I woke up in Hirschaid to gray cloudy skies again, but at least there was no rain — yet. I discovered a few more mosquito bites on my arms, legs and on the top of my left ear… you know this always starts your day in the best possible manner. I packed up and headed for the train station.
Apparently the train station in Hirschaid had been closed for six weeks until today (which explains the reason for the bus connection the day before) but there was still a lot of construction on the line. If there had been any other connection option, an earlier train for example, I would have taken it. As it was I needed to connect through Fürth to Würzburg to catch the Romantic Road coach through Röthenburg. I had almost 30 minutes to spare in the original plan but that was not enough. I made it to Fürth just fine but found the connecting train was already 10 minutes late. As I waited, the status board changed to 15 minutes late. Okay, this is still doable I told myself with mock enthusiasm. On board, the conductor announced the train would be 20 minutes late into Würzburg. Still possible to exit the train and run out to the bus stands without missing my pre-paid bus tour.
A few minutes later an announcement told me the train would be 30 minutes late and in reality we were 35 minutes late… clearly I missed my bus. I sat on a bench and reviewed my options and came to the conclusion thatI should jump on the next train to Augsburg and salvage a little of the day by spending a little time there (it’s also part of the Romantic Road). When I arrived, though, other than a little architecture the city was pretty work-a-day and not very interesting. I admit I was not trying very hard, though.
At least the sun was out! I think the rain gods have my itinerary and had not been informed of my change of plans (they were raining on the bus). When I arrived in Ulm it was still sunny as I walked from the train station to my hotel next to the Münster, a 161m tall steeple/church combo. I wish there was something nearby to reference to compare its height, but it is a spectacular structure that overshadows nearly everything in the city. There is another tall steeple a few blocks away but you almost don’t see it because you’re craning your neck up at the big one.
I found the memorial to Einstein (he was born in Ulm) at the spot of his childhood home. It’s now in a pedestrian shopping mall a few meters from a MacDonald’s and a Burger King. This is just wrong.
I grabbed a snack for dinner and planned on heading out in the early night to take photos of the steeple, but my fatigue caught up with me and I slept hard and long that night.