As I prepare to head to France next week with my 20 year old son, I am thinking back to my first trip to Europe (this is not his first trip over the pond) – I was 19 and went with my parents to Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. It was a super cool time and one of my favorite memories was Heidelberg Castle in Germany. It overlooks the city and down to the river. It’s a romantic place even though some of the place is in ruins.
Here’s a link to a cool website with some pictures if you want to check it out. My scanner is on the fritz at home or I’d scan a photo or two of my own.
One fun thing about the castle is the famous wine vat (tun) in the cellar. It’s massive. It would hold over 57,000 gallons of wine if it was in use as a wine vat but it’s not currently used for that. It’s basically a tourist attraction.
Here’s Mark Twain’s quote (which I think is fabulous) about that:
Everybody has heard of the great Heidelberg Tun, and most people have seen it, no doubt. It is a wine-cask as big as a cottage, and some traditions say it holds eighteen hundred thousand bottles, and other traditions say it holds eighteen hundred million barrels. I think it likely that one of these statements is a mistake, and the other is a lie. However, the mere matter of capacity is a thing of no sort of consequence, since the cask is empty, and indeed has always been empty, history says. An empty cask the size of a cathedral could excite but little emotion in me. I do not see any wisdom in building a monster cask to hoard up emptiness in, when you can get a better quality, outside, any day, free of expense.
– A Tramp Abroad