Thursday, March 17, 2011

Willkommen nach Stuttgart!

Yesterday was our first day out on the town! A guide took us around and taught us how to use public transit, taught us a few cultural tidbits, and showed us around the downtown a little bit. While it was totally amazing, it was also totally exhausting! So, when you visit.. bring a good pair of walking shoes!

My husband is picking up German like crazy. He's started correcting my pronunciations and translating things for me and he's had a day of basic German. By basic, I really mean survival German... such as things to not say or do so that you don't horribly upset someone or embarrass yourself and "Check please". An example would be that Germans don't look each other in the eye or smile when they speak to one another. If I were to smile at the bus driver, just trying to be friendly, he'd take it as a sign that I was flirting with him. AHH! I'm fairly certain I'm going to accidentally hit on half the German population...

Anyway, it's kind of spooky how well he's getting this stuff! It's almost as if he was supposed to have been born in Germany and his mind was pre-programmed for it but there was a mix-up at Baby Central and he was issued to an American womb instead. I'm going to be on the lookout for a suspiciously American-like German person... they should really be more careful with these things.
That smug looking young woman there is Frau Krammer (I have no idea if I'm spelling that right). She was our tour guide that day. She is also quite possibly one of the most interesting and hilarious people I've ever met. Almost like a German Betty White! She'll crack a joke when you least expect it and can tell you what East Berlin was like. You know, when it was actually East Berlin. She grew up there.

[That's another German thing, by the way. You're on a last-name basis with everyone until you get to know the and they tell you otherwise. Name tags don't say "Alex" or "Susan", they say "Mrs. Krammer" or "Mr. Claxton". I like it.]

We walked more than the Army, as my parents would appreciate me saying, and saw lots of interesting sites! The best part, of course (since I'm a fatty at heart), was lunch. Frau Krammer had showed us many places to eat along the tour and we got to pick where we ate individually. There was Greek, there was Italian, there was McDonald's... and I realized that it was going to be difficult to get just some basic German food. But! We found a place. With a view, even! And I have no idea what I got... but it was delicious.
My delicious meal. Complete with beer :)
My husband, with his own tasty meal.

After lunch, we all met up in City Hall and rode the elevator. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? Well, what if I told you that this elevator never stops moving and has no doors? Yeah. Sounds like a death trap, doesn't it?! You just have to hop on and hope you get your timing right. The best part is that you can ride it all the way up and around the loop, taking you into complete darkness with only a giant winding gear for company. ...this sounds like something Stephen King should have written a short story about. And if you're thinking I exaggerated in any way, here's evidence:

So, food and thrilling elevators aside, Stuttgart is a gorgeous little town with a ton of history to it! It has a new castle and an old castle, an opera house (sans phantoms), cobblestone streets, more pedestrians than cars, gardens and ponds, a giant train station, statues of King Wilhem and a century old church next to a Louis Vuitton store. Kid you not. And one interesting thing we learned is that if you see a church and don't know its denomination, look up! If there is a cross atop the steeple, it is Catholic. If there is a rooster, it is Protestant. I don't know if this is true stateside because I've seen those same rooster windmills atop rural Indiana farms... but I found it very interesting!

I look forward to exploring this place more. Until I do, here are some photos for your entertainment! :)
Awesome view of Stuttgart.

Another awesome view.

A third, still quite awesome, view of the city.
Train station! Which kind of gives me the willies...

Our view during lunch. (note the lawn on the roof)

The red building is a 4-story toy store  a.k.a.  Kid's Heaven on Earth!!

Really old, beautiful church.

Part of the "old castle" which is now a museum.

Opera House, across a shallow pond.

"Ich bin ein Berliner!"  (mmm.. donuts..)


  1. Oh Alex, I desperately want to visit you! I've always wanted to go to Germany! And I'm super thrilled that Tory is learning the language so quickly. YAY!

  2. OH, the donuts...

    You married such a cutie! Looking forward to more posts.

  3. OMG. That elevator looks totally freaking AWESOME! (But way scary... Chris would totally NOT get on that, lol)

    YAY A BLOG FINALLY! Geez Alex, it's been a WHOLE WEEK and you're just now making a blog! Get on it woman! :D

    I heart you fatty.