splashed across the internet this morning were headlines of an American exchange student getting stuck inside a giant sculpture of a vagina in Germany.
from the UK to Canada to Australia to Russia and the US, this poor guy made headlines. and it just so happened to be at the University of Tübingen, which is where i got my masters degree. (long story short, i wanted to live in Europe and getting an education there was the easiest way. free tuition and classes in English? i couldn’t say no.)
despite being one of the oldest and more famous universities in Germany, it’s now known around the world for being well, the location of a giant…yeah. let’s not discuss that further. let’s focus on some other things:
- the university has been around since the 15th century — that’s full on Game of Thrones era, y’all.
- at least 10 Nobel Prize winners have been on its staff.
- you may have heard of some of its student and faculty alumni (besides moi, of course): Johannes Kepler (laws of planetary motion), anyone? Hans Geiger of Geiger counter fame? Georg Hegel, famous philosopher? Leonhart Fuchs, after which fuchsia (the plant, and hence the color) is named? Joseph Ratzinger, who you may know better as Pope Benedict? Friedrich Miescher, whose discovery of nucleic acids led the way to the discovery of DNA? Alois Alzheimer (let you forget)?
above all, though, since this is a travel blog, let’s just focus on how quaint the whole place is! Tübingen is most definitely a college town — it’s located in the southwest of Germany (in the state of Baden-Württemberg) about 45 minutes south of Stuttgart by express train. the Neckar River flows through it, blocks from an old town with cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. i was actually surprised at how many tourists the town gets (i expected 0, there were more than 0, most from Germany and France!).
a video (in English) from Deutsche Welle (think the German version of the BBC World Service) showing you just how cute (and old) Tübingen is:
(and if you would rather shop, Metzingen, one of the largest factory outlet towns in Germany [there are outlet towns, not outlet malls] is only a couple train stops away.)
so yes. let’s just look past the sensational news for a bit, eh? this won’t mess with the great memories i have of my two years there, though it did bring me back!
(ok, let’s be honest, had i known there was such a statue when i was a student, i probably would have checked it out, though hopefully not gotten stuck in it — i just never went over to that part of town/campus.)
oh yeah, if you’re in for a kitschy German song about Tübingen, here’s one that came out after i graduated about how hilly it is (and with some great shots of the town):