Stuttgart: Home of Mercedes-Benz Headquarters
June 24th to 28th
From Berlin, Meghan and I visited Stuttgart next. Meghan studied for one semester in Frane on an exchange a couple years ago, and one of her friends - Julia - lives in Stuttgart, so we went to visit her. We arrived in Stuttgart on Friday afternoon, and Julia met us at the train station. We went straight back to Julia's house as her and her boyfriend were having a big birthday party/BBQ that night at their place, and they still had some things to get ready for the evening. So, Meghan and I got cleaned up, and then helped them get ready for the party with what was left to do.
Linda, another friend of Meghan's from her exchange, also came to Stuttgart for the party that night. The party was great - it was all outside and the weather was a little cool, but great none-the-less. And the food was delicious! Hats off to Alex (Julia's boyfriend) and Julia for the great feast!
The next day, we simply spent the day at Julia and Alex's, recovering from the lack of sleep that had been accumulated by that point. (Between the two pub crawls in Berlin and the party the night before, Meghan and I were quite sleep deprived, and it had finally really hit us.) But it wasn't just Meghan and I there with them for the day - some of their friends who had been at the party also hung out for the day, which was nice. It was good to just have a nice, relaxing day. Julia and Alex had breakfast at their house as a bunch of their friends had spent the night there. Meghan, Linda, and I had actually spent the night at Julia's friend's (Nora) house, so in the morning the four of us slept in and then headed over to Julia's place. Not too long after we got there, a bunch of people left, but a few stuck around for the day. And that night we barbequed again what was left over. Again, delicious. (I tell ya - these Europeans know a thing or two about good food.)
On Sunday we headed out to Hiedelberg with Julia and Alex. They had a family event going on, and offered to take Meghan and I along for a ride so that we could explore the city, and we took them up on the offer. First thing we checked out was the castle there. The castle is up on the hill and overlooks the city, which means it has a great view! Also, it has a museum about pharmacies, or apothecaries as they are called, and some really really really large kegs for wine. Once we had checked out the castle, we wandered around town, stopping for lunch and for a snowball. A snowball is a kind of pastry that has a history going back to the middle ages, and is basically a bunch of pieces of pastry rolled together with a filling to form a ball. I had one that was a cherry-marzipan filling and dipped in white chocolate. Tasty, but way too much pastry! The rest of the afternoon in Hiedelberg was spent just wandering around, and eating ginger-flavoured gummy bears. Yup, that's right. Ginger flavoured. We found a little shop that had a bunch of different flavours, and we had to try one of course, so we picked ginger. Mmm... mmm.... good!
On Monday, our last day in Stuttgart, Meghan and I headed into the city to explore. (Julia lives just outside of the city.) Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz headquarters, and they have a museum there that Julia recommended checking out. Off we went to the museum, but when we got there, it was closed unfortunately. Mondays, it seems, are the one day a week it is not open. But, we still got to see the headquarters (from the outside, that is), but still pretty cool! At least now I can say I've been to the headquarters of Meredes! Since we were not able to to check out the museum, we headed into the city centre to check it out instead. We managed to find a pedestrian shopping street, where we spent most of our time. So did a bit of shopping (mostly window shopping - can't put too much else into our backpacks or our weight will be over for our flights!) and tried some bratwursts for lunch. I had currywurst, which is a bratwurst in a curry sauce. Before this trip, I was no fan of curry - had an overdose when I lived in residence my first year of university; it seemed that some of the cooks put curry in anything they possibly could. Anyways, after avoiding any foods with curry for the past four years, this was delightful! Turns out curry is delicious when used in certain things! Fancy that.
After strolling around downtown for a while, we headed back toward Julia's area. Meghan and I had said we would cook dinner as a thank you for letting us stay there, and had to pick up some groceries. The evening was spent, cooking, relaxing, and repacking as the next morning we were headed to our next place: Amsterdam! (Again.)