Day 10: 768 stairs to Heaven

Today I woke up to “Never Gonna Give you Up” by Rick Astley, at 6:40 am because we were leaving the hotel at 7:35. We arrived at the station, hopped on the tram, and headed to the city of Ulm. Looking out the window, I noticed how the land is flat, green, and luscious. We once again saw a huge number of solar panels lined up in order to receive the sun’s bright light. That’s not necessarily a common site in the US.

Once we arrived, we headed to the Ulm Minster Tower which we would soon be climbing. After the now traditional bathroom pit stop, we were off to the races “to the top” of the Münster.

I was really excited to climb up Münster, as it’s the world’s largest church tower with 768 steps to the top. I was feeling really good going up, then my asthma hit me hard. I still came in second, and while my legs felt great afterwards, my lungs were the only thing punishing me. The discomfort was well worth the view once reaching the top. Our prize for our hard work was a beautiful view of Ulm as well as the villages and rivers surrounding it.

After walking down a separate set of stairs and reaching the ground, I sat on a bench to rest and enjoy the sunshine. After about 15 minutes of lounging, a random old man named Alois walked up to me. He asked me, in German, if the seat next to me was open, although I did not know that at the time. I asked him if he spoke English, and he responded in broken English. We had a good conversion talking about where we’re from and what we are doing here. He said he was from Ireland, but that confused me because the main language there is English. Maybe it was just a communication barrier. He said he was waiting for his wife to stop shopping. We talked about German weather and how each of our days were. We sadly had to stop our conversation when I was told our tour of Ulm was about to start. I really enjoyed my talk with Alois, and it was a complete shock that two random people who speak different languages would randomly come together and have a friendly conversation. I’m also surprised the language barrier wasn’t a problem, as I was able to make a decent guess about what he was saying.

Anyway, after our lovely talk I had a tour of Ulm to get on with. Our tour guide’s name was David, and he was a lot of fun. He showed us a map of Ulm, and just like maps in Munich, it had braille on it.  In the Munich blog, I said that the map should also include the related words, not just braille. I was pleased to see that the Ulm map had both. David taught us how 80% of Ulm was destroyed during WWII, and how the city was rebuilt. We learned how Ulm was once a rich city with a wall, it’s own rules, coin, and governor. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein. Today, it is home to the University of Ulm known for its biomedical and engineering curriculum.

After the tour, we went to a pancake restaurant, and the food was delicious. Here is a photo of the menu

I started off with a # 3, an ice cream pancake, then finished two #25. I don’t really know what was on it, but it has really good meat. I may have mentioned…I like to eat.

Here are some photos of the food and aftermath:

We then got back on the tram to head back to the hotel. That night, everyone worked with their groups for the upcoming presentation. My group worked for 4 hrs then got food at Murdock’s, a local restaurant. After dinner, we left and prepared ourselves for the hectic day ahead of us.

A photo of what I ate at Murdock’s.

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