Week 11.2 | Tübingen excursion & Hohenzollern Castle

17 May 2015
An excursion to another German town, Tübingen 

It was rather cold that day
I love schooltrips excursions from the Hochschule because they are so cheap (only 10 Euro per person) and all the activities are planned for the students. All we have to do is just be physically there for it. Additionally, I can see some hidden gems in Germany.
Instead of traveling with a train, this time, it is bus trip time. Again, the sceneries we saw during our journey, they were beautiful. They journey took around 2 hours and we were meeting our tour guide straight away.

Neckarinsel (Nectar Island)
First stop, Neckarinsel which is a really small island near the town. Although it's small, we were told that the island are used for concerts sometimes especially during summer time. Hmm, must be very crowded when there's event going on I guess.

Our English tour guide
Naturally, our Offenburg student group are split into two groups: one tour is in German, and the other in conducted in English. I forgot the guide's name but all I know is that he is from America and he's been studying in Tubingen for a few years. The first thing that caught our attention was his style of course. A fusion look of Sheldon + Leonard from TBBT.  Hahaha.

The view of the one part of the old university from the island. 
Okay, I'll blabber about the things I remembered from the trip but please don't trust what I say. I might have remember it wrongly too but I'll try.
Back in the days, a small number of professors and scholars lived in the university (this exact building). The professors will occupy the highest floor and the students will occupy the lowest one. The rooms in the middle floor are used as classrooms of course. Apparently, the students had the duty to clean the walkway of the professors' floor too and in return they are given free alcoholic drinks. This turns out to be a problem because the students were getting so drunk, they made a lot of noise that results in the residents in the vicinity to be very unhappy about them. And I forgot what they did after that.
The first three subjects that were taught here were Medicine, Law and Theology (if I remember correctly). All the instructions in the university were given in Latin language. Apparently, there are many famous people who graduated from this university. E.g. the astronomer Johannes Kepler; the economist Horst Köhler (President of Germany); Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), poet Friedrich Hölderlin, and the philosophers Friedrich Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
-Wiki reference

They call this "punting" 
Colorful buildings

Colorful buildings at another angle  
The river looks heavenly

Walking around town with our guide

Evangelisches Stift 

Random window

Some... gate.. thing........... yeah 
A creepy head statue of some... famous guy.. Idk.

Decided to take a picture of this mini hut because it reminds me of John Carter, the movie


One interesting story about the church. Apparently they have to shorten the "tower" because they did not have enough money for construction. That is way the church looks very out of proportion (big base, short tower). I've had enough of seeing church interiors, so I didn't go in and have a look. Interesting enough, google map has a 360 degree view of it. Huh, go figure.

Lunch time

Had spatzle, pork shoulder, sausage and lentils. A bid lunch for a small girl. 
Lunch was great although a bit expensive. I think that was the most expensive lunch I've ever had in Germany. I'm a spendthrift on a special day like this.

Punting time!!!! 

My hair looks so awful. "Punting" is a perfect activity for those who wish to ride the gondola in Venice. But of course, it is a much cheaper version but worth every penny. I totally love this.  

our "punter"? I made that word up.

Everyone is just chilling. I love how we can just sit and lay on our backs too. Genius.

A magical experience

Funny story, I actually said something that I shouldn't out loud and I sexually harassed the guy who is responsible to drive our "punt"(well, I only suggest Berit to check out those arms). Hahaha. Not intentionally of course, but I feel kind of bad because he went quiet for awhile. *crying and laughing so hard right now*

I get to drive the punt too! It was quite an honour and it's not as easy as it looks! The long stick actually weight about 10kgs but of course when it is in the water, it is not that heavy. Still, it is hard to move it against the current. I also found out that when we want to rotate left or right, all we have to do is just leave the stick in the water to the left/right of the boat end. If you don't understand what I mean, it is okay. The main point is that I understand. LOL.

Berit and Bea also tried out punting! 

And this is Luca as a model. He is just giving me, the photographer, a variety of poses. Hahaha.

Next, the Hohenzollern Castle. 30 minutes drive from Tubingen.

And I have to tell you...

... it's a climb alright.... 
But we survived! 
But remember to bring enough water. I finished mine and I was thirsty as hell when I reach the top. From all the gasping and heavy breathing.  

You shall not pass! Just kidding.. Come on right in.

All I see is inverted love

Secret garden

Breathtaking view from the castle. And again, it's so much more beautiful to see it with your own eyes. 

Feels a bit like Disneyland... Even though I've never went there before.

Getting a tour of the castle

"House shoes" for the castle visit
The highlights of the day, two baby owls
Camera was prohibited inside so I have no pictures to show. I secretly took a picture of the giant shoes though. And also a picture of the baby owls I took when I was outside. At first, we saw it from the inside of the room and I thought it was a fake owl. It kept very still but someone said they saw it blinked so I was waiting for it to move. Apparently, it is real. Wow, my first wild owl sighting. This is so cool. The tour guide told us they weren't there the day before, so I guess we were pretty lucky. 

About the castle, they still keep the floor clean because the castle is still being used and some times the royal Prussian family (which I have forgotten the names :S) still goes and stay there. In the summer season, the castle is used to house children from all over the world and I heard they usually stay for two weeks. Actually the castle rooms are not very big. It is only used as a fortification.

I also heard some very strange and amusing stories about the people who used to live there too. Apparently, in the old days, the people are shorter. So, in the past, men has the same height as me (I'm 158cm tall) or less than that! They also don't bathe that often. It is normal for them to take a bath 3-4 times per year. Yes. we are talking about the royal family who used to live in that castle. They didn't like water very well. In the old days, being fair skin is a very good thing. And also they wear white wig (both men and women). Wearing a wig also helps to eradicate the oily scalp problem from not bathing that much. They usually wear the wig at day time and when they go to sleep, they will put the wig away in a bird cage so that the birds will eat the fleas and bugs in the wig. I know... sounds disgusting! Apparently, the ladies wear flea traps under their dress too! This is much more horrifying! Perfume are of course widely used to cover up their foul odour but if this would happen today, I think we would instantly faint with one whiff.

Soldier who has been guarding the castle for decades or even centuries

Hey yo!
End of excursion
It was only 5.30pm when we started our journey back. We reached Offenburg at 7.30pm. For me, I think the idea of driving two hours away (four hours as a round-trip) for just a one day trip is exhausting. Well, it is still exhausting even though I am not driving. But, after this trip, I feel like I shouldn't limit myself when it comes to travelling. In Malaysia, I think the chance of me doing this is really low. Even if the journey is one hour, I will still feel really lazy to travel. I might have to change the way I see things. Else, I'll be missing so much on life.

But yeah, enough blabbering for this post. Please ignore if I have any grammar mistake, I'm not perfect and I'm short on time these few days to proofread my blog post. So yeah. Ciao!

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