• Donna

Budget Friendly Fun in Tübingen Germany 1

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

We arrived into Tübingen on a German high, having fallen for the ease of living and robust enjoyment of life that we had come to find everywhere in this country. And of course Tübingen took it to a new level, thanks to Saskia, our host, tour-guide, translator, and friend.

Traditional buildings in Tubingen Germany central square.

We arrived from Frankfurt using the Deutsche Bahn regional trains ticket - which cost us 25 euro each, and allowed us to ride on any of regional trains from #Frankfurt through the state of Baden Wurtemburg from 10am to 11pm. This was a great deal. We absolutely could have used Blablacar for ~10 euro each, but Donna loves the German rail system and wanted at least one day of smooth, clean, and efficient train bliss. After ~4 hours and 3 trains, (all on time), we arrived in the Tübingen Hauptbahnhof, where Saskia and her other visiter-friend Patrick were waiting to collect us.

Saskia lives on a hill above the old city, 45 minute walk/20 minute bus ride from the center of town. After taking the bus to her apartment, we promptly took a barefoot walk to the Necker, the same river that runs through Heidelberg, picking tasty apples and plums along the way. The swim was refreshing and invigorating, just what we needed, our naked group waving to passing rowers as they zoomed on by.

We had to return the bikes to Andi’s house in the town over, so we bought a small bottle of Jageermeister to warm us up for the ride. And that’s when the real fun began...
Hiking Directions post sign at Bad Urach, Germany

Saskia had to work the next day, so she sent the 3 of us on a day excursion to the nearby town of Bad Urach for a hike and a visit to some free castle ruins. We hopped on the train at the Tübingen Hauptbanhof, and an hour later were at Bad Urach Wasserfall, a small station with a surrounding spider-webbed network of hiking trails. For the next couple of hours of pleasant and well-marked hiking, we saw a fairy tale-like waterfall, a giant black and yellow salamander, and scores of fit elderly German wanderers (the word for hikers). Our excursion culminated in the castle ruins of Hohenurach, with glorious century-old nooks and crannies to explore, as well as 360 views of the countryside framed by stone partitions and arrow slots. We descended from the hilltop, bought beers and pretzels from a convenience store, and waited for the return train to Tübingen while watching children ride horses in the nearby stable.

Vegetable Barbecue on a terrace in Germany.

During the evening Saskia had arranged for a barbecue with some of her friends in another nearby town. They even indulged the vegans by going heavy on the vegetables, and we stopped to buy tasty little vegan finger sausages at Real, the local mega-mart. Fueled by good German beer, the BBQ quickly turned festive: the grill converted into a fire pit; Donna strung up the emerengy LED light-strand she keeps in her fanny-pack, and the music got bumping as the sun set on another beautiful day. We stayed the night at Saskia’s friend’s house (Andi), and somehow managed to wrangle enough borrowed bikes together to ride back to home base the next morning.

We were lucky to have Saskia as tour guide for the weekend. Saturday was Tübingen tour day, and we hit all the stops. University and surrounding park. Main square and Tübingen Schloss (castle). The schloss now houses university offices, and is actually where the nucleous was discovered. Other noteworthy and cool local attractions: a really long and echo-y pedestrian tunnel, gondoliers ferrying tourists on the river, and various buildings as hotbeds of student activism. We had to return the bikes to Andi’s house that evening, so bought a small bottle of Jagermeister to warm us up for the ride. And that’s when the real fun began...

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