I started my morning today by riding a train for the very first time! It was a pretty exciting experience, especially since my engineering friend, Josh, has been talking about riding the train since the minute we touched down in Germany. The train was impressive and got us to the city of Ulm in a relatively short amount of time. Not only was it my first day on a train, but is was also our first day venturing outside of Bavaria, as Ulm is just a bit further west in Baden-Württemberg.
Walking through Ulm, we headed for the Münster, a Lutheran church with 768 steps leading up to the spire, making it the world’s tallest church tower. In front of the Münster were hundreds of plastic Albert Einstein figurines which were about thigh length. I found this to be very strange and confusing, but I pushed it to the back of my mind as we prepared to actually climb up all of the steps. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, I was unable to make it all the way to the top, I started to feel mildly panicky about halfway through because the stairwell was very tight with hardly and windows. My friend Megan and I decided to turn back, but not before walking out onto a small balcony like platform where there was a nice view. We proceed back down the staircase after a few minutes and waited among the Einsteins for the rest of the group to finish. I give many props to them, because if my legs were violently shaking, I can’t imagine how they must have felt!
After the Münster climb, we started our tour of Ulm. Our tour guide, David, showed us the perfect spot and technique for getting the entire tower in a picture. I took the opportunity to ask him about the weird Einsteins, and he explained that they are being sold in as a fundraising effort. They want to create a museum of some sort to honor Albert Einstein and what he means to Ulm. David also showed us a replica of the city and pointed out various landmarks, and it was crazy to hear how most of Ulm was destroyed during WWII but the Münster was untouched. We once again saw the River Danube, as well as the house of Einstein’s grandparents and the Guiness World Record holder for most slanted hotel. We completed our day in Ulm with lunch at Pfannkuchenhaus, were we were served sweet and savory crepes!
Returning to the University of Augsburg, we continued our BMW experience with a talk focused on autonomous driving. The speaker explained the various stages of autonomous driving, as well as BMW’s progression. The talk was followed with a quick celebration of the birthdays that were occurring over the course of our visit: Lexi, Arman, and Jeremy! I unfortunately was unable to eat the cake due to allergies, but I made up for it later that night with my highlight of my day. A couple of us went out to try döners, which might have been one of the best things I’ve eaten in my entire life. I didn’t understand a word the man was saying so I just said “ja” and he loaded up my sandwich with everything. I’m still not entirely sure what was on it, all I know is that I have to have another one before we head back home!