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Posts from the ‘Germany’ Category

Ulmer Münster: the stairway to heaven

Almost at the top

The halfway room was a dark, wood-panelled affair. Breathless from the climb up, I stopped at its walls, lined with photographs of the world’s tallest religious towers in ascending order. Outside, a German visitor emerged from a stairwell and entered the room, smiling broadly. She was presumably on the way back down. Read more

The Fishermen’s Quarter, Ulm

Metzgerturm ("Butchers' Tower") and the Münster's spire in the background

Alone, I wandered into a quiet cobbled square, concealed from the Danube by a medieval stone gateway. The soothing, melodic notes of a piano, perhaps a music lesson, drifted in from an adjoining townhouse, lulling me into a dreamlike state. But the reverie was short-lived. Over my shoulder, I heard a sudden, booming yell from a man I could not see. “Haaaaaalt!” Read more

One day in Mannheim

Rosengarten, an Art Nouveau concert hall

Through the curtains, the spire of Konkordien Church struck an imposing silhouette in the golden morning light. After a fitful night’s sleep my brother and I had been awakened by an unexpected phone call from Room 145. “Your sister wants to spend quality time with you two at the salon,” my mother said, “It’s her wedding day.” Read more

Speyer: a Sunday stroll

Speyer in autumn

Beside the pink sandstone walls of Speyer Cathedral, we came across a musician in the shade of a plane tree, performing a personal rendition of Bach. From his glockenspiel the familiar notes of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring rang through the crisp November air, and I breathed in its magic as we admired the changing leaves of autumn. My sister and I had opted to spend a slow Sunday afternoon in one of Germany’s oldest cities, with more than 2000 years of recorded history. Read more

Morning mist in Heidelberg

It drapes the city like a blanket, cloaking its spires in a veil that blocks out the sun. I exhale, my breath a fragile puff of vapour that dissipates in the November chill.

I am walking down the Hauptstrasse, the mile-long main street running through Heidelberg’s old town, or Altstadt. I join a steady, purpose-filled stream of students on their way to class, clutching books and folders as their footsteps echo on the flagstones. The cold bites at my bare fingers as I hold the camera up close, releasing the shutter with an audible ‘click’. Read more

Bonn, an autumn rhapsody

On a bright November morning, the smell of sausages and freshly-baked bread permeates the crisp autumn air. Beneath the watchful gaze of the Beethoven monument, Bonn’s Münsterplatz is an image of European integration. Pretzels and traditional German snacks mingle with wares from as far south as the French Pyrenees, in a visually arresting mélange of Basque cheese, packets of dried lavender, and gourmet sausages: pheasant with cognac, wild boar, duck and hazelnut. Read more