Today we visited the city of Ulm, a quick train ride away from Augsburg. The day started off with a good amount of running. It started to rain in the morning, and I asked Korbinian if I could grab my rain jacket, but he told me we were already leaving for the train station. As soon as we got to the station, the train was delayed for 20 minutes, so I ran all the way back to the hotel to grab a rain jacket. My room key was also broken, so I had to get a new one from the front desk. I returned to the train station with only 3 minutes to spare!
We met our tour guide by the church of Ulm, called the Ulm Minster, where we would later be climbing up its 768 steps. The Minster may be the tallest church in the world, but it is still 5 feet shorter than the Cathedral of Learning, which is still a far superior building in every way. The view from the top may have been cool, but the Minster seriously needs a new color palette. The church also took 160 years to build, and was built from the 14th to the 16th century.
Our tour guide told us a story about building the church, where the construction workers were somehow helped by the flight patterns of sparrows in building the church. I know I’m not explaining this story well at all, but in the end sparrows became the bird of Ulm, and they were everywhere! There were sparrows inside of the church, a sparrow figure in front of a hotel, and I even bought a little ceramic sparrow at the Minster gift shop. There are also yearly jousting competitions on canoe boats, where the jousters dress up like sparrows and send each other plunging into the water. I will be returning to Germany for this very festival.
Inside the Minster, there were thousands of organ pipes, as well as massive stained glass windows which all depicted a story from the Bible. Our tour guide told us that there were 9000 organ pipes, which ranged from 10 meters high to just a centimeter tall.
Outside the Minster, our tour guide explained that the city of Ulm took pride in their architecture, as some of the buildings apart from the Minster had a very modern appearance. The Ulm library was shaped like a pyramid and was made mostly out of glass, and the architect received a Pritzker prize for architecture. The buildings in Ulm had such vastly different architectural styles. In one minute, there was a pyramidal glass library, and the next, there was a leaning hotel!
We finished our city tour of Ulm by walking up about half of the 768 steps of the castle, as the rest were under construction. The walk up was made significantly easier by Liam angelically singing classics like “Love Sosa.” The exhausting journey up was certainly worth it! The city of Ulm was absolutely stunning, but the gated fence prevented this moment from being a decent photo opportunity.
After we finished up our city tour of Ulm, we enjoyed lunch at an Italian restaurant named L’Osteria. I ordered a pizza with one half eggs and spinach, and the other half BBQ chicken. Everyone who ordered half and half pizzas had to eat them on the train, as they took forever to be served.
I finished the day by working on my final Faurecia presentation, and I went out with the group for dinner to a Mexican restaurant. I ordered a burrito for 13 euros, and I also spent 13 euros on water. Although I love Germany so far, I’m beginning to miss tipping rather than paying for water. Is it illegal to be thirsty?
Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting the Neuschwanstein castle and I’ll be finishing up my Faurecia presentation. Bis morgen!