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We can do hard things - climbing the Ulm Cathedral

We had a wonderful chance to see the beautiful city of Ulm. The history of this town dates back to 854 and it sits along the Danube river. Ross and I particularly wanted to see the Cathedral and possibly climb the steeple. The Ulm Cathedral is the tallest church steeple in the world! It has a grand total of 768 steps!!

We weren't sure how thrilled our kids would be about climbing all of those steps on a stinking hot day so we prefaced the whole thing by teaching them that they are awesome, and that they can do hard things. Challenging things. Even climb 768 steps! They agreed to have a try.

The Cathedral is truly magnificent. Actually, although called the 'Ulm Cathedral', it is in fact, a church, and has never been the seat of a bishop. But this amazing building took 200 years to build! Wow! We all took a look inside...

After I spent a bit of time panicking about the kids making too much noise inside a church and 'shush yelling' at them, we began the climb. I'm very grateful to our friends who were with us who happily agreed to look after baby Bo, they seemed quite content to stay below in the shade and eat ice-cream while they waited for us. Hmmm, why didn't they want to climb the tallest Cathedral spire on a boiling hot day? Maybe it should have tipped me off?

So we climbed and climbed and climbed. I'm not sure what I was expecting, obviously I hadn't thought it through very intelligently, but of course the steps went round and round. Round and round in a tight little circle. Argh! It totally made me feel dizzy. Our legs were burning and we were fairly dripping with sweat. It got hotter and hotter the higher we climbed.

Every now and then we were able to step onto a little squishy viewing platform. The views got increasingly impressive as we made the assent. We also discovered who in our family was afraid of heights, 'ahem Ross and Levi', but that made it all the more of an achievement for them to climb the whole thing. There were a few moments of pure terror at the sheer height, especially when we reached a kind of open inner section. There was also more than a little horror at the amount of steps, they seemed to go on and on and on forever....

Yep, that is not happiness on their little faces! But the whole point was that it would be a hard, difficult thing to achieve so we didn't give up....and we talked about ice-cream a lot.

Finally we reached the top! The views were amazing and our kids had been little troopers, they had indeed shown that they could do hard things.