In Heidelberg, the farmers’ markets are held regularly throughout the week at a number of locations throughout the city and region. One of six Saturday markets takes place across the Neckar river in Neuenheim. Most visitors in town will visit the Saturday market in Heidelberg’s Marktplatz, which leaves the other five Saturday markets pretty much “clear and free” to residents. And as I arrive at the market square in Neuenheim, it’s clear I’m in the minority, literally and figuratively. This is not criticism and it’s not a negative, as I used to come here occasionally when I lived here. I say as much to the various vendors, when I buy a cup of coffee, some cherry tomatoes, a piece of cake, and three empanadas.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, grown locally and imported from around Europe. Fresh bread and baked goods from a regional bakery. Fresh herbs, grown locally; fresh flowers, grown locally. Honey harvested from bees at a regional apiary. “Empanadas Argentinas”, by a woman from Córdoba who’s lived in Germany for over ten years. And there are fresh cuts of meat, tubs of olives, and glorious varieties of cheese from around Europe.
It’s time to stop eating and leave, when the vendors begin to pack. Another market, another day.
When I leave Heidelberg, no small measure of wistful longing remains; these are my streets, and this is one of my markets.