Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Tubingen - Jan 10

Our hosts in Sindelfingen take us to the university town of Tubingen - 180 km/h on the autobahn (for only 5 k's, unfortunately) and a swing through what turns out to be an outpost of the Black Forest. Tubingen is a university town, enlivened by 30,000 students, and has a strong medical/genetic background: cell nuclei were first isolated in the schloss' kitchen, and the fuchsia was named after one Fuchs, whose house we photograph.
And those houses! They are everything the postcards say - stone bases, timber post-and-beam construction with brick or rubble infill, above. Ancient timbers, carefully replaced (this form of construction is quite easy to repair, as it's all exposed), and just oozing antiquity. Many humourous touches - carvings of little people holding up bits of the buildings on corners and under beams, and a lot of painting to resemble other, grander decorations on otherwise flat surfaces. Old timber. Bulgy stone walls. Delightful colours and lots of hills. We have a great old walk around - mine host acting as guide, and getting around the (inevitable) mediaeval streets without getting lost. We lunch at a Schwabian specialty restaurant (one of many): dumplings and various local dishes. Very filling and delicious.

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