Arriving + Ulm, Germany

16 August 2011.
Gelato: Cappuccino + Tiramisu

My Aunt and I have made it to Germany! We flew with Swiss Air form LAX to Zurich, Switzerland and then to Stuttgart, Germany. We had a very nice time relaxing on the plane and the flight seemed much shorter then 11 hours it actually took! I don’t know why my mom and I have never visited Germany before, but I know I will return many more times! I feel very comfortable with these family members I have never met before!

Germany is made up of many counties. My family is from an area of Bavaria that borders Baden-Württemberg. Schwabia (southern Germany) is culturally different from northern Germany and they speak Swabish, a softer form of German, compared to the High-German spoken in the North.

I am staying in a small town that is located south of Ulm. My Great Aunt (Großtante) lives in the house that was built behind the house where she and my Grandma (Oma) were born. She lives downstairs while her son and his family live upstairs. Her son’s children (I will call them cousins) are a little bit younger then me and speak wonderful English! It has been so much fun comparing our cultures! There are so many stereotypes that they learn from American Television and wonder if they are true.

18 August 2011. Ulm.
Gelato: Ananas (Pineapple) + Banane (Banana)

Today my cousins, Tab and Mel, took me to the town of Ulm. Ulm is not in the state of Bavaria, but in Baden-Württemberg. The towns of Ulm and Neu-Ulm sit of either side of the Danube River and stretches about the size of San Luis Obispo. It has many great shops and a wonderful history. We walked through much of old Ulm, seeing the beautifully painted Rathaus (City Hall), a new public library, the Schiefeshaus, and soaked our feet in the Danube River. In the center of Ulm is a great Lutheran church called the Ulmer Münster. There is a plaza in front of the Ulmer Münster that is now home to a new civic center designed by the Architect Richard Meier. If you know Richard Meier, he designed the Getty Musium, you know that he usually creates large, modern, white structures. However, I think that this new building fits in very nicely with the gothic style of the Ulmer Münster because it uses many of the same forms.

Atop the roof of the Ulmer Münster is a sparrow holding a piece of straw. This bird has now become a symbol for the city of Ulm. The story goes, while the people of Ulm were building the city, they were trying to bring a log into the city, however, the log was too wide to fit through the main gate. So the builders watched the sparrow, or Ulmer Spatz, carry some straw to the home he was building. To bring the straw through the door of his home, the sparrow turned the straw sideways so that it could fit the short way through the door! Amazing!

The Ulmer Münster is known for being the tallest church in the world because it has a tall spire measuring over 500 feet, so my cousin Tab and I had to climb up. We finally made it up the 768 steps to the top step and watched the people below! The climb to the top gave such a great view of Ulm and the red-tile roofs that radiate from the city center. Such a wonderful day getting to know my family!

**Also, My class and I all made it safely to Florence, Italy on the 25 August. It has been such a busy two weeks, but more posts will be coming soon. We have found a great apartment between Santa Croce Cathedral and The Duomo in the old center of Florence. Language classes start tomorrow! We are all slowly finding our way through the narrow streets and having lots of fun. Ciao!**


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