Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last minute getaway to Ulm: Part two

We had intended to eat breakfast at the hotel.  It was included in the price of the room.  Unfortunately, luck was not on our side yesterday morning.  We all got in the elevator.  It stopped on the second floor, where we were confronted by the old guy who had checked us in.  He had a cart full of dirty dishes and seemed to need the elevator more than we did.  We got off the elevator and started down the stairs.  When we got to the lobby, standing by the elevator was a woman with a big boxer.  Zane got one look at the boxer and started barking.  Arran joined in with his own deafening howls.  Once again, I was dragged out of the lobby by my two crazy dogs.

I suggested to Bill that we go find a McDonald's or something.  If worse came to worse, we could eat in the car.  Bill figured we'd stop at the one we passed on the autobahn, not realizing until it was too late that there was a McDonald's in the next town.  We spotted its golden arches as we were getting on the autobahn.  Rather than turn around and go back to Mickey D's, Bill headed for A8.  It turned out the McDonald's we thought we were going to was located further away than we realized.  Spotting a Burger King, we pulled off at a truck stop, thinking we might score a Croissan'wich or something.


The boys enjoy a truck stop.  Lots to smell there.

The truck stop was located in Aichen and it was pretty disgusting.  The air smelled bad... kind of like a combination of garbage and sewage.  There was trash all over the place, especially near the picnic tables.  Nevertheless, Bill went in to find us some breakfast while I tended to Zane and Arran.  What we didn't realize is that apparently some Burger Kings in Germany don't offer breakfast.  The Burger King at the Aichen truck stop definitely didn't.  So Bill ended up getting a true truck stop breakfast, which took some time.  I was standing out there with the dogs, wondering what was going on, not knowing that Bill was getting us a full on breakfast packed in styrofoam and accompanied by plastic utensils.

He got me fried eggs and bacon and himself scrambled eggs with potatoes.  The scrambled eggs were supposed to come with ham, but the guy didn't have any on hand.


That's a lotta eggs!  The orange juice was excellent, though.  It was fresh squeezed!


Bill's deficient eggs.

We sat down at a picnic table and I remarked to Bill that there had been a steady stream of guys headed for the wooded area behind the truck stop.  Obviously, they didn't want to pay 70 cents to use the toilet.  I couldn't blame them for that, I guess.  However, there were a few fellows who didn't want to take the time to walk to the woods.  I saw at least two of them take a whiz right in front of everyone.  It's not uncommon to see people doing that at truck stops, though most people at least try to be a little private about it.


Germany sure is beautiful, isn't it?

After we ate, I decided to use the restroom.  As I walked into the truck stop, I was confronted by a family of four with no sense of urgency as they headed down to the facilities.  They were blocking the pay station, fishing for change.  I reminded myself that we weren't in a hurry because we had nothing planned.  I still wanted to do my business and get away from the nasty truck stop, though.


I suppose seeing this ad for desperate pregnant women was worth 70 cents.

Finally, we got back on the road and headed into Ulm.  Ulm is a very nice city.  I would definitely like to go back there sometime without the dogs.  It reminded me a lot of Munich in some ways.  In other ways, it reminded me of Tuebingen.   


One of the first things we saw were signs for a wine fest...


It was to open at 11:00am!


A farmer's market was also going on.  Unfortunately, Bill forgot to bring our shopping bags.  It's a shame, too.  We even had our cooler that plugs into the car and makes a little fridge.


The produce looked beautiful!


We did not go inside the cathedral because we had the dogs.  Had we gone in there, I think we would have climbed up the steeple.




I had to pause at this corner where three skilled musicians were busking.  Fiddle, guitar, and upright bass conspired to touch my heart as we wandered around the market.  In fact, even though we were only there for a couple of minutes, their music actually brought tears to my eyes.  I am a terrific sap when it comes to music.  We ended up giving them some euros.




We finally made our way toward the river and wandered through a very charming part of old town Ulm.  As we crossed over one of many bridges, I saw something puzzling...


Someone apparently decided to take a seat.


But really, much of the area near the fish market is just lovely, with waterfalls and ducks...





The people here very kindly left a water bowl out for passing dogs.





We should have stayed in Ulm.



Some guy stopped Bill to ask him a question.  A lot of people do that.  It's probably because he has a very kind face.  While he was struggling to speak German, I busied myself by taking this photo.  


Right about at this point, I decided I needed to make a pit stop.




We ended up at a Coffee Fellows.  I had hot chocolate that tasted more like hot chocolate milk.  Bill had a cafe Americano.  The boys got a rest.


I ended up being amused by this ad that was by the restrooms.  Look closely at the guy's underwear.  You'd never see that in the States!  I also thought the music at this particular coffee shop was pretty bad.  They were playing songs where N bombs were repeatedly dropping.  

Once we were finished with our coffee break, we started thinking about what we wanted to do next.  My German friend Susanne had given me some tips on a local place where there were pretty trails and biergartens.  I figured that might be a good place for us to take the dogs... but then as we rounded the corner, we realized it was 11:00... The wine fest was then open!

Part 3


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