Hiking in Ulm

Three hour journey by slow train from Heidelberg with a changeover at Sttutgart I reach Ulm to meet my cousin. The main idea I had in mind this time was to do some hiking in Ulm, so we start with the cathedral. Its the tallest church in the world and we need to climb 768 spiral steps to reach the top.

From the top you get a nice view of the Alps but unfortunately it was cloudy and we didnt get a clear view, probably spring time would have been better.

While starting our climb there were some who while coming down said it was very difficult but when reaching the top I did not find it any difficult. Probably the spiral staircase added to the effect.

In the evening around 4:00pm we started our second hike along the river Danube. It was not a tough one but we did quite a long stretch and we were back by around 7:00pm which meant approximately 3hrs of hike with 2 breaks.

(Hotel slanted to one side. This Restaurant stands on water)

Next day morning we went to Ulm University to take one umbrella for protection against rain. Yeah it was raining from morning and also quite windy. but we couldnt walk long since the umbrella became a boat twice and anymore might break it!! After some time it started raining quite heavily thats when we decided to return after halting for some time. Could have done lot more if the weather was better.

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Good places to eat in Heidelberg, Germany

After entering Heidelberg cross the OMV petrol bunk and when you look to the left there you will spot Burger King. Diagonally opposite on the right side is “Mand’y Railway Dinner – Real American Taste”place. Its modelled like a train coach and is an American restaurant. The food is quite good. You get burgers, pan cakes, sandwiches, milkshakes. The price is also not very high and very much affordable. The ambience is definitely better and you get a change after eating burger’s in McDonalds or Burger King.

If you are tired of eating Pizza’s in Pizza Hut there is always another place. On Haupfstrasse when you walk towards the Castle few meters before Pizza Hut you got this place. I dont remember the name but the Pizza’s are quite good. You also get good spicy one’s.

Not to forget the Donner Kababs. This is best place for cheap and heavy food. One Donner Kabab gross (big) costs 3.5€ and is definitely the best bet for my wallet. If you want spicy you can add some chilly flakes.

If you are an Indian or want to taste Indian food, “Raja Rani” restaurant is there. You can reach this by walking on Haupfstrasse towards the castle and need to take a left turn before the end. The food can be customized completely with regard to the spices. The food is also not costly here.

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Walk through the woods

After a day of skiing, the next day we went for a long walk through the woods. About 2kms from the ski house we parked the cars and then started the journey. This place is called “Ice Tobal”. You walk down first to reach water stream. This was covered with ice in most parts and I did have a good fall once. Good fall is just the opposite of bad fall.

Then it was a long walk along the water stream. We stopped after about 1hr of walking since we needed to return. But one can still walk a long way further for another good 2hrs. Covered with trees and water on one side with quite a bit of snow around it was cold enough.

This photo is not of ground but of the sides. The ice hanging can be noticed.

What needs to be mentioned is I missed India a lot in this place. In a location like that, lot of families would have gone with packed lunch and boxes with snacks and stuff, sat there to eat an wash hands in the river. Gone between the trees to take a leak. I think in that way people here don’t know how to maximise the use of natural resources, yes probably could be because there are not many people who visit this place.


Skiing experience

Probably for the first time and last time in my life I did skiing. Its not possible to ski anywhere in South India where I hail and work from. But now being in Germany and winter season we planned for this outing for another german friend who is also a ski instructor. So off we went on Friday evening heading towards place called Allgäu by car through all the traffic jam. Finally we reached the place and the ski house where we were supposed to stay for the next two days.

We were in all 29 in number and best part is, cooking was made collectively. Everyone had to clean their own rooms, use the blankets and replace them, clear off stuff and other activities. There are no maids one gets for doing these chores unlike back home.
On Saturday 17th February 2007, we start off to get our ski’s for rent from a shop nearby. First step is to find the right size of shoe. Your toe should not be touching against the edge of shoe then this would lead to pain later on. Next is to get a ski. Since you need to lock your shoe in the middle of ski, the pressure should be optimum on the ski. This pressure is determined by the size of your shoe and also width of your knee. After this you take two sticks which comes not more than your waist height or too much below.

After getting all the equipment and putting it into the car we drove up the mountains about an hr drive from the ski house to Gräsgehren. There was quite a bit of snow and here starts the training. The first step is to wear the boots. Its not easy walking with those boots and we managed to reach the van which would take us further up with the ski’s and sticks over our shoulders.

Once on top we walked on snow a bit with boots to get accustomed. Most important thing is to do warm-up before skiing lest we pull our muscles. So, we place the sticks in the snow and run around, do some stretching exercises. Now time to get on to the ski’s. Its very important that the ski should not be pointing downward otherwise we would be dragged down. So, the ski head should be pointing 90deg away from slop of any kind. Then we were taught to learn walking on the snow with the ski’s and stick. The knees should be bent sideways so that the side of the ski’s hits the ground and gets sufficient friction to stay hold. Its necessary to also take only small steps initially.

Once you get used to walking without falling down, the next step begins. There is a technique in also falling down. When you are falling its always good to slide down on the side so that we dont fall with full face down.
How to turn around. When you turn there is always a possibilty that you get dragged down the snow. So, you should use the sticks to hold the ski’s by pushing it into the snow.

To get moving, you need to bend low and hold the sticks and push yourself. When you do this, you get a momentum to move forward. When you come down for stopping you need bend to the side you are moving and then incline the ski’s to the side so that you generate the friction for stopping it.

If you have got this part correctly and able to move around, climb up and ski down then you are ready for doing in bigger area. Its not as easy as it sounds above. it takes the entire energy out of you.

More photos can be viewed here.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day to all. Enjoy the evening with flowers & chocolates.
Am walking around streets of Mannheim checking out how this day is celebrated here in Germany. Hope to be back with pictures tomorrow.


No pictures were possible as there were continuous rains from evening till night 11:00pm the time when I went back to Hotel.