Thursday, April 06, 2006

Re-Post: Ulm Summary

Original posted on: June 23rd, 2004

Karl and I spent the weekend in Nattheim, a small town just outside Ulm. The town is note worthy for having two stoplights, one school and being the temporary residence of Jan and Olga Hoffman. Over all it was a very low key weekend, but it was really good for me to get a chance to see Olga again. Olga is a young lady who stayed at our place two winters ago while student teaching in Winnipeg. Stephen and I consider her our older sister from a different mother (....and father).

Olga and Jan

I'll briefly summarize the highlights for us:

On Friday we attended the school where Olga was teaching. Due to it being a small town, and the children never having seen a Canadian before, we had instant celebrity status. After showing the kids pictures of Winnipeg from a coffee table book about our city, the majority of kids wanted to move immediately to Winnipeg and live there... poor kids. Also, I was the fastest Grade 1er at subtracting numbers under 20 in German. I finished first in my initial round (knocking Karl out of competition) and then stole the show in the final round with a convincing victory. I was appointed math king for the day and received an official certificate (Mom if you're reading this, save some space on the fridge).

Myself, proudly bearing the certificate

Saturday was Jan's birthday and we celebrated outdoors in the evening. Someone had created an oversized Twister mat, and we had a team competition. Our team arose victorious thanks to Karl's strategic game play and Olga's superior strength.

Awwww, two locally brewed bottles by candlelight

Playing Twister

Sunday, we went to Ulm munster which has the largest church spire in the world. We climbed up the numerous spiral staircases to the top, for a total step count of around seven to nine hundred (Karl counted, I'll get an exact figure later).

The inside of the spire

We then stopped by an Italian ice cream shop, which had the most creative visual designs for ice cream in a bowl I've yet to see, along with a wide range of excellent flavours. Later Karl and I took the Hoffmans out to a Sardinian restaurant they knew of for an excellent supper.

Italian Eis!

...and that was our stay. Thanks Olga and Jan for your hospitality.

Ed: It never struck me until a friend came back from Germany and shared a similar experience of the elaborately created Italian ice cream creations, that this seems to be something unique to Germany. I travelled Italy and while it was no problem to find Gelati, I never came across these crazy "Italian" ice cream inventions. Perhaps it shares a similar story to the infamous Döner, which was popularized by Turkish immigrants to Germany, but differs from its original form to appeal to a German market.

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