Just as a warning, please be prepared for all kinds of sappy nostalgia. Loads of pictures and stories of food and German architecture.
6 years ago, I got on a plane with 2 suitcases and a travel backpack; my first time abroad and ready to stamp up my new passport. I was embarking on a year-long study abroad voyage to Germany. I’d be taking a full load of classes each semester and trying to travel in between.
I was scared. I was nervous. I was excited. I was ready.
5 years ago, I finished up my year abroad and left Tübingen, not knowing when I’d be able to return again. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t excited. I wasn’t ready. I was sad.
Well, I’M BAACCCKKKKKK! it only took me 5 years!
Commence photo overload.
After a 7.5 hour train ride on 6 different trains from Bitburg-Erdorf, I was ready to be DONE. I arrived in Tübingen around 9pm and took in the familiar train station. It was like coming home. I dragged my wheeled luggage to a bus, took it to the Neckarbrücke and got off (closest to the Marktplatz). Let me just say how NOT fun it is to drag a wheeled suitcase at 9:15pm (or anytime) through cobblestone streets. But I made it to the Marktplatz and my first view was the beautiful Rathaus:
Totally worth the train ride.
Plan for the night: eat bread and French cheese and olives and have good conversations and then PASS OUT.
The next day it was all about exploring my old stompin grounds and trying to remember where everything was.
While living in Germany, we all bought used bikes. It’s a small town, the university is spread out around town and moat everyone walks, bikes or takes the bus to get where thy need to go. Perfect living if you ask me. I had a bike that I loved. I got into a bad accident on a wet morning going really fast downhill, trying o get to class on time. It had rained the night before so the path was still wet. And since it was fall, it was also covered in slippery leaves. Perfect combo for a downhill ride, right? Since we lived on the top of a huge hill, the left side of the path was a brick wall covered in ivy and the right aide of the path was small “fence” with a cliff on the side. Even better! Towards the end of our ride, my back tire hot some of the wet levee and I started to fishtail, BAD. I had no control over my bike anymore and that was definitely in the top “scared for your life” moments. Luckily I was able to steer enough to go left instead of over the cliff, my front wheel clipped the wall, I Superman flew over my handlebars, slammed on the ground and skidded until I hit the wall. End result? Torn jeans, ripped jacket, bent handlebars, bloody/muddy knee and bloody palms. Just how any girl wants to go to class.
But we had amazing bike rides, too, don’t get me wrong. That was jut really memorable. So I’m walking along the main street and there are bikes parked everywhere around town (literally everyone has one). I’ve probably passed by at least 300 bikes already that day, not paying much attention. Then I pass by this building with a lie bike perched up against it. I walk by it, then stop, whip around and do a double and triple take.
It’s my old bike! From 5 years ago! I may or may not have (definitely go with may) gotten a wee bit misty-eyed as I greeted my old friend with a “hey buddy.” Then I tried to sneak the above picture before the new owner came out and thought I was a lunatic.
You’ve made it through the first day!
Today I woke up with the intention of taking the bus up to Waldhäuser Ost (WHO), where our old dorms were, walk around a bit, and then try to remember the path to Bebenhausen, a local village/monastery/castle. I also wanted to get a run in while going to Bebenhausen since I haven’t done much running (sad, I know). After about 15 minutes around WHO and sneaking in a picture of my old building, I set off in the direction that I thought was correct. I had to stop at the gas station along the way and get a new bottle of water since I had just finished mine, still had quite a ways to go, and it was supposed to be 87*F that day. I was already sweating.
It really is a beautiful walk, and we used to ride bikes out here all the time. There are fields and fields of corn, whatever else they’re growing and apple trees. Once you walk passed all the fields, you get to a forested trail that you have to go through for quite awhile:
We did the tour of the inside when we lived here, so I just stuck to the perimeter.
The walk back is mainly uphill. Cue the crying of my quads and hamstrings. Since they worked so hard, I treated them to a Kugel of Mango Eis 🙂
My last full day in Tübingen is tomorrow 😦