Student Exchange : Summer 2003
at Ruprecht-Karls Universitaet Heidelberg

Wildest time of my life...even got arrested. What else can I say?

Some quick facts about the university town which I was at.  Built along the valley of the Neckar River, the town of Heidelberg was originally a Roman settlement and as such is about 2000 years old. It lies an hour southeast by train from Frankfurt or an hour west of Stuttgart.  The medieval town was later sacked by Napoleon's troops during the Nepoleonic wars and was razed to the groud. The town was eventually rebuilt in Baroque style. Fortunately, the town was spared from Allied bombings during WWII  and has remained  unchanged for the past 200 years.

After the defeat of the Nazis, Germany was carved up into various sectors and the American were allocated the southern regions of Germany (think HBO's band of brothers).  US forces set up their occupation headquarters in the town of Heidelberg and there remains a strong US military presence here today. The NATO sub-regional HQ is also located in Heidelberg.

As you can see from the photo above, the town is divided by the Neckar river and the stone bridge which is built across the river was once lined with huge stone statues. We have Napoleon's marauding armies to thank for their destruction. Heidelberg's bridge is actually a  smaller copy of Prague's famous Charles Bridge.

The Baroque castle at the top right hand corner of the photo was the residence of the Prince of Baden which incidentally was the husband of England's Queen Elizabeth I. She was later known as the "Virgin Queen" as she never left England to consumate the marriage.

Very socialist looking student hostel called a Wohnblock.
14 rooms on each floor.  Occupant to Bathroom ratio was  2: 1

The insufferable 1980s Ikea interior of the communal living room.

 My east-facing room located on the 3rd floor where on many occasions I had to spend the day in bed nursing hangovers and recalling what substances I had injested the night before.

The view from the living room . 

Picnic on the river bank with our neighbour from Hong Kong. 

Fortunately for me, she had the hots for Benjamin and I just took advantage of her "generousity". She was our only source of Chinese tea and cable TV. 


The austere but well equipted kitchen 

Cooking up a feast ( a nuclear disaster more likely) with Benjamin.
God i hate the cleaning up after each meal. Washing  innumerable  pots and pans have undoubtedly taken a toll on my delicate hands!

The uni Cafeteria which were former stables of the castle

Interior of the cafeteria with its gothic ceiling

The bar favourite part of the cafeteria.

The new campus of the university. Photo was taken on the rare occasion where the wasn't any student protest taking place!

The uni mascot:  Athena, goddess of knowledge. 
Heidelberg University is the oldest uni in Germany 
and Germany's equivalent of Cambridge.


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