blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday in Ingolstadt

As I'd promised myself, I spent a sunny autumn day exploring Ingolstadt, first wandering back and forth through the Klenzepark, free of mists and frost at 10am, to the Donausteg, the footbridge over the river. The Neues Schloss was not all that new, dating from the first half of the 15th century when Ludwig der Gebärtete (Lewis the Bearded) had it built. I think I shall start calling my husband Christoph der Gebärtete (Christopher the Bearded). Then I started zigzagging through the Altstadt, drawn further and further in by the appeal of the towers, spires, domes, and fancy facades of many different pastel shades. It took a while for me to realise that most of the buildings in the old town of today are, in fact, replicas, the originals having presumably been destroyed by bombs during the 2nd World War.

When I reached the Altstadt by way of the tunnel under the Schloßlände, I first bought myself a coffee in a deserted Konditorei. The girl there seemed surprised my arrival, although it was already well past 10am. They also sold homemade chocolate in an Ingolstadt wrapper; I bought three bars. Then I set out to see what else the district had to offer. The shops were fun. I found 3D postcards next door to a tiny shop called Geschmacks-Sachen which sold spices and smelled wonderful. I went inside to chat to the lady in there who gave me a free sample sachet of Haxenwürzer to take home, spices for flavouring meat. Their motto is “Ois was guad is” meaning Eat What’s Good, I guess. Beyond the Rathausplatz, at the music shop, with a whole family of the stringed instruments in its window, I bought a Christmas gift for my son George, which also necessitated a visit to a shop selling gift wrap. At the large, attractive post office, painted yellow all over, like the postboxes, I queued to buy stamps, then wandered further, taking photos at nearly every corner because the street views are so picturesque.

The post office, Ingolstadt

Before lunch, I had time to linger in the largest church in town, with a belltower about 70m high: the 15th century Liebfrauenmünster (or Zur Schönen Unserer Lieben Frau -- in strange old German). In Britain they’d probably have called it St. Mary’s. Unlike most Catholic cathedrals, this one was not terribly ornate, but contained some strikingly good art works, in particular an framed painting of the “Dreimal Wunderbare Mutter” (= thrice wonderful mother, not a contemporary reference to Frau Merkel) dated 1570, the frame decorated by huge lapiz lazuli stones. In that same side chapel was a modern stained glass window, dated 2003, by an artist called Fritz Baumgartner: Das Litaneifenster. I was so impressed by this, that I bought a booklet about it to give to a lady I met at my mother’s care home who used to be a stained glass artist but who has had her legs amputated. She is the same age as I am.

Further on, I found a 3-storey branch of Hugendubel, the bookshop I know from Munich and Stuttgart, always a good place to shop. I bought a funny German Survival-Kalender there, for Chris.

I was spoiled for choice for lunch. In the end I decided to eat on the top floor of the Kaufhof, decorated with Bavarian flags, which had free wifi and a view of the red roofs. Further wandering after that took me to the Taschenturm, a former gate in the city walls, via the Hochschule, site of the first Bavarian university in 1472, with a 1950s mural on its wall. I suppose this must have been another building that was bombed to bits.

The many museums of Ingolstadt are closed on Mondays, so I did well to choose this day for simply getting my bearings. On Wednesday the Ingolstadt Christkindlmarkt will open in the Viktualienmarktplatz, which I’ll probably have time to look at before we leave. This time, I walked slowly back to the hotel, sitting on a garden bench near the fortress to eat an apple. Once in the hotel room, I had a recuperative sleep.

Chris and his Hanover colleage Marcus returned utterly exhausted to the hotel at the end of the day, then at 6pm we all set off again in search of supper. We found some at Le Café (not very French really) on Schrannenstraße. Chris and Marcus were attracted to the Leckeres Steakmenü and I had a delicious venison Edelgoulasch (literally: noble stew) with Brenzknödeln, red cabbage and a pear, filled with cranberry sauce. We found our way there and back in the dark without any problems.

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