This is the first post. You might expect it to be about a big trip - or plans thereof. It is not; not yet at least. Out and About is also about the small adventures. The kind that you experience when you get up and go out there. Nowadays "getting out there" can be just outside of your four walls, the next street around the corner, the neighbouring village, country or continent. We are not all in the lucky situation that we can travel far away all the time. Even more so, we should actually go somewhere, somehow and see the world; bit by bit. Maybe on small trips, just like this one.
We had a few things to tick off on this rare sunny day (somehow it's raining more in Germany at the moment than it ever did when we were still in the UK). Riding a bike was of course top priority. But there are other things out there that want to be ridden, too. Summer-bob-sledding is clearly one of them.
Riding a bike was of course top priority
A surprising number of places around here would offer such thrill to kids of all sizes. One of those places happened to be somewhere along the lines of where we'd be headed: Donnstetten. They've got quite a decent setup. Besides the super slower restaurant (20 minutes for a serving of chips ... their only downside, really), there is a modern slope on which brightly coloured carts do their service. And what a service they do. After being pulled up, by what can only be twenty bulls pulling in unison, those tiny carts go downhill at decent speed. Thank goodness they're held in place by hefty rails - otherwise we'd have seen our cart go rubber-side up in the first bend. Turns out, their brakes serve more than just decorative purpose.
Safely back on our feet we continued towards Blautopf (the spring of the river Blau). The roads were packed with other motorcycles of various shapes and sizes. We didn't have a chance to marvel at them for too long though, as many of the bikes were ridden at some silly speed through the countryside. Wherever you looked - if your view was not temporarily obstructed by a fast moving bike - it was simply gorgeous. Lush green and yellow fields separated the villages we passed through. The air was thick with pollen; certainly enough to maintain a good ol' constant nose itchiness causing Ioana to make rather funny faces.
Totally worth it though. What a gorgeous place.
To get to Blaubeuren - the picturesque village hosting the Blautopf - we descended from the the heights of the Swabian Alps into a valley of green. Surrounded by rough mountains, following the tight road, we evaded cars who underestimated how tight the road would really be. Upon our arrival we had to make our way through the troves of tourists who all had the same idea: see the pot of blue. This destination was much more touristic than we expected. And it being a bank holiday didn't make things easier. So we tried our best and Christian practiced his Mod 1 slalom, substituting people for bright orange cones. Totally worth it though. What a gorgeous place. It's a regional biker hotspot, too of course.
We wandered around the nice "blue spot" a for few minutes, taking the mandatory selfie, and decided that we should leave the crowd. In celebration of our escape we got some ice-cream and started walking towards the local monastery. It rivals the natural wonder next door in beauty and splendour. The old walls, paintings, wooden beams and park make it well worth a stop. Unfortunately, we couldn't linger too long as dark clouds set out to lend the weather forecast some credibility.
Threatened by the stormy forecast we raced against the impeding and involuntary shower. We made our way to Ulm, just on the corner. Vroomie (our bike) found a cosy spot in a nearby parking garage. With our stuff safe and dry, we set of for a stroll past the famous Ulm Munster. An impressive Lutheran church in Gothic style (not a cathedral, it turns out). It's so tall that you can find some chairs around, to sit on for a better perspective preventing some permanent back and neck pain. As future pensioners, we decided to take up this offer and enjoy the view for a few minutes. Eventually realising that the earlier ice-cream just whet our appetite, we decided to find a decent joint to eat. Traditional Swabian-Asian fusion cuisine was in order (not really a thing - it's merely your regular off-the-mill Chinese food). As we lavished on the rather delicious assortment of vegetarian Dim sum, the outside world drowned in rain. Just before we finished feasting, so did the water falling from the sky.
Traditional Swabian-Asian fusion cuisine was in order
Next stop was a spot somewhere along the bank of the Iller (a river separating Baden-Württemberg and Bayern) for Ioana to collect some pebbles. Did we mention it had rained? At lot? Well, it did. A lot. So the Iller had turned from a tame river to a swollen water, denying any access to pebbles. After our first crossing (of course on a bridge, not that adventurous yet) we were one the hunt for a road that would lead us towards the river. We were following the main road, when a beautiful place caught our eye. Short grass, nice trees and to our disappointment: a golf course. Exactly like in UK, when you think you found the best place on the planet, you discover it's only accessible to folks with golf clubs wearing pink shirts. As our attire didn't fit this description and we are not interested in big games revolving around small balls, we left the area disappointed, still looking for a way to get the illusive pebbles.
Little did we know that finally happiness would ensue as we set of towards the motorway just to cross the Iller one last time. Our last chance to have a happy, quiet girl and a chance for the boy to test his newish Forma adventure boots in the river for dry feet efficiency. Everything went well resulting in happiness all around. Ahh, not sure though if the pannier enjoyed the few kilograms of extra weight.