Morgen! Today was another casual day with half of it planned with cultural activities and the other half for lots of free time. Today we went to Ulm, a small city about an hour west of Augsburg. The city was small but did not disappoint in its beauty, history, and vibe. After a short but unexpected delay, we took a train to Ulm and then walked to the city’s main square. The tallest church in the world is located in this square: the Ulmer Münster (still not the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere, though)!
At the square, we did yet another griddy line, then split into two groups with our tour guides. As nice as she was, our tour guide was pretty hard to hear with her soft voice, especially in louder areas like the main square. We first went on a tour of the city where the tour guide took us down some very picturesque alleys, bridges, and roads. My favorite thing to see was the leaning hotel, where there was a key hanging from the top to show how dramatic the lean was. We also went to a really cool church with very interesting stained glass paintings. Our tour guide pointed out how the paintings were meant to show that science and religion could coexist with references to famous scientists and equations. There were really cool sculptures of Ptolemy, Pythagoras, and other scientists.
After our city tour, it was our turn to hike up the nearly 400-step spiral staircase to the near top of the tallest church in the world! At first, it wasn’t bad; I thought I could do it since I hiked up to the Pete almost every day back at Pitt. But it got worse as it went on, and we constantly kept asking ourselves if we were there yet, as we were panting like a dog. The steep spiraling steps made it ten times worse. Once we got to the top, however, the view was incredible. Even on a cloudy day, the view of the red rooves and narrow streets was beautiful to look at. Luckily, the sprint down was much easier and more fun since we sang many Pitbull songs at the top of our lungs and even got our German program manager Korbinian to sing with us.
Once we made it down, we met the other group at yet another Italian restaurant (3rd one at this point) for lunch before leaving for Augsburg. The orders came in very slowly, which was concerning since we only had about an hour before we needed to start walking to the train station. Instead of pizza, I ordered a decently tasty mushroom risotto. I really enjoyed my time at Ulm and really liked the small, cozy, and authentic feel of the city. After having visted two other small cities, I think I still prefer smaller, less crowded towns than big tourist hubs like Munich.
Once we were back in Augsburg, my group and I worked on our project and thankfully got lots of it done. For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant called Enchiladas which was really good! After such a long day, I was tired enough to pass out. Tomorrow is another very exciting cultural day, and I can’t wait to share! Bis bald!