Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tübingen

So here's a bit about Tübingen, because most Americans have never heard of it. It sits about 40 minutes south of Stuttgart, in Baden-Wurttemburg. It is the site of the Eberhard Karl University, and it definitely has a university vibe to it. To me, it feels like a mix of North Berkeley and Cambridge, with all of the "Free Tibet" and "Unplug It!" and "I'm A Natural Gas Automobile" signs and the river and the punters; there are probably closer approximations that I'm not familiar with.
It was untouched during WWII, so it's a rare chance to see some authentic older slices of city planning and architecture. This is the Holderlin tower. Used to be part of the city battlements, then was the home of the poet Holderlin who lived here and went crazy. I can't imagine that his problem was with the house or the view. I think it's practically impossible to improve upon either.
Rob wanted to bring the students here to see something completely different from Berlin, and his friend Daniela puts on a month long language academy here during August. Many of the students are happier in a smaller town -- Berlin was often too big and too much for them. Others are really taken with the university program; they've had dinners and parties and all kinds of activities from sightseeing trips to salsa and flamenco nights. So while it felt too short for our family in Berlin, I guess it has worked as we intended it for the students.
The city straddles the Neckar river. Once the boys saw it, they determined that they had to rent a paddleboat. (a paddleboat?! why not a stockerkahn that the place is famous for?! But never mind, we'll do what they want for a week. Or a day at least.)
Rob took Will and Sebastian out and they rented a paddleboat. They were running errands and making reservations before and after, but got caught in a downpour while they were out on the Neckar river. They stuck it out under a tree.
We've been doing a lot of nothing and it feels really nice. Joss has gone to the playground, splashed in the canal, had three meals and one nap a day. We're enjoying simple pleasures like finding your keys or two matching socks. Having the time to watch The Curse of The Were-Rabbit five times in five days.
It's a breathtaking place to catch our breath.

1 comment:

jenlinmin said...

We never made it to Tubingen, much to our dismay, so thanks for posting the great photos and descriptions so I don't feel completely robbed!