Subject: Heidelberg
Heidelberg? My husband and I were there in July and I have some recommendations for budget or luxury accommodations and for train travel.

You can stay in Heidelberg but why not stay just stay 15 minutes away in a charming village that offers both luxury and budget accommodations? The village of Hirschhorn, a scenic small town on the Neckar River, is just east of Heidelberg.

Medium-priced (by American prices and luxurious by accommodation standards) Schlosshotel Hirschhorn has an outstanding view of the river Neckar. We paid 128 DM for two people for a quite, large, lovely room with a full bath, river view, including breakfast. If you arrive by train, call the hotel and they will pick you up. The Neckar is beautiful. Many dense forests, hiking paths, charming villages, and historic ruins line the banks of the Neckar River. I can personally recommend the Schlosshotel (castle hotel) Hirschhorn. hirschhorn/index.html

If there are no rooms available at the Schlosshotel Hirschhorn or if this lovely place is too expensive for you, enjoy the view by having a drink or a good meal on the veranda. The hotel staff speaks English.

After staying at the Schlosshotel for 2 nights, we moved to downtown Hirschhorn, a short walk below the Schloss, where we stayed at the Haus La-Belle. A budget beauty by any standard, the Haus La-Belle consists of two clean bedrooms (each with a television and a small coffee table and chairs), a shared bathroom and a small breakfast room. We paid 80 DM (Deutsche Marks) a night for 2 persons. A lower rate might be negotiated if you stay more than 4 or 5 days. Breakfast is included. This tiny B &B, on a cobblestone pedestrian street in old Hirschhorn, is reached by a steep flight of stone and concrete steps lined with pots and tubs of lovely flowers (fuchsias, begonias, daisies, foxglove, geranium). We enjoyed the kind attention of our hostess, Frau Schernthaner. Our hostess, who speaks English, provided bottled drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit juice and mineral water. At the end of our stay, we paid for any drinks we used.

Haus La-Belle Proprietor: Jutta Schernthaner Hauptstrasse 38 69434 Hirschhorn

telefon 0 6272 14 00 telephone from outside Germany +49 6272 14 00

We traveled from Hirschhorn into Heidelberg on the train. Hint: If you want to go from Hirschhorn to old Heidelberg, get off at Heidelberg Karlstor and walk across the street and into the old town. Otherwise, the next stop will be the main train station (Heidelberg Haupt Bahnhoff), which is not close to the old town.