After our trip through the Black Forest to Baden-Baden, we decided to head north to Heidelberg. We were told it was a beautiful town and since I used to be in the printing industry I was very familiar with Heidelberg presses.
It wasn’t too far of a drive from Stuttgart, maybe two hours with the typical construction delays. When we got there we were struct by how many people rode bicycles in the town. All German towns tend to have a higher percentage of bicyclists then in the United States but I think Heidelberg tops them all.
Our first impression was that it was a beautiful city. It was big but still had an old world charm.
When looking for a parking spot we realized why everyone rode bikes, We eventually found a place to park but after the drive we both felt like we needed to find a restroom. During our vacation, we learned that bathrooms are very difficult to find in Germany. We weren’t desperate so we stopped at a store but the clerk was a bit too pushy so we left.
We walked around for a while hoping to find a restaurant where we could both have lunch and use the restroom but the only restaurant that we were interested in was an Italian deli that had no restrooms.
We walked down to the main bridge because I wanted to get a few photos from there but also because Google said there was a public restroom near there that we were never able to find.
We wanted to see the city but at the same time look for a restaurant that had parking, so we got in our car and drove around for awhile.
It really was a beautiful city but we could not find a place to eat lunch that had an open parking space anywhere near it so we decided to head back to Stuttgart. I don’t remember if we found a restroom on the way back or if we just held it for that long.
Once back in Stuttgart, we walked down to the Dinkelacker brewery restaurant where they not only serve good beer, the food was also fantastic. I think it was one of the top three meals that we had while in Germany.
My next post will talk about Triberg and our cuckoo clock purchase. I hope you will watch for it.
On our first full day after arriving in Stuttgart, we wanted to go to the black forest to look for a cuckoo clock. I found that Freiburg seemed to be the place to go for cuckoo clocks but my wife heard of many towns in the Black Forrest and thought we should look for one or two that were closer. I looked it up and found a list of towns that were closer. She remembered hearing about Baden-Baden and thought that would be a good place to visit.
The hotel gave us a card for the parking garage and we conveniently got into the elevator and took it to the basement where our car was parked nearby. It was so much easier than our last hotel in Munich.
Rose wanted to drive through the Black Forest and see the scenery so I set our British navigator to the scenic route which took us through the northern part of the Black Forest. It certainly was a great drive with some beautiful views. We would see beautiful scenery followed by a small town and then more scenery.
We did run into some problems, mostly from our navigation system which seemed to be plotting against us. It started by taking us off a main road, bringing us around in a big circle, and the putting us back on the road again. I thought we misunderstood her so we paid close attention and followed her instructions to the letter but ended up doing the same loop. It felt like a Star Trek episode and we were caught in a time loop. On the third loop I told Rose to ignore her and stay on the main road and the navigator seemed happy with that choice. At least she didn’t complain about it.
Another time she took us off a two Lane road and onto a road only wide enough for one car.
This road had some steep inclines and when it ended we had a choice to go left, down to the main road, or right up to who knows where. The navigator said to turn right. Eventually we ended up on a road so narrow and steep it was foolish to go any further so Rose had to carefully back up to a place where we could turn around.
After that we were taken to a road that was closed. It was actually closed on one end but open so people could get out. Rose wanted to go through anyway but I figured it was closed for a good reason and said I would find a way around so I opened Google maps and guided her around a very long loop in the other direction. It connected to the road we needed to be on several miles ahead but when we got close to the connection point, that road was closed too. This time it was completely blocked off. I then had to find us a way out of the mess we were in. Eventually we got fat enough away for the navigation system to change the route.
The other things that would happen is the navigator would suddenly stop talking and we would miss a turn. I would then have to fiddle with the controls or reset the map to get her talking again. I also tried to turn off the radio once because of bad reception but couldn’t figure out how to do that without also turning off the navigation. Finally she would sometimes tell us to turn were there were no roads, even though the map on the screen showed us continuing straight. If there was a road, we would turn on it and then be told to make a uturn back to the road we were just on.
Dispute all the navigation problems, the drive was very beautiful and well worth the trip. We are blessed with beautiful beaches where we live in Florida but there is nowhere in Florida that I know of that has countryside as beautiful as I have seen in Germany.
When we arrived in the town of Baden-Baden, I was reminded of a college town, and I learned there are several colleges in the area but I didn’t know that at the time.
We drove around but we couldn’t find a parking spot. After awhile we found an Italian restaurant we wanted to try so we drove down the side street next to it and up the next street before finding a spot to park.
We walked down to the restaurant which was also a hotel. The lady inside said the restaurant was closed and then added “It’s Wednesday,” like that was an obvious reason for closing a restaurant. After that we decided to go back to Stuttgart.
When we got back we made a reservation and then had dinner at our hotel’s Italian restaurant which was very good and more reasonably priced than the restaurant at our Munich hotel.
I will talk about our trip to Heidelberg on my next post. I hope you will join me.
After spending three nights in Munich, it was off to Stuttgart, a place you might call our second base of operations. When we booked our vacation we didn’t want to have to change hotels every day or two so we chose two locations that were near places we wanted to see, namely the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest. Of course, there were plenty more places around Germany that we wanted to visit but we couldn’t see everything in nine days.
That morning was our twentieth anniversary. Our main anniversary gift to each other was to be a cuckoo clock that we bought together in the Black Forest so on this morning we just exchanged cards and token gifts. As soon as we were ready that morning, we checked out of our hotel and headed to Stuttgart. Before leaving one of the hotel staff took our photograph.
On the way to Stuttgart we stopped at a town called Ausburg. It was an okay town but it didn’t seem special enough to spend a lot of time in.
While we were there, Rose saw a sign at a corner bakery that looked like a pretzel so we parked and I went inside but saw no pretzels at first. I did see pastries that looked like pretzels. Then I saw it. A single lone pretzel. I still didn’t know the German word for pretzel so I just pointed and said “Diese pretzel, Bitte.” When I got back to the car Rose opened the bag and noticed it was cut in half and had some kind of lunch meat in it. She gave me the meat and ate the pretzel but was not impressed. So our hunt for a good German pretzel continued.
We arrived at our hotel in Stuttgart, The Park Inn by Raddison, at around 1:45. As in Munich, we also had to park in a public parking garage but this garage was cleaner than the one in Munich and the elevator near were we had to park brought us up to just outside the reception desk inside our hotel. It also brought us up to just outside our room which was very covinient. The hotel was more modern than the Excelcier and we had a real king bed, although, like in Munich, we had no top sheet and two single comforters. They did have USB chargers near the bed, which meant I didn’t have to deal with power converters, at least to charge our phones.
Our room was number 703 on the seventh floor, or eighth considering the lobby was considered zero. It was the only floor with balconies and we were glad we spent the little extra money to get a balcony room because we had an awesome view of the city and it was just nice to sit outside since the weather was near perfect for most of our trip.
We then took a walk through Stuttgart. Rose was looking for a large market that she heard about but it was too far to walk to with her bad foot. We walked a few blocks and passed the beautiful Saint Maria’s Church.
We then ended up eating an early dinner at a place called Rathaus im Gerber. They actually had real German food, and it was good. We also had a nice conversation with a waiter who was Indian and spoke good English. He talked about how great Germany is. He said it is the safest county in the world and people don’t have to worry about pickpockets, purse snatchers or even businesses ripping you off. He did not have the same kind words for Italy.
When we returned to the hotel, we sat on the bacony for awhile and enjoyed the evening view.
The following day we took a trip to Baden-Baden. I will talk about that on my next post.