Steffie to go to the Königstuhl ever since we got to Germany and finally on Sunday I had the good excuse that because I wasn't playing soccer, that we could go. The weather started cooling down after hitting a high of 13 degrees and unfortunately the clouds were rolling in and spoling our view a bit. Königstuhl translates to King's Chair or Throne and the view out over the city was certainly regal. At 567m, it certainly isn't Mt Rundle, but as good as it gets around here. There are plenty of trails all over the forest so we decided to go for a small walk around and found some pretty interesting wooden sculptures of giant ants, hands and feet and even wooden gongs. In the summer there is also a falconry and a kids fairytale garden open. 

The weather definitely dropped back down this week and we had a few -6 degree mornings and a few snow flurries as well. All the hills got powdered with snow again so I packed away the frisbee and headed to school. I had a job interview at a business school at the reception desk, but I didn't get it. It is hard to get a break when you aren't fluent even though I can understand most things - dialect excluded.

I decided to climb up to the Königstuhl on Friday after school because I brought my lunch and the weather was sunny. I walked into the Altstadt and was surprised to see plenty of cafes with chairs outside even though it was zero degrees. On every chair was a blanket for the brave people! After the main street, I turned into the Kornmarkt and to the stairs climbing up to the Schloss. I wasn't exactly sure of the way after that, but I knew that I had to keep heading up so I continued up a flight of stairs near a cool looking VW Beetle. The only way was up from there as the steps continued on and on. In fact the steps continued all the way to the top and I reckon there had to be at least a 1000 stone steps of varying heights. Steffie thinks there around 1600 steps, but I didn't bother to count them!

As I came out at the top, I found two paragliders getting ready to launch off the hillside! Lucky bastards I thought although the -2 degrees plus wind wouldn't have been the warmest conditions for gliding. After I caught my breath they were ready to take off and both of them had less than perfect takeoffs, but they got off nonetheless! The second pilot managed to get some good lift after takeoff, but I have no idea where you would land from there as the terrain is pretty much trees or Heidelberg. 

I didn't want to come back down the steps because they were covered with snow and a bit slick. So I took the longer meandering route which criss crossed the mountain bike trail and it was nice with the sun coming through the trees. Last time we were on the summit we saw a guy with a snow mountain bike which had tires as big as a moon buggy, but I didn't see any bikes on this occasion. At one point the trail came to a bridge for the Bergbahn and a pretty cool frozen waterfall. I even found the point where the two Bergbahns crossed each other although I had to wait for a while to see them because they aren't fast!

Coming back out at the Schloss I walked down past Peterskirche onto Plöck and straight into a Radmesse (bike display). They had a stage and a few different stalls where you could get your bike checked for the summer months. The most interesting thing I saw was a Renault Twizy electric car which has only room for 1 person and not much else! With a range of only 100kms you certainly wouldn't be taking it on the Autobahn.

Not a bad day!
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