This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. The theme of this week’s Photo Friday is FESTIVE.
I’ve recently returned from a Christmas Market cruise on the Rhine, traveling on the Viking Aegir. I’ll be writing a review of the ship for the website Onboard – one of my latest writing clients – early next year.
During our trip, we stopped at the university town of Heidelberg. The photo above was taken at Heidelberg Castle, one of the city’s major landmarks (our tour guide, a Heidelberg native, kept calling it “her” castle).
First documented in 1225, the castle is only partially restored; its ruined appearance gained admirers during the Romantic movement. Mark Twain was also one of Heidelberg’s major fans; he wrote A Tramp Abroad based on his stay here in 1878. Legend also has it that he took the inspiration for Huck Finn from the city’s name (which translates into Huckeberry Mountain).
Parts of the castle’s facade are overloaded with statues, gargoyles and curlicues, to the point where ornamentation looks grotesque instead of elegant. That’s why I loved this simple lit tree, set up inside the castle away from the mini-Christmas market outside the walls. In a country that can’t get enough of the holidays, it provides just enough of a festive touch to remind you of the season without too much fuss.