Today is the last day of anything scheduled on our trip to Germany. Our final trip as a class was to Ulm, a small Bavarian city. The main attraction of the day was the climb to the top of the Munster. This is the tallest Christian building in the world, and like most old buildings there is no elevator. It was a very long 768 stairs to the top. The path was made of tightly wound spiral staircases that were dizzying to climb. Every once in a while, there was a brief opening where we could stop and catch our breath (but not for too long). The last stretch of staircase was the scariest. It was a spiral right through the center of the building and it was very open so you could see the city, and how high up you were, as you climbed. The climb to the top took about 15 minutes, but the view from the top was well worth it. From the top, you could see the city and its surrounding landscape. In the distance you could even see the Alps. The crawl back down to the bottom was frightening and everyone ended this trip a little tired and dizzy.
Next, we went on a city tour of Ulm. It started off by going into the main section of the Munster and learning about the history of the building and its importance to the city. I was the most interested in the windows. Many of the stained-glass windows were originals, but some of them had to be replaced after WWII. Some of the new ones had been donated and each one had a different story to tell. After leaving the Munster we saw many of the city’s other attractions like the town hall, the river and a famous hotel that is left tilting over a small canal. Our scheduled day in Ulm ended with a large lunch at a pancake house and some free time. The food was delicious. I had a large pancake served with steak and mushrooms on top of it.
The scheduled part of our trip officially ended with a farewell dinner at the Augsburg town hall. It was sad saying goodbye to many of the friends we had made in the last two weeks. Before leaving we gave them a few gifts we had gotten for them back in Pittsburgh. Our $4 Pitt t-shirts seemed funny compared to the clothes that the Germans usually wore, but they appreciated them and many continued to wear their shirts for the rest of the night. Tomorrow we get to end our trip with a free day.