A slow spiral

| August 1, 2014

Some Guy’s Hat sports a pin of the Ulm Münster Cathedral, noting its height of 161 meters.

This past weekend, we headed to Ulm to visit this Cathedral, which boasts the highest spire in the world. Although typically I do not go into detail about our travels in order to allow me to write fresh material for the book, below is a photo essay of the experience of climbing the spire with my child:


Arrive at cathedral and think, wow, that’s pretty high–I wonder if the steps really go to the top? 

See sign for how many steps (768) lead to the top of the steeple. Have no reference, blindly enter.

Kick yourself for not understanding the difference between dressing for the weather and dressing for a spiral death trek.  Begin peeling off layers of outerwear.

Pause to take in the view…

…of child saying she can’t go one.step.further. ulm cathedral

Arrive at a landing and realize you are well above the other spires. Also realize you’re not even halfway there.  Wonder if you can possibly take one.step.further.

Look at well-worn steps toward the top and wonder if the staircase has been maintained in the past 200 years. 

Get to the top to realize it’s not the freaking top. Ascend tiny steeple. 

Take quick photos at the narrow tippy top, then step back into the staircase.

ulm cityscape

Run into people who are ascending the staircase. Freak out. Continue down and trade places with husband, who has been waiting with child that refuses to do the steeple climb. Allow child to climb toward the steeple without using the stairs. Watch child freak out and begin crying because she is afraid to come down.

Watch child freak out further on the climb (read: scoot) back down the spire. Listen to her cries turn into shrieks of terror when husband picks her up to carry her.

scooting down ulm cathedral staircase

Read pamphlet about the cathedral… 

…over beer. 

Check it off the list and spend days hobbling around on sore and unsure legs.

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Category: Activities, FAMILY, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, SGH blog, Shits & Giggles, Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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