Monday, 8 March 2010

On arrival (notes on Stuttgart)

Blog post number two...

Before I forget, Lufthansa? Not so bad actually. It helps if you're dead tired for sure, and being exhausted from too many movies on the first flight certainly ensured that (Fantastic Mr Fox - sehr gut, Up In the Air - es geht, and An Education - sehr gut). Notice the Deutsch in that last sentance? It's about all I'm up to (more on that in another post). The food on Air New Zealand is certainly better, and there's more leg room, but Lufthansa had one great saving grace, hot towels - oh how I loves 'em.
I arrived in Stuttgart very, very, tired and I soon came to regret my decision to fill the iMac box up around the iMac with additional possessions. This regret was amplified about 10 minutes into my 1.6 km walk from the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhoff (central train station, roughly), when I realised that in this stupid damn hemisphere the sun is in the wrong place (and thus I was walking in very much the wrong direction). By the time I reached my hotel and found my terribly austere tiny single room, I was about as tired as I'd ever been, so funnily enough I achieved very little on the Saturday.

Sunday was a new day though, except for a complete freak-out at about 3 a.m. in the morning (a "What have I done" alone in one's thoughts type thing (it hasn't been the last)). Awakening, I was in a much better mood, so, Lonely Planet in hand, I set out to see the Capital of Baden-Württemberg.

It's a cool city I have to say. A little scary around the central train station on a Saturday where the punks, goths and homeless tend to gather, but there's a lot to see and I've barely scratched the surface of it. There's a massive (4 km or so) beautiful long park that runs along one side of the city centre, and you can see vineyards all over the hills. The art galleries are meant to be world-class, as is the zoo and the museums, but the only museums I got to were the Natural History Museum, which was terrific, and the Mercedes Benz Museum this last weekend on a field-trip. The latter Museum I think would blow your mind if you were keener on cars than I am, but even I thought it was cool. It's a beautiful place, you take a lift up to begin with and then just wind around and through it, they give you a free headset which has an blue tooth so only pipes up with information at certain points, and there really is a tonne to see.

My favourite thing in Stuttgart so far though is the monument to the handicapped and psychiatrically ill euthanised in World War II - it's a stone bus, symbolising the buses that took them to the concentration camp trains. There's actually two of them, I think the one in my photo is permanently in the centre of the city, whereas the other one is moved from place to place every six months or so.

Next stop? Schwäbisch Hall.

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