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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Heart Stuttgart

I recently took a trip to England to visit Aneez and Vanessa and to attend my cousin Faizal's wedding.  Since I was so close - I also took a quick detour to Stuttgart to visit my amazing friend Suzie. 

This was my first time in Germany.  When people ask me what I think about Germany I am tentative in my reply.  I was only there for three days.  I really only spent time in a small part of one city there and so I know I didn't get to fully explore and experience Germans and their culture.  I have to admit that I thought there was a warmth and human touch missing there but I don't think it's fair to judge so quickly - so instead I want to tell you 10 reasons why I HEART STUTTGART.  These pictures and experiences are from a two hour walk I took through the city centre.

1. Clocks, clocks and more clocks!
Everywhere you look in the city centre of Stuttgart, which is it's major shopping hub, you will see beautiful clocks. You also have the pleasure of hearing beautiful old church bells ringing each hour from almost anywhere in the city.  (Anywhere that I went at least.)  Have you ever tried to find a clock at your local mall?  I have, with no success. In North America, the mindset is to have us lose track of time and keep shopping.
This clock not only showed the time of day it also told us the phases of the moon! So cool!

2. Water fountains
There are plenty of gorgeous, creative, eceletic water fountains all over Stuttgart.  Here are a few that I found in the city centre.  Shopping outdoors is heightened by the constant sounds of water falling.  It's such a calming experience.

3. Kid friendly

The city centre is filled with happy well behaved kids.  You can't really walk more than a block or so without seeing some sort of kid friendly contraption. 

Suzie and I enjoy the kid friendly offerings of Stuttgart.

4. Pedestrian zones
Stuttgart is filled with these pedestrian zone signs. The pedestrian zones are filled with large, clean, open spaces many of which sit beneath a canopy of tall, leafy trees.  There are tons of benches of all shapes, colours, configurations and sizes as well. One of the things I loved most about Stuttgart were the green public spaces available to everyone. 

Suzie and I have known each other since seventh grade but we became great friends in grade nine.  We also lived together in our first and fourth years of undergrad at McMaster University in Hamilton.  Suzie is beautiful - inside and out. She's ridiculously smart, compassionate, honest, loyal and FUN!  The only problem I have with Suzie is that she lives so far away!

6. Weber's
If you are ever in Stuttgart, try to visit Weber's.  It's a terrific restaurant that boasts a menu inspired by fusing different cuisines.   The meals are simple enough that you are able to see and taste all the ingredients that have gone into them.  I had an amazing Italian and Thai inspired orichetti pasta dish.  I can still remember what it tastes like...

7. Kost Bar hot chocolate.
The first day I arrived in Stuttgart, Suzie and I stopped off for what she claims is a German tradition which is to have coffee and cake in the afternoon.  I thought she was making it up so that we could have an excuse to have cake but apparently I was wrong.  I'm not a lover of the bean so I had a hot chocolate instead and it was absolutely DELICIOUS! 

8. Achtung!
Okay so you see this word a lot in Stuttgart.  I just like the way it sounds!  Achtung!

9. Outdoor cafes.
There are probably 20 outdoor cafes in the city centre of Stuttgart - maybe more.  At all times of the day, you will see people gathered - I guess for this whole cake and coffee phenomenon that Suzie speaks of.  Many of the cafes also provide blankets or fleece to keep you warm.  The cafes add so much colour and spirit to the city.  They were a great way for me to people watch.

10. Fanta Orange
A most refreshing beverage!  Check out the 6 pack of 1.5L Orange Fanta bottles!  I actually giggled when I saw this!


Sylvia bei den Schweizern said...

I am postcrossing Sylvia from Switzerland :) I was curious and visited your blog and discovered your post about your trip to Stuttgart. I grew up near Stuttgart and visited it such a lot of times - but I did not notice that the things you are writing are so special - next time when I visit Stuttgart I will watch out for the clocks and fountains. You are right - it is a habit to have coffee and cake in the afternoon - you even invite friends/family for coffee and cake on Sundays.

Faiza said...

Thanks for dropping by Sylvia! Stuttgart was wonderful for me as you can see.

I hope that 2010 brings you much joy and lots of postcrossing adventures as well!

Krystal said...

nice!!! I still need to get to Stuttgart :) There are clocks and fountains everywhere here too. I find the human warmth thing lacking a little bit here as well, actually..

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