Heidelberg has been blessed with exceptional weather the last week, with sun and temperatures up to 17*C, in February! Unfortunately, I have been ill for a couple of days and in combination with that I started a new job in the beginning of February, the last days have been filled with mixed feelings. It is never fun to start a new position with being ill. When I went to the doctor yesterday I was convinced that she would sign my sick leave for the past weekend and leave it there. However, she made it clear that I have to be home two more days before I can go back to work, even if I was feeling better. I cannot imagine that this would happen in Sweden or Norway, but on the other hand we have another Social security system with “waiting days” before one even can get a sick note from the doctor. Here in Germany it is apparently standard to have a sick note from the doctor even if you are only ill one or two days.
Last week I had the Tuesday of and since the weather was rather amazing I decided to go for a hike. There are so many trails around Heidelberg to explore that it is hard to decide where to begin. I find the trail system rather hard to understand, maybe because I am mainly used to hike above the tree line, using landmarks and mountaintops for orientations when the weather allow so.
Going in to the forest where everything looks the same is a rather confusing experience. The trails are very well marked, but it is almost like there are too many markings and trails to choose from and on top of that comes the log roads and mountain bike trails. I played a lot in the forest when I was a child and we spent many Sundays and afternoons picking mushrooms in the deep Swedish forests, and the few times my boyfriend and I hiked around his village in Pfalz, I was only following him.
On the other hand, it really excites me to have such a vast networks of trails a few hundred meters from my door and that so many people take advantage of it. Everywhere you will find information signs about the area, a bench to rest at and small shelters to hide in from bad weather. Hopefully I will become friend with the forest the following months.
Last week I headed in direction Weststadt and followed the Blütenweg in direction Köhningstuhl for a couple of kilometers before I took another trail back down in direction Max-Planck Institut and walked through the Weststadt back to Bismarkplatz. The forest is such a big contrast to the hectic life down in Heidelberg. The birds are singing and if you walk deep enough the noise from the traffic disappears.
I hope that the spring is here to stay, even if the weather might get a bit worse before the real spring comes I am sure that the spring will come earlier and be warmer than what I am used to!