Borne under the Neckarbrücke, the main bridge and thoroughfare connecting the old-town and university of Tübingen to the rest of Germany, Planenallee has raucous beginnings. But, caressed on all sides by the gently flowing Neckar river, this is an urban island that defies the hustle and bustle of downtown on a Monday afternoon. Not soon after entering the cathedral of 200 year old London planes trees and journeying East along the island, one is transported to a peaceful world gently dominated by the lapping of the river below and the leaf-en giants above.
Here one may sit and enjoy the distant facade of centuries-old buildings with their pointed roofs and brightly colored shutters, or look to the northern shore to where pole-boat-men and women are preparing their vessels for a festive day of touring, or watch the many passerby who have come to christen their day with a touch of natural serenity. No matter your chosen state of presence, the endless green canopy above will accompany your soul with its tranquil rustling, dancing to the rhythms of the wind.
With enough awareness one can almost hear the satisfaction of the willows across the river as their best positioned fronds graze the water, upsurging it through bark and branches and circulating it to all the tree’s thirsty parts.
A group of school teens chatter and giggle, but become very quiet and respectful when their teacher begins to speak. Onward they go off into the progressive yet traditional city - past the pigeon house and up the stairs, and across the flower-box adorned railings positively bursting with blooms of loveingly chosen colors. As they depart the green cathedral, I too prepare to take my leave. For serenity has been achieved, and Tübingen's quaint hustle and bustle calls once more.