I have a new favorite German word- Sommerfest (summer festival). Last Friday evening, Ahmad, Shivalik, and I went to an amazing Sommerfest thrown by the director of the surgery clinic. Before I get into the succulent details, however, I must begin with a somewhat-related aside. As we all were walking to the festival after work, we passed by the Heidelberg Zoo (which we still have to visit). We did manage to see one exhibit though that was accessible from the sidewalk- grizzly bears! Behind a four-foot high glass railing that dropped down into a moat, we were able to see three bears all within twenty meters of where we were standing. What was scary was how easy it would have been for say a stupid teenager to jump into the exhibit after being dared to do so by his friends, but I’m sure there were cameras or some sort of safety measures being taken to prevent this sort of mischief from happening. Anyway, after about ten minutes we decided that we had better get a move on before all the food disappeared at the party.
As it turned out, there was WAY more than enough food and drinks for everyone at the Sommerfest.In attendance were probably around one hundred members of the hospital staff and their families. We were greeted by a buffet of different grilled meats, salads, pastas, desserts, ice cream sundaes, and to top it all off, an open bar! After we got some food and sat down, we watched the DJ do his thing and a few nurses and doctors participating in mini-dance lessons on stage. In addition, there was a rugby field adjacent to the event, so once we were done, the idea of kicking a soccer ball around seemed attractive. Shivalik went back to his place to grab a ball and then we hit the field. Of course, a 4v4 small-sided soccer game soon developed as others wanted to play and as a result, we actually ended up missing most of the first half of the Germany vs. Greece game. Interestingly enough, we could keep track of the goals that Germany scored by listening to the cheers off in the distance. At some point, we had to give back the cones that we “borrowed” from the workers running the children’s activities and that was when we trekked over to Schwimmbad Club (Swimming pool club, still haven’t found the swimming pool) where there was an open-air viewing. So we caught the last three goals anyway that Germany scored in their 4-2 victory. Can’t wait for the next game on Thurs against the winner of the England-Italy match.
Yesterday (Sat), I met up with a new RISE student named Jay that just arrived here after finishing up his semester in London. He is working at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics hidden up in the hills above Heidelberg. No, it’s not like the location is secret; it’s just a bit removed from the main part of the city probably to ease the mind of the public. Jay wanted to check out Philosopher’s Way, so I met him and Ilyas near Theodor Heuss Bridge and we were on our way. We took a slightly different path than when Shivalik and I explored the area a few weeks ago, so some of the stuff, like the ruins of a basilica above the amphitheater, was new for me as well. During the walk, we had the chance to acquaint ourselves with each other and watch crazy mountain bikers either zoom down the steep trails or peddle up at a painfully slow pace. Don’t worry, no casualties this time around.
After getting Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambee, a French pizza popular in Baden-Württemberg) at a bakery called Riegler, Ilyas headed back to his place while Jay and I made our way over to the Schloss (castle), the #1 tourist destination in Heidelberg which he had somehow not yet seen! On the way, I showed him the Corps Rhenania as well and he was impressed by the grandeur of the mansion. At the castle, we took lots of photos and checked out both the pharmacy museum and what is apparently the largest wooden wine barrel in the world. As we then made our way toward the Scheffel Terrace, we suddenly encountered blue sheep! There are photos on facebook, I speak the truth! Okay, I should be more specific and say they were models of sheep that were part of some sort of European unity project. I looked on their website (blaue-schafe.de) and saw that they have already visited several cities like Straßburg and Berlin and have several more to go. You can even help defray their travel costs by buying one for a mere price of 120 euros! Man, I have to stop doing free advertising on my blog. Danke fürs Lesen und bis nächstes Mal!