Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Ludwigsburg, Festivals

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August 2nd 2008
Published: August 2nd 2008
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Heidelberg CastleHeidelberg CastleHeidelberg Castle

The ruins of the castle are one of Germany's biggest attractions.
The main purpose of our trip to Germany was to visit Sylvia's good friend Janka. She and Sylvia were the only two Slovaks at the University of Nebraska Kearney, which is where I met both of them. They have known each other for 12 years and went to high school together in Kosice. Janka is recently married to Fred, and they live in Ludwigsburg which is very near Stuttgart. The one idea I had about this region of Germany was expensive cars, and it became clear quickly that it is very true. Germans in this region take their cars seriously. Stuttgart is of course, the home of Porshe, Mercedes, Daimler, and Maybach. They call this region the 'cradle of the automobile,' since this is where the car (and the motorcycle) was invented.
Fred and Janka were very nice hosts and showed us around the region. Janka has lived in the country for only about a year but already speaks German extremely fluently. Fred enjoys good beer like I do, so we got along quite well. Both the filtered and unfiltered wheat beer that is produced in this part of Germany is really great. Sylvia and I spent the first afternoon in
Elizabeth GateElizabeth GateElizabeth Gate

This gate was premanufactured as a wedding present and then reassembled here at the castle in one day.
the city of Heidelberg and saw the famous Heidelberg castle. It was described by Mark Twain who wrote about it after a visit. The castle was also the site of Antipope John XXIII's imprisonment after the Council of Constance (the same council in which Jan Hus was burned at the stake).
It seems that Germans are better than any other culture at having festivals. In the next two nights, the four of us attended three festivals. The first was a very nice wine festival in a place called Felsengartenkellerie. Southern Germany is known for their wine as well, and we sampled very nice Gewurtztraminer and Riesling wines. This is also a region known for its ice wines which can be very expensive because of the high grape loss required to keep the vines until freezing weather. The next evening we drove to Stuttgart to eat at a large outdoor fish market before going to Bohnenvirtelfest, which is a bean festival where they serve bean soup.
The visit to Janka and Fred was a really enjoyable one. We will be seeing them again soon when to come to Slovakia for their official wedding in a few weeks.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Wine BarrelWine Barrel
Wine Barrel

Heidelberg castle is famous for its large wine barrel which once held several thousand gallons of mixed wine. Each of the local peasants was required to contribute.
Fred and JankaFred and Janka
Fred and Janka

The happy German couple.
Stuttgart PatioStuttgart Patio
Stuttgart Patio

The two of us enjoying a drink in Stuttgart.

In a village near Ludwigsburg, we saw very nice examples of half timbered houses.
Sylvia and JankaSylvia and Janka
Sylvia and Janka

The two girls pose on someone else's front porch
German Wine CountryGerman Wine Country
German Wine Country

This region of Germany is famous for its wines and this was our view while we were at the festival.
Wine Festival BeginningWine Festival Beginning
Wine Festival Beginning

A group of soliders started off the wine festival with a ceremony.
Wine Festival SolidersWine Festival Soliders
Wine Festival Soliders

The ceremony basically consisted of the soliders firing off their muzzle-loaded guns.
German EngineeringGerman Engineering
German Engineering

The wine festival took place on a steep hill, so what was the German answer? Engineer wine glasses that can offset the steep slope.

Some UFOs I photgraphed out of the Fred and Janka's living room window. Really.
Pickle VendorPickle Vendor
Pickle Vendor

The fish market included a pickle vendor. I had one pickled with peppers. Say that a few times.
Dill PicklesDill Pickles
Dill Pickles

Our group enjoying dill pickles.
Wheat BeerWheat Beer
Wheat Beer

Fred and I enjoy some good German wheat beer at the bean festival.
Ludwigsburg PalaceLudwigsburg Palace
Ludwigsburg Palace

The four of us outside the palace in Ludwigsburg.
Sylvia and the DeerSylvia and the Deer
Sylvia and the Deer

Sylvia gets about as close to nature as shes ever been.
Sylvia and ISylvia and I
Sylvia and I

The two of us outside the Ludwigsburg palace gardens

Oh...heres where I left the car. 100,000 euro? I'll take two then.
Janka and SylviaJanka and Sylvia
Janka and Sylvia

The two girls share a seat in Stuttgart during the festivals.

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