Tübingen & BalingenOctober 13, 2016 in Germany
The last German town on Vicky's list to visit was Tübingen. It is a university town on the little river Neckar and she wanted to visit in order to try the local specialty of Maultaschen (oversized ravioli).
Unsure of where to park, we drove towards the centre with our fingers crossed. Luckily there was a large free car park a few km out of town. The only problem was that town was on the other side of a very large ridge and neither pedestrians nor bikes were allowed through the road tunnel. However, being Germany, there was a separate tunnel for walking and cycling with an electronic counter keeping track of how many people passed through.
We soon found a cafe serving Maultaschen and had an enjoyable lunch. Will had the version with onions and Vicky with egg. We've spent 13 weeks in Germany on this trip and have frequently been struck by how long it takes for waiters to bring the bill. It was only today we realised the waiter asked 'Do you want to take it easy?', as people finished their meals. We may well have been asked this before and mistakenly answered 'yes', thinking they were asking if that was everything. There is still so much for us to learn in Germany and we feel very lucky to have been able to immerse ourselves in the culture and language to the extent we have.
Tübingen turned out to be a great town, with more 'hippy' shops than we'd seen in all of the rest of Germany. The old timbered buildings with wooden window shutters gave the place real character and we had to drag ourselves away in order to get to our stopover in Balingen where Will carved the pumpkin and we had a nice warming soup.
Staying 2 nights in Balingen we had time to explore as well as to relax, play guitar and paint. The feature that stood out about this town was the young people's art. Children had made large lanterns that hung around lights strung across the streets. Painted tiles were affixed to walls here and there and the electricity boxes featured an eclectic range of designs. There was also hardly any grafitti. We saw that young people had been included and valued, encouraged to take pride in their town and put their stamp on it in a positive way. Perhaps they didn't feel such a need to make their mark through antisocial behaviour.Read more