Today was the day that we all have been slightly worried for since the beginning of this trip – the day when we climb the Münster in Ulm. The Münster tower is taller than the Cathedral of Learning, taking 768 steps to reach the top. The steps are in a narrow stairwell that spirals all the way to the top with only 2 or 3 break platforms along the way. The view at the top was definitely worth it, as we basically had a bird’s eye view of the entire city of Ulm full of the traditional red roofs and the river running through the city. After taking in the stunning view, I began to make my way back down the tower. I thought that going up the steps would be the hardest part; however, on the way down my legs were already so tired and shaky that I had less control over them than I needed for the spiraling 768 step venture. Also, watching the steps going down was much more dizzying than on the way up, making my mind more tired and less in control as well.
As we were walking down, we noticed that people seemed to be spelling out something with the small Albert Einstein statues that were in front of the Münster that we were fascinated by before the climb. The square in front of the cathedral was full of 3 feet tall black and blue Einstein statues for a reason unknown to any of us. Before the climb, they seemed to just be placed randomly in the square, but we did notice a videographer and a reporter walking around and then saw them in shapes on the way down. I still don’t know what they were doing, but Albert Einstein was born in Ulm so it is not surprising that the statues were of him.
It took us about an hour to get all the way up and all the way back down the tower, and we had to immediately go to meet our tour guide because due to our train delay this morning we were already running late. Our tour of the city was a summarized one, but we learned a lot about the history of the city and, as in all city tours, we learned how the world wars really affected Ulm.
We had lunch at Pfannkuchenhaus, a place famous for its sweet and savory crepes. I ordered the ham and cheese and copied Gemma by rolling the crepe to make it easier to cut and eat (even though this is not the normal or most acceptable approach, it worked the best). I normally prefer sweet over savory crepes, but this one may have been an exception it was so good! The restaurant was delicious, but also understaffed and slow which added additional stress to the meal as we had a train to catch by 2.
We successfully caught the train in time and made it back to Augsburg for our BMW presentation at the University. The presentation was focused on the future direction of the company and the different innovations and concepts that it is working on. The most interesting part was the autonomous car that they are working on and have a physical version of. The presentation was informative and we were lucky to get an inside look at what BMW is doing and where they want to take the company. It has been a long couple of days, so it definitely was a little difficult to keep my attention focused throughout the entire presentation, but the topics were so interesting that my attention was able to stay focused on what we were learning about!
After the talk, we had a surprise birthday celebration for the Arman, Lexi, and Jeremy who are all celebrating their birthdays while on this trip! We had strawberry cakes from a local bakery – they were different tasting and I normally don’t like a lot of fruity desserts, but I really enjoyed my slice! We all finished our cakes and then went out to grab some dinner before returning to the hotel. We went to a place that sold Döner sandwiches, which are traditional Turkish sandwiches with lamb and a bunch of different toppings, and they were SO good! We’ll definitely be getting more over the rest of the trip because not only are they delicious, they are also pretty convenient and cheap!