Ulm and the ultimate steeple stair climb!

After about an hour on the train from Stuttgart we arrived at the Ulm station. Not only was Karen’s cousin Oliver there but so too was his sister Sabine, a lovely surprise. We put the cases into the car and drove to a parking garage. From there we started to walk to the Münster. There were people everywhere. Apparently Ulm was hosting the Annual Einstein Marathon. To avoid the dedicated runners we even had to go over the track on a temporary bridge to reach the Münster square. It was a massive cathedral, it’s steeple being the highest in the world.

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We went in and walked around looking. Again the skill of the woodwork in the choir area was astounding.

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The stained glass windows were also a feature but many had not survived World War II, now replaced with plain coloured glass. After a good look around Oliver suggested we had time to climb the steeple. I paid for the privilege for Karen, Oliver and me. Sabine’s knees wouldn’t enjoy the climb! So off we went up, up, up, up! At a few points we came to landings and were able to take in the ever expanding but size diminishing view. It was a good chance to catch our breath as this was certainly a good workout!

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The landings were also a good thing as we had become a bit dizzy with the narrow circular staircases, even though they changed the direction at each landing. Finally we came to a point where the last section was visible. It was now a narrow central section in the middle, of course!

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After some discussion Karen and I braved it and joined Oliver in the final ascent of over 120 stairs to the very top. We encountered some other visitors coming down and it was very squishy passing each other. A breathtaking view in all ways awaited us and we felt we had done well in achieving the highest point.

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Our descent on the narrow central section also provided us with some squeezy passing points as other adventurous souls came up.

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We stopped for a while and took in the view and chatted. Oliver was able to provide us with information about what we were seeing down below. Sabine rang Oliver’s mobile and asked where we were, so that encouraged us into continuing the downwards windy trip. At the bottom we met Sabine and crossed the Münster square to a cafe where we celebrated our achievement with beers and hot chocolates.

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Daylight was fading but next we walked around the old part of the town past the impressive Rathaus and many old framework buildings, along the river and back to the car. It had been a short stop but thoroughly worth while!

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