Just a few of the well-dressed locals taken just a few hours before Germany beat Poland.
My 5 days in Stuttgart were definitely dominated by World Cup fever.
I stayed with Juergen whom I had met on my Interdominion trip (major Australasian harness race carnival) in New Zealand last year.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon and had a few hours to kill before Juergen joined me at the main train station in Stuttgart. The downtown area was teaming with Spanish fans (they were to play the following day), German fans (they were playing Poland that evening elsewhere in Germany) and assorted others. I spent so much time snapping away with my camera and generally people watching. It was sensational. There was a designated ‘fan fest’ area with huge TV screens that was fenced off, but free to enter, it was just that you had to leave your own food and drinks behind.
And I do not believe that a single shop failed to capitalise on the event. They all had something to offer fans, including the bars who were selling take-aways on the streets. A very different ‘drinking in public places’ policy than in Australia!
Watched Germany beat Poland that night and then headed to the Black forest the next morning. To ensure I
Cute little village in the Black Forest where I ate delicious Black Forest cake!
had a true Black forest experience, I ate a black forest cake in Schiltach, a small town in the area. Very potent stuff at 10:30 am in the morning! We drove through some beautiful areas and went for a short walk to the highest peak in the area, Feldberg, but again not really a trial for Kilimanjaro!
The next day we hung out in Stuttgart and saw a Monet exhibition at the Stuttgart Art Gallery. It was terrific. No ‘Gardens of Giverney’ or ‘Water Lilies’ but many of my other favourites were there.
We also visited Ludwigsburg castle and went on a tour inside the castle, in German, for 1.5 hours. Interesting what one is able to understand from basic expression! It was a beautiful castle and the grounds were great.
That night, Juergen whipped up some fish for dinner that he had caught in the Black Forest on a previous trip. I must say, I was well fed on this trip. Adding way too many kilos would be very easy to do in Germany! Great breads, pastries, pastas, fish…..etc, etc.
Next day we went to Heidelberg and saw the castle there and wandered about the
Black forest vista
Typical country side through the Black Forest
town - which is simply delightful. That night after dinner in a German restaurant, I actually had a beer in a local pub! Yes, Merryn consumed a beer although I cannot state that I finished the whole thing. I tried but it is really not my thing nor to my liking.
My final day was also spent in Stuttgart attending a wine festival (anyone surprised by that?) and going to the fan fest area to watch Australia take on Brazil (a very disappointing outcome but a great spectacle).
London flight the next morning……it was a fun side trip to Germany.
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