There were two options for today–Heidelberg and Speyer. In that I had toured Heidelberg years ago, we opted for the Speyer tour, while Ann and Carey went to Heidelberg. Carey’s grandfather graduated from the university there, so naturally he wanted to see it.
Speyer, a relatively small town today, is one of Germany’s oldest, founded originally by the Romans. It is home to the largest Romanesque style cathedral in Europe.
The first German Jewish community emerged here in 1804 on invitation from the presiding bishop. We visited the Judenhoft (Jews Court) as part of the tour. There you find the remains of the men’s and women’s synagogues and the more recently excavated mikveh baths These baths have remained unchanged until this day and are still supplied by fresh groundwater. These ruins of the synagogue and baths are the oldest visible remnants of such buildings in central Europe.
Following the tour, we strolled some of the town’s cobbled streets. Speyer is truly another example of a charming medieval town.
Our ship docked at Mannheina, which can boast the manufacture of the first bicycle in the world in 1817, as well as the first production motorcar, none other than the Benz in 1885.
Fun 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music followed dinner. Vocalists were from Detroit, living in Heidelberg.