NEW ULM - German tourists at the Chamber of Commerce visitors center might not be considered something special. But the couple who came to New Ulm on Monday could be regarded as being the odd one out.
On the road with a motor home and their nine-month-old baby for seven weeks, Viola Ehrig and Christian Buelters stopped in New Ulm by coincidence.
After their son Jaron was born, Ehrig and Buelters decided to go on parental leave and to make use of that time to go on vacation.
Staff photo by Elena Kretschmer
Viola Ehrig, her husband Christian Buelters and their nine-month-old baby boy Jaron visited New Ulm by coincidence on Monday. Having heard of the city and Buelters having lived in Neu Ulm, Germany, for about one and a half years, they decided to come to New Ulm. The family was overwhelmed by the hospitality they experienced on Monday.
"We didn't want to do the standard travel guide route. We wanted to go where normal tourists usually wouldn't go and visit the small towns to get in contact with the locals." said Ehrig. "The USA is a destination you really need a lot of time to get around. We also figured it would be the most convenient place to travel with a camper and a baby," she added.
Having started their trip on May 26, they have traveled through 11 states. The Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, Trail Ridge Road and the Badlands are a few of the most impressive places for them to see.
Their routine included always stopping at the closest visitors centers. They entered Minnesota from South Dakota through Pipestone.
"We found that little booklet on New Ulm there and really liked the slogan 'Germans have more fun.' Also, this one building, I think it's the museum, really caught my attention because it just reminded me so much of one in my hometown Ochtrupp. Oh and another important reason, why we came here, was that I used to live in Neu Ulm, Germany, for about one and a half years. I did an internship at the Daimler Research and Development Company in Ulm and wrote my thesis there," Buelters said.
"So we came here and once again stopped by the visitors center. We were overwhelmed by the people's hospitality here right away. Everyone's so open-minded and caring," said Ehrig.
New Ulm resident George Glotzbach then took them on a private tour starting at Schell's Brewery. The tour included the Hermann Monument, and Glotzbach provided many facts about New Ulm sites and history.
"That's exactly the kind of experience we want," said Ehrig.
Next stop for the couple and their son will be Minneapolis before moving farther up north to Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, for the Northern Lights Festival.
On July 10, their eventful vacation will come to an end when they fly out of Toronto to return to Germany.