Today we explore two attractions here in Stuttgart. With the weather being sunny and in the high 80/low 90’s we decided we didn’t want to be out in the sun. Our first stop was Fernsehturm, which is the worldest first tv tower at height of 217m, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty. The tower just reopened in January after being closed for 3 years. We took an elevator to the top where we had two observation decks which offered views of Stuttgart. Since we arrived early we got the Guten-Morgen Ticket which is the good morning ticket because we arrived before ten. We saved $6, so I wasn’t complaining.
From there we drove across town to the Porsche Museum where we learned all about Porsche's history from it’s beginning to present day.
Mario and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary today by exploring the area of Triberg which is located in the Black Forest area of Germany. It was a beautiful day full of summer sun. We arrived in the morning and explored the town of Triberg. We headed towards the waterfall which is Germany’s highest waterfall. It falls 160 meters down into seven cascades of the valley. We hiked up to the top of the falls seeing the town below and then walked our way back to town. On the way out of town we stopped at the worldest largest cuckoo clock. From Triberg we traveled the small distance to Dorotheenhutte - the last active glassworks of Black Forest in Wolfach. We were able to make our own glass vase. They give you the opportunity to blown in the stick which helps the vase to grow, it was super neat! Also there was a museum where you learned about how glass is made, but of course it was all in German, so I looked at alot of pictures! A great adventure which I shared with my hubby!
Yesterday Mario and I headed to Baumwipfelpfad which is a treetop walkway. The walkway connects to a viewing tower which is nearly 40 meters high. From the top of the tower you have a birds eye view of the Black Forest landscape. The weather was sunny and breezy, a nice day to explore. Once up top you had the option of taking the slide down for an extra fee.
I took another USO tour to the city of Brussels or Bruxelles which is in Belgium to see the flower carpet which is held in the Grand Place. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the flower carpeting, with the first one created in 1971 and has happen every two years since 1968. It takes more than 100 volunteers to put together the carpet in less than four hours. The Flower carpet is 75m long by 24 m wide and has around 600,00 flowers. The carpet is make up of begonias. Belgium is the world’s largest producer of begonias; 60 m million bulbs a year. This year’s carpet is in a Japanese designed to celebrate 150 years of Belgo-Japanese friendship. This only happen for one weekend in August, every 2 years.
We had an early morning departure, making a breakfast stop in Luxembourg, adding another country to my list. We arrived in Brussels around lunch time and took a walking city tour. While on the walking tour, we saw some sites such as the train station, shopping galleries, comic strip murals and the Manneken Pis. The Manneken Pis is a landmark small bronze sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into fountain basin. At different times he is dressed and has over 914 costumes. We came upon a book store which used to be a concert hall and then saw part of the old city dating back to 1238 which was found while repaving the roads 15 years ago. It is neat how history is literally right under your feet!
From there we had free time until we had to meet back for our balcony view of the carpet. I took in some sights of the flower carpet from the ground. During the free time, I walked around and saw a couple of churches. I was able to go inside both. First was the Notre Dame de Sablon or Church of our Blessed Lady of the Salon. It is a 15 century church located in Sablon district of Brussels and is known for its baroque chapels and Gothic architecture. After viewing the inside of the church we walked across the street and enjoyed the views of Square du Petit Sablon. It was nice place to take a rest on the bench and enjoyed the fountain and surrounding flowers. From there, I walked to the Cathedral St. Nicholas and St. Gudula which is a Roman Catholic church in the old city of Brussels. I arrived right before 4:00 mass, so I got to hear the pipe organ play. With all the churches I am seeing, that was something I wanted to do.
From there, I walked to the Cathedral St. Nicholas and St. Gudula which is a Roman Catholic church in the old city of Brussels. I arrived right before 4:00 mass, so I got to hear the pipe organ play. With all the churches I am seeing, that was something I wanted to do.
Then we had to chance to view the flower carpet from the city hall balcony. On the to the baalcony we saw parts of the city hall and then had a chance to have a birds eye view of the carpet, I wasn’t disappointed!
After that we still have a little a more free time, so I had me a Belgium waffle with strawberries and whip cream. I was awesome!! The place I got it from, also sells churros which look like onion rings, I should have tired them. I was strong and didn’t buy any Belgium chocolate. I did go into a grocery store and pick up some treats and a bottle of wine to try from Spain.
I arrived home early Sunday morning and had to opportunity to add 2 more countries to my list! I am up to 10 now!
I took a USO tour to Prague in the Czech Republic. We left very early Saturday morning but had 9 hours to explore Prague or Praha. I did some research before so I had an idea of things I wanted to see. The weather was nice and sunny with a nice breeze. I learned that Prague uses the currency of Czech koruna but still accepted euros. So $1 US is about 24.38 koruna. For example if something is 990CZK it would be $40 US. Koruna means crown. Czech Republic was gonna adopt the euro in 2012 but has been delayed to a future time. The bus dropped us off at the train station so we made our way toward the old town square. First we came across Wenceslas square, from there we followed the main road and came to the Astronomical clock (600 year old mechanical clock face which is located in Old Town Square. I walked to the Jewish commentary but found it closed, but took a quick peek in a crack in the wall. On the way to the Prague Castle I came to Mala Strana which is a section of the city known as the Lesser or Little Quarter which houses St. Nicholas. This baroque church was built between 1704-1755. I paid the 70 koruna or CZK which is about $2.80 US to go inside and it was well worth it. The inside of the church was amazing, my pictures doesn’t do it justice. You can even climb up to the upper balcony and get a birds eye view of the church below. After getting a little turned around I made it to the top of the hill which houses the Prague Castle and had a wonderful view of the city of Prague. What looks like the Eiffel Tower is really the Petrin Lookout Tower in a near by park. The line was long to get into the Prague castle complex so I explored the courtyard instead. On the way back down the hill I took advance of a trdelnik (trdlo) which is a traditional cake and sweet pastry. It is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar. I chose to have my filled with vanilla ice cream. This past winter I had one at a Christmas market and was eager to have another one. On the way back to the bus I explored a few shops and the market tents where I got wooden clock which shows famous sites of Prague, wooden bookmarks,christmas ornaments and a necklace. After a 6 1/2 bus ride I was back home. Our bus driver knew a short cut so we missed a major stau or traffic jam.
Prague marks my 4th new country I have explored since arriving. Next week I will add another one! So far I have been to 8 countries - England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Switzerland! I love the opportunity to travel! I hope you are enjoying the ride!!
Today I went to visit a friend and while walking around her town, we came across some tables set with baskets of fresh vegetables and buckets filled with sunflowers. Each basket had the prices marked and you took and paid for what you wanted. The zucchini still had the dirt on it, so you know it was fresh. There was no person sitting there, you just put your money in their mailbox. How trusting! It's little adventures like this that I love living here. I got the zucchini and the bag of beans for 2 euro, which I feel is a bargain.
A teacher who loves traveling the world.