. We walked and there were kids running around everywhere, a rugby team returning from training and several families. No other travellers like us. I don't know how many times we said it but it just felt weird. It had a hospital/institution like feel. We saw a self help group of middle aged people all standing on chairs when we first arrived and from then it just continued. We ate supper in the cafeteria, avoid it, while an elementry school band practiced in the next room. During breakfast the next morning, which was great,a second band was having practice. The rooms were fantastic though, spotless, huge, and only four bunks. To top it off we were directly next door to the zoo and woke up in the morning to find an elephant pen out of our window. We explored the ruined castle with our new Australian friend and then walked through the old town for awhile. He was also heading to Köln and had found someone on a ride share website to jump in with so we tagged along. By far the cheapest way to travel in Europe. Someone will post where they are going and how many seats they have and you just call them. We paid 15? to Koln instead of 30 by train. Definetly an interesting experience. We showed up, got in, went for a ride, got out, paid the money and went on our way. No small talk. Kind of felt like something that would happen in Amsterdam!
The cheapest way to travel in Germany is by regional trains. You can buy a day pass for unlimited travel within a specific state for up to 5 people. They cost only 27? but it can take awhile to reach your destination. We used our free Basel city transport to get us across town to the German train station. Basel is interesting because it borders both Germany and France. Probably makes for some epic world cup games. We were reccomended to visit Heidelburg by some travellers along the way so we decided to stay a night as it was on the way to Köln. It is another midieval town that has remain untouched since the French destroyed it in the 17th century. We didn't quite know where the youth hostel was but there was an Australian at the bus stop with a map also going to the hostel. Every hostel we have stayed at up to this point has been an indepentent backpackers hostel. Heidelburg only has a DJYH, which is like a chain of hostels found across the country that caters to school groups and such