Saturday, September 5, 2015

A quick trip to Bad Urach to see the waterfall...

Since it's Labor Day weekend and we didn't make any travel plans, I really wanted to try to do something different today.  Sadly, after last night's indulgent dinner and wine excursion, Bill and I got off to a slow start.  Finally, around noon, I got dressed and Bill asked me what I wanted to do.  I said I wanted to visit Bad Urach.

I actually wanted to see the town of Bad Urach and, perhaps, drop by their thermal baths.  But Bill determined that we needed to hike up the famous Bad Urach waterfall.  We set off from Unterjettingen at about 1:00 after I had a brief OCD moment worrying whether or not I had shut the door firmly.  Bill had thought to pack me a bag of peanuts in case I got hangry, but I had a better idea.  I said we should stop in Tübingen and have lunch.  Bill agreed, and we ended up having a really nice meal at Die Kelter, which is a very cool restaurant on the main drag coming away from our favorite parking garage near the university clinic.

We last dined at Die Kelter last time we lived in Germany, though we have since been in there for drinks.  Die Kelter has a very unique atmosphere and very good food.  In fact, today when we had lunch, I couldn't get over how great the place smelled... kind of like fresh bread and Mom's Sunday roast.  


Bill looking bored...  It's time to order him some new clothes.

We  sat at one of the big tables on the main floor and a friendly waiter who spoke perfect English took care of us.  I had the New York pastrami on focaccia with a salad.  Bill had the pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and fried potatoes.  He had mint iced tea and I had a beer.  But before lunch could begin, I had to hike to the ladies room.  And when I say hike, I mean hike.  You have to go up two or three flights of stairs (I lost count) to get to the toilet.


There are several of these signs to help you in case you lose your way...


Here's a shot of the restaurant.  I took it on the way back down to our table.  Cool, huh?


Nice Baisinger beer.  Locally brewed and I think it's Die Kelter's brew of choice.  The bread was very fresh and yummy.


My delicious pastrami.  Seriously, this was very good, and at 13 euros, not too pricey.  The pastrami was cool to the touch, with a toasted focaccia bread bottom.  It was served with a nice mustard sauce on the bread.  The salad was delicious, especially because of the dressing.  I don't usually eat a lot of salad, but I could eat this every day.  The dressing was like crack.  And the cherry tomatoes were sweet and almost like candy.


Curiously, Bill's sandwich (which the waiter said was a good choice) was advertised on the "small hunger" part of the menu.  It was also very good.  I enjoyed helping Bill eat the potatoes.


Bill is waiting for the bill...


A couple more interior shots.



Well worth a visit!  We'll be back again.  

With our hunger satiated, we went back to the car and watched as a nervous woman tried very hard to get out of her parking spot.  I guess she and her man were teaching a young guy with them how to drive.  We were stuck behind them for awhile and it was a bit hair raising.  But soon, we were out of the city and the countryside turned pretty.  I told Bill I wished we'd gotten an earlier start because I knew I'd want to see more than the falls...


First glimpse of the trail to the waterfalls.  There is a train station located very close for those who'd rather ride the train than drive.  Plenty of parking is available, too.  You have to pay to park, but the pass is good all day.  There is no charge to see the waterfall.

By the time we parked and Bill got his parkschein, I really had to pee.  Sadly, there were no public toilets to be found.  There was a restaurant nearby, but I figured there would be something near the falls.  I was mistaken.  

Though I badly needed to find a toilet, I tried to focus on the natural beauty of the Bad Urach area.  Clouds were rolling in and it made for some very dramatic photography.




But then we came upon a swiftly rushing brook... just what my aching bladder needed!  


Castle ruins in the distance.  We weren't up to hiking there today.  Perhaps another time.

There were many people at the waterfalls today.  With no bathroom in sight, I was hoping to be able to pull off the trail and find a bush.  Unfortunately, the opportunity didn't present itself and even if there had been a good bush to duck behind, the throngs of people made it difficult to do so discreetly. Just as I was about to lose hope, I spotted what looked like a deep dry creek bed with lots of tree cover and a convenient overhang.  I sneaked down into the creek bed, found a private spot, and took a glorious whiz away from the glare of onlookers.  It's a good thing I did, too...  It would not have been fun to hike up the falls needing to whiz.


We reached the base of the falls, where a sign warned us against drinking the water.  It looked cool, clear, and clean, but apparently it's been known to cause waterborne illnesses.  I've had giardia before.  Don't need a repeat experience.

We started the walk up the falls, which mostly consisted of taking some steps up the side.  I'm pretty slow going up these things since I'm not very thin or fit, but there were many fearless kids running down as if the steps were nothing.  There are no handrails.  I did my best mountain goat impression as I made up way up.  I was sad to see that some people had thoughtlessly left trash in the area.


The roots on this tree reminded me of a horde of fighting monkeys.


About halfway up.





At the top...  I am told that there's usually more water, but we didn't have much rain over the summer.


The view off the top of the falls.


People making their way up.



I managed to annoy several people behind Bill and me because I took my time going down.  Like I said, I'm not as fit as I'd like to be and the last thing I want to do is break my ass coming down those hard steps.  They finally made a move to pass just as I was putting out my hand for balance.  One of them said, "Hallo."  I stepped aside, let them pass, and asked Bill if there was anybody else.  He said no, then got in front of me and let me steady myself by putting my hand on his shoulder as we descended.  Oh, how I miss the days when I was a kid and hadn't yet fallen on my face in public.



Dramatic shots of the castle ruins.

On the way back to the car, Bill decided to pull off at the same place I did and relieve himself.  Of course, when he did that, he attracted the curiosity of a couple who were wondering what they were missing.  I wanted to say that all they were missing was my husband taking a whiz.  You can see that on the side of the autobahn anytime.  The same couple was ahead of us and I had a good laugh when someone walking the other way inexplicably said "Hallo!" in a cheery tone of voice.  She laughed as she passed and the male half of the couple turned and stared at her with a confused expression on his face.  I guess random people don't go around saying "Hello!" so enthusiastically in these parts.


While Bill peed, I distracted myself by taking a photo of this tree.



An adorable and friendly golden retriever took an extended dip in the creek.  Bill almost got a shower when the dog came up and shook off the excess water in front of him.


Another shot of the dog playing fetch in the water.








We left Bad Urach after our short visit, vowing to come back and see more sometime soon.  On the way back to Unterjettingen, we decided to see the Mad Scientist at Agais in Entringen.  We didn't really need to eat, but we knew he needed the business and it's always fun to see him.  So we dropped in at just before 5:30 and had a nice Greek meal.


Beer instead of wine...


A small salad...


I had grilled turkey.  Bill had souvlaki, which I didn't photograph because he's had it before.  I have had the turkey before, but not since we moved back to Germany.  It was a nice change of pace.

When we got home, Zane and Arran went absolutely nuts.  They showered me with beagle kisses after they ate their dinner and had a potty break.  They had a brief play session.  Now, I suspect they're asleep.

We had a really good day, despite starting off with a hangover.  Next weekend will be even better because we'll be in Austria while everyone else is back at work!

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