This weekend I was in Heidelberg for a meeting of all the students (300 of us) participating in the DAAD RISE program this summer. The meeting featured visits to companies - I got to see a huge BASF chemical plant - and talks about opportunities for continuing study and work in Germany. In the evening, I spent my time exploring Heidelberg with new friends who I met at the meeting.
At the center of Heidelberg is a beautiful and mostly preserved medieval town, complete with cathedrals and Castle. I had a magical time climbing around and exploring the castle by day and night.
If you want to see more pictures of the castle, go to my picasa page:
You will see pairs of pictures taken of the same location by day and then by night.
Today, now back in my room in Darmstadt, I slept in then went to a big outdoor festival in the city center. I ate good German food and rode on a large Ferris wheel which was set in the marketplace and from which I could see all of Darmstadt. I saw red roofed buildings of modest height and occasionally a cathedral rising majestically above. Further from the city, I saw a few factories, many gentle hills covered in forest, and in the distance, the modern skyscrapers of Frankfurt rising sharply through the haze of the distance.
Tomorrow I take a train to Vienna to visit James Hall and, hopefully, to breathe in the great musical tradition of that city.