Today, we saw the castle in Heidelberg and hiked to the top of the hill. The castle was in ruins due to the French storming in 1693, but the walls and interior were still extremely impressive, with some buildings as old as the 15th century. From there, most of our group hiked up the mountain, crisscrossing through the woods on switchbacks, eventually reaching the top of the mountain. The views from there were simply spectacular. From the lookout point, the whole town of Heidelberg on both sides of the Necker River stretched out before us, and as the view panned out further West, the town gave way to vast stretches of farmland, dotted by the occasional small town, an island of green trees and red roofs in a sea of golden wheat. Finally, the neighboring stretch of mountains rise from the distance and meet the sky, enclosing this huge German valley. The lookout captured all the German landscapes in one frame: field, town, water, forest, and mountain. The hike today was the last of the exchange, and a fitting one to wrap up this trip. It will be unforgettable, just as this exchange is.
~ Sammy DeLorenzo