Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stuttgart

This past week Justin had a week break from school and we decided to do a little traveling. The trip would be as follows: Stuttgart to Baden Baden, Triberg (the Black Forest), and lastly Strasbourg, France. We headed out Saturday morning and started our trip in Stuttgart. Granted it was rainy and cold (a first for us since we have been here), but we forged ahead and went on a walking tour of the city center. The funny part about the tour was that everyone was German except for us, so the tour guide would first say everything in German and then come straight over to me and do it again in English. It was like my own personal tour. Stuttgart is a really cute city and I bet on a pretty day a great place to walk around and enjoy the sights. Our favorite was Schillerplatz and it had a market going on that day.

Schiller statue





Justin really liked this tree growing on the building. It is pretty cool.

After the tour we enjoyed some of the best Swabian food we both have ever eaten at the Ratskeller. Just so you know, a "Ratskeller" is simply a bar/restaurant that sits under the "Rathaus", or town hall - it actually has nothing to do with rodents.  We enjoyed some kasespaetzle and if you have never had this dish it is a must. We call it German mac n' cheese, but it is so much better than that.
Next we headed to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. I have to say this was a really cool museum. I know a lot of you are saying "really? a car museum?", but it was more than that. First it had an awesome design and layout. It was an 8 story cylindrical building and you spiraled through the whole museum from floor to floor and each floor took you through a different decade. They would explain the advances in the cars of course, but it would also explain what was going on in the world at that time too. It helped explain some of the needs in a car. I know I am sounding so dorky, but we both really enjoyed the whole thing and would recommend anyone in Stuttgart to take a visit.


The Mercedes-Benz Museum and its awesome design.


Some of the first models


The future of Mercedes-Benz cars. I think it is a newer version of the Delorean.




Did you know that Mercedes-Benz made buses? Well they do and Justin wishes he could drive one.




The Pope Mobile (seriously, the pope rode in this thing)


Arnold Schwarzenegger's car...Shout out to Cali!!!



After about 3 hours in the Mercedes-Benz Museum we left and walked through Stuttgart's version of Oktoberfest called Volksfest. Just like Oktoberfest it was packed and we just did a walk through.



Like true tourists we got the Stuttcard and got some discounts at museums and restaurants; so to end our day in Stuttgart we went to a local brewery called Dinkel Acker where we got a free beer. The cool thing that I really enjoy about traveling in Germany is every town makes their own beer so it is kind of an adventure to try each town's brew. After a long day of being tourists we met up with my Uncle John. He and my Aunt Nancy moved to Germany a week before us and live about 30 minutes outside the city of Stuttgart. It was great to see family and just share stories of moving to a different country. He lives in a beautiful little village called Schlaitdorf and it has an amazing view of the Swabian Alps.



My aunt and uncle were amazing hosts and my uncle took us onto some of the military bases. I had never been to one and it is literally an American bubble. He took us to a PX which was like a Target. After not seeing anything American for a few months it was overload...in a good way. If we had not been traveling I bet we would have bought the whole store. My aunt and uncle also cooked up some Mexican food which we had not had in a while and it was AMAZING!! Thanks for starting our trip on a good note.
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