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Heidelberg, Germany

It was still as hot as hell in Europe (well over 30º C) everyday without a pause. It was Monday, and Kirsten and I decided to go to Heidelberg, Germany. We boarded an ICE (Inter-City-Express) train to get us as far as Karlsruhe, and it was wonderful. According to the literature, it travels twice as fast as an automobile and half as fast as an airplane. It was nicely air-conditioned and had jacks to plug in headphones for eight-channel music listening, which we actually used, and had adjustable pillows on the reclining seats. It was second-class luxury and was probably the most fun we’d had actually getting between any two points.

We arrived late afternoon in Heidelberg by way of Karlsruhe, and we first got some lunch at McDonald’s (about 7,0 DM) and then Kirsten called for a room at Gasthaus Lamm. I bought a two-person, twenty-four hour transit pass and we made our way over to the hotel. The hostess cheerfully booked us into a beautiful 80,0 DM room with a private bath and view of the gardens — which she had already sold to someone else. (Their bags were in the room when we got there.) Embarrassed, she offered us another room, not quite so nice and with no toilet but with a shower, for 60,0 DM. I told her I only had 50,0 DM on me and that I’d pay her the rest in the morning, so she knocked 10,0 DM off the bill for the trouble of moving around. It therefore ended up being the cheapest room we stayed in together, and it had a television with nineteen channels.

Dinner that night was interesting. We went to a pasta cafeteria which was filling and not very expensive (7,9 DM). If any doubt remains: yes, Kirsten and I ate a lot of pasta so far. But this place had all the ambiance of, uh, the snack bar at Wal-Mart, perhaps.