Stuttgart is undergoing some serious construction. If we think it’s bad building one tunnel for light rail, imagine building six tunnels and demolishing half the train station and moving 18 platforms back. The car rental company wasn’t kidding when it said access to the train station was problematic!

We stayed at the Intercity Hotel, which is attached to the train station. Included in the price was free transit for the days we stayed there.

We arrived on the first day around noon and took the S-bahn to Ludwigsburg to see its palace. On the walk from the station to the palace, we stumbled across a flea market. They pop up in every small town on Sundays because there is no other shopping. NosyNeighbour used his guerrilla German to barter a vendor down on a bierkrug. In Germany, what we call a beer stein is known as a bierkrug. Because a stein in German is a rock so it just doesn’t make any sense how we say it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we continued on the palace, where they were also hosting a pumpkin festival. Usually I reserve indoor museum type activities for rainy days. It was sunny, but the tour of the inside apartments seemed intriguing and was offered in English so we toured both the King’s and Queen’s apartments.

The palace is exceptionally large for the time. It was originally built for the Duke as a weekend hunting lodge. Over time it was expanded and eventually the new apartments closed it off into a square.  I learned a lot from our Italian tour guide. She pointed out the chauvinism of the day, with the Queen’s throne only having two steps to the King’s three. I also learned a new German expression: Ich muss eine Blume pflücken which means I need to go to the toilet. I guess a bit like the English expression, “I have to spend a penny.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our first full day, we explored Stuttgart taking advantage of the free transit pass. I had been to Stuttgart’s Mercedes Benz Museum but had not seen much of the city. It’s much bigger and hillier than I expected. In fact, it has a few cog trains to get to the top!  We also visited a number of Trachten shops (new and second hand) in search of a petticoat and purse for my Dirndl.  We also stumbled across a brewery and decided to stop in the restaurant for a taster flight.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The second day we set off to the Canstaater Volksfest, Stuttgart’s version of Oktoberfest. I have been to Munich’s Oktoberfest on opening weekend. It was great fun watching the four-hour parade, but being opening weekend meant we couldn’t get into any of the beer tents without a reservation. So I was keen on making sure I could have that experience in Stuttgart.

Based on food specials, we decided to go in the Schwaben Bräu tent. At first, we were upstairs and we snacked on some Obadza and had a liter of Radler. I learned some more Swabian. Göckele is Hänchen, or chicken. Not even close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we were informed that our section was closing and we would have to go downstairs. Any table without a reserved sign would be fine. Most of the tables close to the stage were reserved. And you can’t be served a beer without being seated at a table. I used my best German when I found a table with space and found us a spot a table with four Dutch guys in lederhosen, a Turkish guy, a Brazilian guy, a German couple and the wife’s Ozzie friend. We had a blast, dancing on the benches, eating Göckele, drinking and singing with our arms intertwined. Best friends for an evening!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our last day in Stuttgart was spent at Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens. They provide you with a map and suggested tour to see all the park has to offer. They have a lot of different animals and I found it hard to see them in captivity, especially the wild cats. But I did love seeing the meerkats posing for the camera. There were aviaries where you could get close to birds and butterflies, an aquarium and a simulated Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For supper, we went to the more modern Brauhaus Schönbuch. It took a while to find it because it’s in a courtyard, but the food was delicious and the people watching was entertaining.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements