Sunday, November 8, 2015

Germany- Part Eins

Seth and I celebrated 10 years of marriage July 9th, 2015. We took the trip of a lifetime October 7th-17th to mark the occasion. We flew from Atlanta to Stuttgart, Germany to begin our 10 day journey.

Thursday, October 7th
By the time we landed, got a cab, and got to our hotel, it was about 10:30 a.m (we flew all night). We couldn't check in, so we left our suitcases in the hotel lobby and ventured out into the city. 

This is Palace Square (Schlonplatz). Today, it's government offices. The lady at the front desk recommended the Kunstmuseum, a modern art museum. It was just ok....a little TOO modern for our taste. Most paintings I felt like I could replicate! There would be just stripes on a blank canvas. We wondered to Stiftskirche, a beautiful old church. 

We stumbled upon a farmers market- this is one of my favorite things to do! They had gorgeous produce and flowers. Our room was ready around 12 and we headed back to take a power nap. I couldn't make it another step! The time change and airplane sleep was getting to me. Afterwards, we grabbed a sandwich from a cafe and hopped on one of those red bus tours to get an overview of the city. 

We mainly just rode around and listened to the English speaking headset. We did get off at 2 stops. 

This view is from the Weinwadnering, a vineyard walk. It was up on a hill that gave pretty views of the city below. There were rows and rows of grapes!

This is the other stop we made. It was a huge park called Killesberg Hill Park. This spriral tower is 42 meters tall and gives panaramic views of the city. We had fun climbing it and enjoyed the scenery. 

Up on top!

We headed back to the hotel and took a SECOND power nap. Then we took the U Bahn (subway/train) to their Oktoberfest, called Volksfest. This was the last night. It was basically a fair with beer drinking and huge "tents" (more like houses) with different beer and bands inside. It was INSANE. Most people wore the typical German outfits (Lederhosen) matter what age. It was some good people watching! We split a bacon and veggie pizza and got some beers and just sat, taking it all in. 

 We did venture into one of the houses. There were hundreds of people standing on picnic tables singing at the top of their lungs to the band's songs. Everyone had pints of beer in their hands. It was smoky and loud. We ordered a beer and again, just took it all in. I have never seen anything like it!

Friday, October 8th

The next morning, we headed to Porsche first thing. Seth was SO excited to "meet" his Porsche GT3 RS. The color is Lava Orange, and I love it!

       This is what you see in front of the museum. Pretty cool!

Who knew Porsche made a tractor? (and a firetruck?)

 Here are a bunch of Porsche trophies, suspended in the air by clear wires

After the museum, we ate at the restaurant. It was a wonderful lunch! We had a risotto salmon appetizer, chess cream soup with pistachio pasta shells, and pike perch with spinach and sweet potatoes. The dessert was a cheese plate and plum ice cream with chocolate cake. Talk about stuffed!! Whew. 

From here, we drove to Esslingen, a small town about 20 minutes away.  We spoke to a girl on the subway the night before who is from Stuttgart, and she recommended this quaint town. This is Esslingen Burg, a "castle" but it's really more like a city wall with towers. 

That sloping wall in the far right is actually a covered walkway with steps that lead down to the city. It was quite the hike back up! This town was adorable!

That night, we ate at Paulaner and had a traditional German meal. I had minced meat and spinach stuffed in pasta shells. What is minced meat anyway? It was chilly out, but they had heat lamps so we were able to eat outside. Stuttgart is a lively city. There was some kind of Middle Eastern protest going on in the middle of the city (near the palace) that freaked me out. No one else seemed alarmed, but there were armed police surrounding the group of people chanting. We could never figure out what it was all about. 

Saturday, October 10

After a great night's rest, I woke up and went on a quick run and then we headed out to The Black Forest region. 
We drove to Merkur Mountain and took a funicular to the top of the mountain. This is a train pulled by cables. The picture won't flip. Boo! It was pretty at the top- there was an observation tower that you could climb and see beautiful mountains and a couple small towns. 

Next, we drove to Baden Baden. We just walked around and had lunch (pizza at an Italian restaurant). We sat outside. It was pleasant out!

Two men played the accordion and drums while these two guys danced and passed out flyers for an Oktoberfest. They were hysterical! they would grab people and make them dance or stick flyers in purses when ladies weren't looking. It was quite entertaining. 

From here, we drove to Freiberg. This was possibly my favorite city! We stayed at the Mercure Panorama and boy was it panoramic! 

The hotel was perched WAY up on small mountain that overlooked the city. It was a switchback road all the way up. Our room had this little deck that looked down. LOVED it!

We drove back down after checking in and walked and walked around Frieburg. Seth is walking over the Bachle. They have this water system all through the city and you simply cross the small bridge to get into a store. A vendor sold little boats on ropes that kids can pull through the water. Of course, we bought one for each kid. 

This is Frieburg Cathedral. It was built between the 11th and 15th century. Gorgeous! We loved exploring Munsterplatz, the square surrounded by old buildings. The city had some shopping holiday, so almost all the stores were open until midnight. Needless to say, everyone was out! There were street performers and we had a great time walking around!

After a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant, we grabbed a beer from the bar and took it to our balcony. What a great day!

The next morning, we enjoyed some awesome coffee on our deck and headed out for our next adventure.

To be continued....

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