My dear husband and I have decided to join this "tradition" (enjoying the sun, not the speedo sunbathing) and found ourselves wandering through a park downtown just the other weekend.
The park was gorgeous! Everything was really starting to bloom, so the trees were lush with leaves, bulbs were starting to show their colours, and the grass was truly vibrant. The sun really highlighted the intense Spring colors that day and the fullness of the trees provided some wonderful shade for us and our fellow park-walkers.
We had just started crossing a pedestrian bridge over a nearby busy street when we started to hear what could best be described as drunken men singing. Singing in German, of course, so we had no idea what they were saying... but the tune had me picturing several large, drunk men with pints in hand happily singing old bar songs and sloshing the beer around as they swung their glasses to and fro.
We noticed the voices were getting louder, closer.
from out of the park...
The Bier Bike.
It was, in fact, happy drunken men singing. And drinking. And pedaling! We watched them until they had to stop at a traffic light before continuing our journey into the park.
We soon came across an area that appeared to be housing several homeless people. Odd, I thought, considering the homeless are the ones who sell extra newspapers all over downtown. But there were tents here and there with little make-shift fences surrounding them. Some tents were in a group, others were stand-alone. There were even a couple of Native-American-looking tee-pees in the mix... which added to the strangeness.
There are a few Native Americans who do musical performances in some of the squares downtown and sell CDs of their work. However, I found it highly unlikely that they would just construct tee-pees in the middle of a park to take up residence. But really, who would?! Unfortunately, that question was never answered.
We did discover the reason for the other tents, though, as we encountered some well-decorated trees.
|I have no idea what this says.|
|Decorated tree, a tent, and a tee-pee?!|
|I don't read German, but I think someone named this tree and gave it a story.|
The people of Stuttgart are a wee bit ticked at a recent decision to put the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) underground. They're not opposed to the idea of all the tracks going underground. They're opposed to the idea that the city government has to remove all the trees to do so!
These trees aren't just beautiful and environmentally fabulous. They're also 200 years old. In fact, one of the last kings that this area had gave his people these trees. Perhaps a more symbolic gift than anything, but it has really meant something. The project is called Stuttgart 21. The tents belonged to peaceful protesters.
Jury is still out on the tee-pees...
We continued walking until we happened upon something that would help us with the sad thought of all these beautiful trees being taken away: a Biergarten!
Because when you can't beat a sorrow, drown it!
|Tory got a monstrous plate of ribs.|
|We accidentally ordered some currywurst, which I ate.|
|Heffeweiss? Yes, please!|
|Pretty Biergarten.. thingy!|
|.5L of beer|