Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

August 2014: Germany's Rhineland
from the Mosel to the Neckar
Part 3: Heidelberg & Speyer

Taking stock

So far, this short series of trip reports has documented a notional journey that began at Cochem (on the Mosel) and then travelled up the Rhine valley as far as Mainz. (In reality, I spent three nights based in Koblenz and two nights in Mainz, and everywhere else was visited by travelling out from these two 'hubs'.) At this point, the character of the actual, physical journey changed: I was joined for the final two days by my friend Bruce, and at the same time the means of getting around switched from a combination of train and river boat to rental car.

The notional journey, however, progresses uninterrupted as we continue on up the Rhine valley from Mainz and divert onto the Neckar to reach Heidelberg. We then return to the Rhine for a final stop at Speyer. 


Heidelberg sits on the banks of the River Neckar in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, about 88km directly south of Frankfurt. It is well known for its castle, Baroque-style old town, historic bridge and agreeable climate. But more famously than any of these, Heidelberg is first and foremost a student town, home to Germany's oldest university, and the influx of young people swells the permanent population of around 150,000 for much of the year. It is this mix of history, culture, academia and student life, all against the backdrop of a beautiful natural setting, that gives the town its unique atmosphere. This was my fourth visit, and yet it came after a gap of 24 years!

Technik Museum Speyer

Technik Museum Speyer is a museum dedicated to technology with a particular emphasis on transport, including aviation. It is located in the venerable cathedral city of Speyer, about 30km south-west of Heidelberg. This museum is related to a similar facility at Sinsheim, south-east of Heidelberg. The star of the show at Speyer is a retired Lufthansa Boeing 747-200, displayed in such a way as to make for a memorable on-board visit!

Base: Heidelberg Marriott

Linked reports from same trip:

1: Cochem to Koblenz

2: St Goar to Mainz