Tübingen, Germany

Neckar River, the famous boats, and an island in the middle

Tübingen is a beautiful university town in Southern Germany. Dad was there for a few days so I decided to include a visit in my whirlwind European tour. We arrived at 10 pm after our Baden Baden day. I was pretty tired and thought about going to bed. Dad suggested meeting up for a drink, which meant we walked up the hill to one of the main squares where a festival was happening! Stadfest!

We ordered beers from one of the tents, which I found confusing since I was given two tokens instead of two beers. Wait, what does that mean? Dad explained that the tokens for when we turned in the glasses after drinking and got our glass deposit back. Glass and bottle deposits were common in Germany and Switzerland- it’s a great idea to me!

We took our beers and sat down at one of the tables. It was a lot of fun because everyone was in such a good mood! There was a lot of singing along to the music and it felt very happy and carefree. Also, drunk, for sure since everyone else had probably been partying for hours rather than on a never-ending train ride.

We had two beers and left as the party was winding down about 90 minutes later. Dad and I bought the second-most delicious thing I ate on the trip, which was a bratwurst with mustard on a roll from a food tent set up on the street. It was delicious! Late night snacks after drinking, plus a little bit of jetlag-fueled hunger, are best addressed by bad-for-you, tasty-to-eat types of food!

The next day, we walked around historic Tübingen. We went to the Hölderlin Tower, where a famous poet lived for the second half of his life as a boarder renting out the second floor. Some of his translated poetry was very evocative. He really liked rivers, which is fitting since the Neckar flows by right below his window. The back garden was beautiful where there was a statue that had a plaque that said the statue was meant to reflect the emotional state the Hölderlin’s poetry creates, rather than actually looking like Hölderlin. Um, okay. I guess the likeness is pretty poor, then? I thought the statue was nice.

Tübingen, not a fan of the pigeons! This is the pigeon house where the pigeons roost and the city-workers steal the eggs to keep numbers down!

Next, we walked up the steep hill to Hohentübingen Castle, where there’s a great museum overseen by the university. We saw the UNESCO-approved Ice Age mammoth ivory tusk figurines. The most famous one is a little horse (Vogelherd horse), whose legs seem to have fallen off sometime in the last 40,000 years. It’s the first example of figurative art known in modern human existence. Very impressive, especially since 40,000 years later, my own drawing of horses look way worse and less horselike!

Eros, casually riding on a centaur

We also saw other antiquities. It was a really nice museum. The castle itself is on the high ground so once we were done, we went outside and took in the views. Next, we grabbed some lunch from a very limited menu (Sundays), which was two pieces of perfectly toasted toast with cheese. It was okay though because I was saving my appetite for a delicious dinner.

I climbed to the top of the church tower while Dad went back to the hotel. The views were pretty spectacular. Apparently, the bellringer lived up in the loft with his family in olden times. There was a rule that they couldn’t toss their waste from the top of the tower, which, as the sign says, probably means they did it and therefore necessitated the rule being made!

I took a quick nap and then it was time to go to dinner. We walked up the hill again to Restaurant Mauganeschtle. We sat on the terrace on another gorgeous evening. For a started, I had a delicious salad and Dad had a cold soup. For the main, we each ordered a pork dish- mine was with a white wine sauce and his was with a creamy mushroom sauce. Both were excellent! We each had an aperitif to start, followed by a glass of wine. Even though I normally drink reds, I had a riesling since we were in an area known for them. It was very good, very much on the dry side which is what I wanted. I’m not a big fan of sweet rieslings.

After that, we walked back to the hotel. No Stadfest tonight! The next day, I was planning on leaving for Wengen, Switzerland for a two day stay in what I think is the most beautiful place on earth!

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