UlmOctober 5, 2016 in Germany
The final region in Germany we wanted to visit was the SW and the Black Forest. We'd read that Ulm was a nice town and so after a busy week with Ade we decided to stay 2 nights.
Parked up about a mile out of the town centre, we took an evening walk in through the park and along the River Danube. The crescent moon was slowly sinking in the dark sky and we heard a splash from the river. Upon closer investigation we saw a rippling disturbance moving downriver. Following it, we were able to make out that it was an otter! Its back breaching the surface as its strong legs and tail worked away underwater.
Once through the park, we enjoyed a stroll around Ulm. The unbusy night atmosphere was quite different to daytime town visits, our attention being drawn to fairy lights, candles and uplighting. The gothic spire of the church was the main sight and was accompanied by the sound of an organ playing from within.
Returning to the van it was comforting to have a nice warm drink. The temperature has really dropped this last week and we've gone from using the window screens to reflect the sun's heat during the day to putting them up at night as insulation. We turned the heating on but after a while the temperature was still dropping. After reading the instruction manual and fearing we may have an electrical fault, we discovered that one of our gas bottles hadn't filled properly when we topped up with LPG at the petrol station. The LPG system we have is great in that you can fill one or both bottles by attaching the pump to the external filling point without needing to wait until they are empty. We do however, still need to get used to it!
Thinking it would be interesting to contrast our night time experience of Ulm with a daytime one, we were getting ready to take the tandem in when we looked out the window and saw a black squirrel just 10m away from the van! We didn't manage to get the camera before it scampered away but we made sure we took when we cycled in through the park. Luckily for us there was another collecting nuts by the river! At one point it was shelling them on a branch stretching out over the river and dropping the shells in the water. We'd heard of black squirrels before but these were our first sightings.
Daytime Ulm was interesting and we treated ourselves to lunch at the old Rathaus (council house), a building that we were drawn to by the beautiful frescos that adorned the outer walls. Vicky had read about a local dish called spätzle that was supposed to be noodles. Some cheese spätzle was on the menu which, when it was served, turned out to be very similar to macaroni cheese. Will had spicy flammkuchen, a favourite regional dish of his.
There was a free wildlife photography exhibition on at the modern town hall which we enjoyed before heading over to the church, whose gothic tower is the world's tallest. 768 steps and 162 meters later we reached the top! The distance we could see from that height was certainly impressive and we took some time taking it all in.Read more