We couldn’t just visit a German city with a simple name! NO! We had to go see the tongue twister city!
Ulm is situated in Southern Germany, almost half way between Stuttgart and Munich, right on the bank of the river Danube. My sister and brother-in-law live on the outskirts of Ulm, and took us to the farmers market there on Saturday morning. Traffic was fairly heavy, and parking spaces were at a premium. Seeing the size of the parking spaces, it quickly becomes clear why Europeans drive small cars (compared to the US). In addition, gasoline is costs a LOT more in Europe, than here in the US.
Hans expertly navigated one of the tightest parking garages I’ve ever been in. Once safely parked, we walked towards the Ulmer Münster, the massive cathedral towering over the Saturday Market. Stands displayed beautiful fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, lots and lots of fragrant flower bouquets and plants for the garden. Food carts were preparing all kinds of German snacks for the hungry and a heady mixture of aromas wafted through the air.
Gabi and I procured some veggies and spices for Sunday’s Indian dinner. Next came a stop at a Konditorei directly across from the cathedral and market. Luckily, we were able to sit at an upstairs window, watch the world go by and enjoy some decadent pastries along with our coffee.
Then it was off to the “Fischerviertel”, or Fishermen’s district. This historic area of town has small brooks running through it, charming timbered houses, a water wheel turning slowly, and of course, countless flower boxes and pots in full bloom.
One of the main sights in the Fischerviertel is “Das schiefe Haus”. This leaning house was originally built in the 14th century right against a small stream. Over the centuries, the foundation on the stream-side has sunken slowly. The floors and walls inside are not level, but those who spend the night at the hotel will sleep in a level bed. Despite many restorations the house continues to slide ever so slowly.
Our last excursion in Ulm was a short walk along the river Danube and looking across to Bavaria. And that is where I spotted a very cool solar ferry docked at the other bank.
This was my first visit to Ulm ever. Guidebooks generally tend to focus on the “better known” and more famous destinations. Many of those are worth a visit for sure, but to me, a place like this is preferable. We still got to see beautiful old houses, a gorgeous cathedral, a lively Farmers Market and very few tourists. In addition, out-of-the-way places are usually less crowded and not as expensive in my experience.
Plus, I got to spend time with my sister! That, to me, was the most special part about Germany!