Ulm: Day 2 (Part 8)

May 20, 2014 by kimeree13

On my last morning in Ulm, I got up really early and had breakfast in the quaint little breakfast room on the ground floor of my hotel with all the rest of the hotel guests.  I had my photo gear with me and in my sleepy state muttered, “Malzeit” when I walked in.  In this area of the country, they speak a dialect of German called Schwäbisch and all of the people I worked with at Reich Baumaschinen spoke it.  Whenever I went to eat my lunch they would always say this same thing to me, a way of acknowledging that it was time for me to eat and wishing that I have a nice meal, all wrapped in one word.  Pretty cool.  In a way, that would be like me walking into a room and yelling “lunch” while you ate but you’d probably think I would be crazy for doing it.  Here it’s totally normal.  After my quick meal, I put on my favorite lens at the time, a 24-70mm, and walked toward the center of the city.  It was Wednesday and the local merchants were setting up for the weekly farmer’s market.  I took some photos at the market and then walked through the pedestrian zone with the rest of the workday foot traffic.  There were few people out at at 7:30 am and the city was quiet.  The photo of the Münster below photographed at morning’s twilight might be my favorite of the whole trip for personal reasons.  It’s not the most artistic, but every time I look at it, it sends chills down my spine and then I’m right back amidst all those special moments I experienced while living here.  You see, wherever I was standing in the city, you could always see part of this huge church.  It was just always there.

IMG_1843  IMG_1891  IMG_1894  IMG_1923 

I think part of the reason I love Germany so much is the little details.  I saw these cool hanging lights on my way back to my hotel this Wednesday morning.  I love the bits of modern mixed in with the ancient and antique parts of the city from centuries past. Like this cool wood framed building that is now occupied by a store of some sort.  I stayed at Hotel Bäumle (little tree) in a little room just for one.  I had a TV, but never watched it.  I don’t think I spent any time in my room other than to sleep really.  I wanted to experience everything I could out and about with the limited time I had.

IMG_1930  IMG_1934

I repacked all my things once I was back at the hotel and headed out, dragging my suitcase and gear for a few miles to get a rental car.  I just had to drive in Ulm again as I did so many years ago.  That was part of my experience then and it would be part of my experience now.  Later that morning before leaving Ulm completely, I got to meet with one of my oldest friends, Thomas, for some coffee near my old student residence in Neu-Ulm.  Thomas was a delivery driver years ago at my company and is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. He had just had a baby a week before and was not sleeping much and I was still jet lagged, so the strong coffee did both of us good!  We met for a few hours discussing everything under the sun and caught up from having not seen each other since 2002.  By the end of our time together, my head hurt from speaking so much German.  Up to then, I had been alone most of the time and had no need to be speaking to anyone other than myself.

When I lived in Neu-Ulm, I lived in a small student complex called Wiley Nord.  It was part of the old American army base from WWII and I literally lived in its deserted barracks for almost 6 months.  I had a single room with a view of a busy highway and shared a bathroom with a German student.  During my spring and summer months here as an intern, I met and hung out with people from all over the world: Canada, the US and Spain mostly.  We grilled all types of meat and had fun student parties in the parking lot of this complex.  I parked my car here every night after work.  Back in 1998, these buildings were a tan color and not as colorful as they are now.  Back in 1998, we had a very primitive form of email and I had limited access to computers at the time so I did all my correspondence by snail mail.  I spent many hours every week writing letters to friends and family.  My old mail box was still there.  Still the same ugly rust color.  It still brings me joy to see it, though, as it reminds me of all the mail and sentiments that I received while living there.  My next post will feature a drive on the Romantic Road and my visit to a few new places in Germany that I had never been before.




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