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blink and you’ll miss it

August 6, 2013

Our trip to Germany has been a blend of the automotive (Stuttgart and the Hockenheimring) and the alcoholic (overnight stays at a couple of very nice Weinguts) with the occasional sprinkling of history and culture (a visit to Trier and the aforementioned Stuttgart) to include an afternoon in Heidelberg, a place I had fancied visiting ever since our trip to the Rhine 5 years ago, when we just didn’t quite get there.
The good news is that this time we did indeed get there, the bad news is that I was seemingly gifted with prescience when I told the Pictlets to look out of the window and admire, in case that was it. That was it.
Heidelberg appears well provided with parking places, it’s just that it’s hard to find one that can accommodate Moomin. First we tried the parking at the old castle, but there was none available there. The electronic signs informed us there were places to spare at the Old Town South, but unfortunately they all turned out to be underground and height restrictions and Moomin don’t successfully mix.
Here the understated helpfulness of the Germans once more came into its own. We stopped outside a police station and asked an officer for directions (in English, he was on Mr Pict’s side of the vehicle). He gave the matter some thought before directing us in perfectly comprehensible (if not perfectly perfect) English. Rightly assuming that we were idiots he then got into his police car, indicated that we should follow him and led us at a stately pace to the road where we should turn off for the car park before going on his way with a cheery wave.
Sadly his helpfulness was all in vain as there were roadworks on the street to the car park in question and it was too narrow for us to pass, we ended up becalmed in a one- way street surrounded by impeded motorists who resorted to hooting. We had to be rescued again this time by a calm man who took control of the traffic, moved people so that we could turn around and even silenced the hooter.
Ever optimistic (or refusing to learn from experience, depending upon how you look at it) we had one last crack at the whole parking thing, down by the railway station, resigned to a long walk back to where we actually wanted to be, but even then we were thwarted by a height barrier and were forced to conclude that it simply was not to be. Another time perhaps, I have to say the roofs of Heidelberg did look very picturesque as we drove past.

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