For the first two days of our trip, Cameron’s time is taken by the conference, so I’m on my own for exploring. Today I went to Tubingen (two dots over the u), a small and ancient college town on the banks of the River Nektar. I traveled there by train, first on the local line from Sindelfingen, and then on a long-distance express from Stuttgart. This gave me ample opportunity to examine the German countryside, which I took, because not looking out the window made me feel a little carsick.
It wasn’t exactly inspiring scenery; not so much ugly as plain, in the way of a prosperous place that didn’t get where it was worrying about its looks. Some things, like the river that ran parallel for a while to the tracks, or the vineyards marching up the hillsides, might have had significantly more charm under blue skies but, though it never rained on me, the skies remained cloudy and gray the entire day.
(Detail of interest primarily to Mom: They seem to have no problem with putting their sewage treatment plants right on their rivers here.)
(Detail of interest to a broader range of readers: People shouting into cellphones in otherwise quiet environments seem to be a universal phenomenon.)
The old town part of Tubingen is tiny, probably no more than a quarter mile square, but upon entering it I found myself instantly lost, even more than usual. It has exactly the sort of tightly packed, half-timbered medieval buildings one sort of expects of Germany, all towering over narrow, hilly, orientation destroying cobblestone streets.