Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last minute getaway to Ulm: Part three

As most regular readers know, I am a sucker when it comes to beer and wine.  I enjoy a good fest.  It was just turning 11:00am as we were deciding what we wanted to do next.  As we were at the right place at the right time, I told Bill we needed to stop and have some wine.  Fortunately, Bill loves wine as much as I do.


This is pretty cool, isn't it?  I saw a couple of these at the small wine fest near the cathedral.


Look at all those empty tables!  It looked like several restaurants/wineries were catering this event.  There were several different areas and the menus were different.  I saw Spanish tapas, pizzas, bruschettas, and flammkuchen being offered.



Bill takes a look at one of the menus and all of the available wines.





We finally sat down at a place that had Spanish and Italian wines and foods.


We were among their first customers of the day.  Bill ordered us two different whites.  The one I had was called Larrua.  

The pretty waitress who looked after us was utterly charmed by Zane and Arran.  She came over and loved all over them.  They ate up the attention and only indulged in a couple of outbursts during our time at the fest.  I told Bill that even though we weren't really hungry after our lumberjack truck stop breakfast, it might be a good time to eat.  The fest was not very busy while we were there, so I figured we'd have an easier time eating then. 


At one point, Zane jumped up on the bench with me.  Poor guy never learned his manners!


Bill and I split this Hawaiian pizza.  It was pretty good and the ham was useful for bribing the dogs.


The wine made our dogs' occasional barking sessions more tolerable.  At one point, some folks were laughing at us!  It was pretty funny.

In all, Bill and I shared five glasses of wine.  I had a Riesling and a Montepulciano and Bill enjoyed a Temperanillo from a cask with the pizza.  When we settled up with the waitress, Bill apologized for the dogs' occasional outbursts.  She laughed and asked us in German what kinds of dogs they are.  We explained that they are hunting dogs who chase small game.  I tried to say "squirrel" in German, but failed.  I have heard it said that Germans have a hard time saying squirrel.  The waitress figured out what I meant when I mimicked one.  We left the fest feeling decidedly mellow.

  

Funny video about Germans and the word "squirrel"...  Frankly, I think Americans would have a much harder time with EICHHÖRNCHEN...  


Russian Orthodox church near the cathedral...


Handy facilities after time spent at a wine fest.


This fountain in front of the church was also useful for watering the dogs.


I sent Bill into the Ochsen Shop for some beer.  I thought he'd get some of the other gourmet goodies in there, but he disappointed me.  Maybe next time, I'll do the shopping.


Ah... Vom Fass!  Another cool German chain for all those who love their spirits.  Bill went in there and got a bottle of Bordeaux and some rum from Belize.

The weather started to turn right around the time Bill was coming out of the Ochsen shop.  We thought about hitting the trails with the dogs, but decided we'd rather not get caught in the rain.  So we headed back to the garage where our car was parked.  


As we passed this bakery, I had to get a couple of photos of wedding cakes.


We got back to the hotel at about 2:30 or 3:00 after stopping at Kaufland for some snacks and wine.  I think we only meant to stop at the hotel for a brief time, but I suddenly felt really tired.  I didn't sleep well at all the first night.  I laid down on the bed.  The dogs jumped up and joined me.  Then, I fell fast asleep for the next three hours... awakened again only by the damn church bells going off at 6:00!


We decided to stay in and watch TV.  Recognize this man on the TV?  It's Bob Ross, the PBS painting guy.  He's been dead since 1995, but they still show his painting series.  This was in English and kind of fun to watch.

We spent last night drinking wine, eating snacks, and eventually watching Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell in the 1992 film Scent of a Woman dubbed in German.  Watching that movie, which was released when I was in college, made me feel all kinds of ancient.  Still, it was kind of nice to watch TV for a change.  I found that I understood a lot of the movie.  I had seen it before, but it had been years.

I slept somewhat better this morning, but it still wasn't the greatest sleep I've ever had.  Bill and I decided to skip the hotel breakfast and head home, where we knew we had great coffee waiting for us.  The bonus to getting on the road at about 7:00am was that the autobahn was fairly empty and we had a stress free drive.  Bill cooked breakfast and we enjoyed some delicious, fresh Kenyan coffee.  

If we do ever go back to the Ulm area, I will choose a different hotel, although the Lobinger Weisses Ross was a pretty good value.  We spent 232 euros.  Thirty-two euros went for the bottle of wine Bill bought.  The rest was for the room and the very reasonable pet fee.  I think if it had just been Bill and me, we would have liked the hotel fine.  With our dogs, it just wasn't all that suitable.  The room and the bed were just a little too small.  Also, the WiFi situation was a bummer.  On the other hand, I would recommend that hotel for people who have young kids or folks on a budget. 

I do hope we can go back to Ulm and the surrounding area for another look.  There's a lot there we didn't get to see and Ulm alone is a very charming city.  It's definitely a good bet for those who are looking for great shopping and restaurants.  

Hopefully our next short break will be in France, now that Bill has his passport.  It figures that they had it ready on Friday and we could have gone to France after all.  Oh well!
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