Aalen

Schwäbisch-Sibirien: Ein hartes Schicksal

Ihr kennt Aalen nicht? Macht erstmal nichts. Ich kannte Aalen auch nicht, als ich im Sommer 2010 zum ersten Mal Richtung Ostalb fuhr. Wenn man bei Zeiss anfängt, kann man nach Aalen oder nach Heidenheim ziehen, beide Städte liegen ca 20 Fahrminuten von von dem wirklich sehr kleinen Städtchen Oberkochen entfernt. Und in Nowhereland Oberkochen ist der Hauptsitz der Carl Zeiss Gruppe. Klingt komisch, ist aber so.

Zugegeben, ich bin im Herbst nach Aalen gezogen und die ersten Monate gab mir täglich der Gedanke an ein Wochenende irgendwo anders – egal wo – Zuversicht! Oberkochen liegt in einem Tal, dass an irgendeiner Stelle in der Geschichte Petrus derart verärgert haben muss, dass dieser dem Tal von Dezember bis April nur noch den Rücken zukehrt: Es gibt Sonne. Hinter Wolken. Es gibt vor allem Regen, Nebel und Schnee! Und noch mehr Schnee!
Aber nach fast drei Jahren auf der Ostalb möchte ich für Stadt und Region mal die Lanze brechen.

Ich stelle Euch vor, wo ich in meiner Freizeit in Aalen und Umgebung meine Zeit am liebsten verbracht habe und freue mich immer über Kommentare oder Hinzufügungen älter Kollegen und Freunde.

Essen/Trinken

  • Olli´s Bar 

Im Olli´s gibt es nicht nur Bier und belegte Baguettes für den kleinen Bierhunger zwischendurch. Betreiber Olli ist großer Bayern-Fan und hat kurzerhand den FC Bayern Club Ostalb gegründet – sehr sympathisch. Es gibt ausreichend Sitzplatz an spannenden Spieltagen, im Sommer kann man auch draußen sitzen. Außerdem gibts eine Dartscheibe, einen Kicker und Olli bietet selbst gebrannte Schnäpse in guter Auswahl an.

Olli´s offers beer, a dartboard, local beer (called “Wasseralfinger”, named after a part of Aalen), a decent selection of handmade shots. It is always busy at Soccer Bundesliga Game Days and whenever there is soccer. Olli, the owner, is a huge supporter of the leading soccer club in Germany, Bayern Munich. One reason, why I spend some time at Olli´s.

Olli´s Bar: Mitten in Aalen / Olli´s bar is located in the middle of Aalen

Olli´s Bar, Aalen

  • Ramba Zamba

Das Ramba Zamba zu beschreiben, fällt nicht ganz einfach. Es ist eine perfekte Mischung aus Studententreffpunkt, Restaurant und Sonntag-Nachmittag-Lieblingskaffee. Einrichtung und Kellner lassen vermuten, dass man hier ab 30 nicht mehr willkommen ist. Dabei ist das Essen ausnahmslos immer gut (ich empfehle den Salat mit Putenbruststreifen und das Rumpsteak), für Aalener Verhältnisse ist im Ramba immer etwas los und es gibt die gängigen Zeitungen für den sonnigen Wochenend-Nachmittag. Für mich gab es nur irgendwann ein “Problem”: Da das Ramba einer der besten (und einzigen) Läden in Aalen ist, tummeln sich hier viele Zeissianer. Wenn ich in die Anonymität des Feierabends fliehen wollte, wusste ich: Nicht ins Ramba.

It is hard to find a short desciption for Ramba Zamba. It is a mix out of a student´s café and a restaurant. Interior and the younger waitresses imply that only students are welcome. However, the place serves fresh, creative, healthy dishes (I recommend the Rumpsteak) and is usually packed, which is quite uncommon in Aalen. As always there is a dark side, at least for me: Since the Ramba Zamba is one of the best places you can go to, you may find a lot of Zeiss employees. And sometimes, I just want my anonymous leisure-time.

Ramba Zamba Aalen

Interior Ramba Zamba Aalen

Menu Ramba Zamba

Kreative Karte / creatively designed menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Gelateria Dario 

Dass Dario ausschließlich bei sonnigem Wetter und auch dann nur von 13.00-18.00Uhr seine mit Liebe eingerichtete Gelateria öffnet, habe ich ihm in dem Moment verziehen, als ich meine erste Kugel seines hausgemachten Eises schmeckte. „Mozart“ – inspiriert von den Mozartkugeln war ein echtes Geschmackserlebnis und ich kann jedem empfehlen, an einem warmen Sommertag bei ihm vorbeizuschauen. Mitten in der schönen Aalener Innenstadt liegt seine Theke. Er führt keine „normalen“ Eissorten, außer Schokolade. Und die gibt es gleich als weiß, zartbitter und dunkel, aber immer verfeinert, mal mit Mohn, mal mit auserwählten Schnäppsen, mal mit Mascarpone oder Creme Fraiche. Die Fantasie des Eismachers kennt ansonsten keine Grenzen: Erdbeer-Rhabarber, Balsamico-Essig, Schokolade mit Calvados-Äpfeln, Bourbon-Vanille mit Mascarpone und vieles vieles mehr. Für Milchallergiker oder Kalorienbewusste gibt es auch immer wunderbare Sorbetsorten wie Cranberry-Himbeere. Einfach lecker!

He only opens on sunny days and on these days he opens from noon untill 6pm – not quite employer friendly times. Fortunately, the minute I tasted his icecream, I forgot about those circumstances. Gelateria Dario icecream is a real highlight in Aalen and I encourage anyone who is in town during summer to take an hour off work and be amazed by this fine art of Italian Icemaking. Everyone familiar with Bey&Jerry´s knows that you can basically mix everything into icecream. This is exactly what he does, too. Only, he takes the tasting senses a bit further. There are flavors like Balsamico-Vinegar (no, it is not sour!), dark chocolate with (MOHN) or Bourbon-Vanilla with Mascarpone. For the ones allergic to milk icecream he usually offers great sorbets, which are especialls refreshing on those hot hot summer days. Delicious!

Gelateria Dario in Aalen macht außergewöhnliches Eis

Außergewöhnliches Eis in Aalen / Extraordinary Icecream in Aalen

Recent Posts

Solo road trip from San Diego to LA

Let’s face it: in our daily lives time is mostly directed by others. So much so that I find it hard to listen to my body and remain mindful. A solo trip that let’s me go about days in my own rhythm is my source of reconnecting with myself.

With no plans, a pair of sunglasses, and a convertible I started my trip from San Diego. One can easily drive from here to LA in a couple of hours, depending on traffic. This quintessential Southern Californian strip of land is well known for it’s artsy beach towns, coastal life and I felt like reconnecting with the West Coast a little bit.

The Naval City: visiting the Aircraft Carrier museum

Large and majestic thrones the USS Midway at the San Diego waterfront. It is now a museum with a Starbucks in the rear, at the time of its deployment is was the largest naval ship in service.

Everywhere on the ship you’ll encounter former soldiers in their pilot jackets giving accounts of past times. how to take off or land on these monstrous ships and how deployment was like. All of them refer to their boat as their home. It is quite an impressive sight.

First stop: La Jolla – come close to the Sea Lions

For the first night I had picked an airbnb at the coast of LaJolla. It is known for its beach coves and lots of animals.

La Jolla, the sea-side village, turned out to be exactly what I had wanted and needed. Lots of wild animals, scuba divers, stand-up paddlers, a little overcast Cali sky. But its not that: It was the locals I met walking their dogs smiling at me and wishing me a good morning in a cheerful way. It was the waitress at the Pancake house telling me: “Honey, I’ll make you just what you want.”

Stop 2: Running into Lori

I left La Jolla towards Carlsbad. My high school exchange coordinator Lori happened to be on vacation there and we met for donuts and coffee in this wonderful place called The Goods.

While the donuts were to die for, it was a special treat to meet Lori again. She was my go-to-person when I came to California in 2002. I remember her house smelling like cinnamon sticks and apple cider, her having a bunch of kids in the house and Lori just being the kindest person.

That afternoon we sat and talked as if we had just seen each other the week before. She is a woman of God and I deeply appreciate her advice and her perspective.

Next Stop: The infamous Laguna

The hotel I slept in was right by the ocean and relatively early I was woken by the loud thunder-like sounds of the ocean. I put on my running shoes and explored. I met a lot of homeless and lots of scuba divers this early in the AM. As usual, ths weather was gloomy at first, but got better around noon.

Fittingly, I had a California bagel from the highly recommended bagel shop in town; it was so delicious and I got to watch some real California High School privileged kids, always a pleasure to sit back and see them show off the SUV’s they received for their sweet 16, walking around as if they own the city.

I had read about a hike in the hills, but could not find parking. A little frustrated, I then found a beautiful quiet beach. A good reminder that plans might not work out, but something better might just happen to come your way.

Obligatory: IN’N OUT

From Laguna Beach I decided to drive through “The Hills” towards LA. The weather was perfect, the day was overshadowed by the news of multiple fast spreading wildfires in Southern California and a bar shooting in a Thousand Oaks the night before. The other side of the US…

Whenever I am in California, there is one obligatory stop and that is at the iconic burger joint IN’N OUT to enjoy simply the best American burger with fries.

Finally: Surf City USA

I ended my trip in Huntington Beach, visiting my host sister Sarah who just had her second baby. The beach town of Huntington feels very familiar and a little bit like home. It has a great pier with lots of surfers, beach shacks and I can recommend to put it on the list for any Southern California trip.

Although it was only three days, traveling alone is still very special to me. It makes me find my own rhythm and connect with places or remain in moments differently than when with a friend or my husband. And doing that at a place on this planet that I called home for a little while was very precious to me – albeit a bar shooting, California wild fires and lots of homeless people.

What I would do differently:

From hindsight I think that Laguna Beach is overrated, and Carlsbad just wonderful. Next time I would just stay there for the night.

Tips to travel on budget: Southern California is very expensive, even simple hotels cost a lot of money. When I travel alone I need to feel save which is why I do not save on accommodation. However, I usually go to Whole Foods instead of mediocre tourist restaurants. They have a warm & cold food bar, fresh produce and I just take my food to sunny spots on the beach.

Since I did not have too much time I also did not get to explore all the hiking trails in that region, maybe on the next trip?

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