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Part I : 48 hours in Schwaben, Deutchland February 18, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.
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Hello everybody. Welcome to part one of a two part tale on my trip to Germany. I am in fact back in Uppsala and decided that instead of trying to describe my whole trip in one massive post it would be wise to break it down into a couple pieces. Yes, I actually did do that much in 6 days. Everyone ready? Here we go. I arrived late night Monday at the airport and was met by my very good friend Sarah M. who I got to know in Seattle but has since moved back to Stuttgart.

We took the train back to her place in Rohr and ended up talking for several hours before finally getting some shut-eye. I had to wake up early (tues) to catch my ride-share ride from the Stuttgart Haupbanhaf (central station) but arrived on location a bit late. My white Volkswagen Golf driving German had left already, but she kindly turned around on the autobahn to pick me up after I called her cellphone. Thanks Agneta, wherever you are! For a 60-something year old woman she knew how to drive very fast and we passed some expensive, fast cars on the autobahn en-route to Freiburg. My other German friend Sarah K. who I got to know in Uppsala picked me up and we explored this fascinating university town together.

This area has history, and we visited a museum to learn more about life and important people from here. The entire city used to be walled off in the middle ages, with a moat around the entire circumference – quite an achievement back in the day.

During WWII the city was heavily bombed and many old buildings were unfortunately completely obliterated. Of the eight or so big medieval gates that used to enclose the city only two remain. We had a chance to stop by the university and explore the old library where I got one of my fav photos of the trip.

These statues were so cool I just had to imitate. We ate some dinner at a brewery, I had schnitzel with potatoes – mmm I love German food. Sarah K. was nice enough to have me stay the night at her place and she taught me some German phrases over several cups of tea. Thanks for your hospitality Sarah! I woke up at a reasonable hour on Wed. and caught another ride-share ride back to Stuttgart with a very nice gal named Jennifer and her dog named Money. I must say that I saved a ton of money riding with locals in Germany instead of taking the very expensive trains, and I also saved time. Anyway, as soon as I got back to Stuttgart I hit some of the downtown city sites. First I took a look at the city art museum but sadly most of their permanent collection was removed for some remodeling/painting so all I got to see was the modern exhibit – yippee! I then went next-door to a museum which chronicles in exquisite detail the history of Baden-Wittenburg (the blue part of the map at the top of this post), which is an official region in Germany, inside the larger unofficial region of Swabia. This museum was impressive and I learned a ton, from Napoleonic times up till the present. I walked further downtown and in the middle is a massive palace/castle.

The above photo doesn’t really begin to capture how huge this palace is. There are statues all above and around it, reminding me faintly of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (and the surrounding courtyard). Looking the opposite way from this picture is a huge pylon of sorts, with a big statue of a woman holding out a laurel crown – it is very awe inspiring.

I continued to explore the city, a large church, the shops and eventually found a nice place to eat with traditional Swabish food which I absolutely love. More on the region’s food to come in the next blog update. I eventually found my way home after calling Sarah M. a few times because I’m just that bad with directions (embarrassing but true). Sarah is part of a scooter (those little “vespa” two-wheel vehicles that arn’t quite motorcycles) club and we went to the club meeting together with Dr. Ulrich (her dentist boss) and his girlfriend. Everyone at the event was extremely nice and willing to speak English with me which I was grateful for. I even met a couple people who had been to Seattle before; it is an extremely rare thing for a European to travel so far into the US. We enjoyed the best beer the world has to offer, German beer. Needless to say, I had no trouble getting to sleep this night. And now, for a random picture of me with a super cool euro car!

At this point I’m going to stop because I’m really tired and have class tomorrow. I’m starting a class called “Culture and Health” which should be interesting, more details to come. In the next update I will finish the German trip (thurs-sun) and have many more photos as well. Please stayed tuned, and thanks for reading!! To be continued….

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Comments»

1. Mark - February 20, 2007

I’m totally thrilled that you have come to love and appreciate Germany, Mike. I can’t WAIT to go traipsing about with you through the Fatherland at some time in the future. So I’m sitting here now, waiting in suspense for Part II of “The German Adventures of the Great Swede”!!! The pics look great, and I’m so glad that you were able to connect with some friends there, particularly Sarah M.

Why didn’t I think about doing ride share when I was there?? We’ll apply this concept to my next trip abroad for sure, it’s a great idea!

peace


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