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Published: August 2nd 2008
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
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.
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