Fast forward to today. Tom and I left for our Saturday shopping trip, but since we are finally settling in a little bit and only needed to hit one store instead of three, he suggested driving into Stuttgart and walking around a bit. Sure! I hadn’t been into Stuttgart proper yet. Our house is a good 30 km/20 miles away, and all of our destinations are in outlying areas. We followed the GPS route, parked in an underground garage, and came out to get our bearings. Pretty soon we came around a corner, through a throng of people, and out from under some trees, and I stopped and said, “I know this place!” We were coming from behind the circle of red flags on the right, and I was finally seeing in person a scene I knew so well. I almost teared up! I am just so thankful to finally be in this place. First thing I did was locate the webcam – it is situated in a little white ball on the roof of the building. We walked around the perimeter of the plaza, then near the tall monument, and let Vienna sit and put her feet in the fountain. The water was cold! We then spent a couple more hours just walking around the markets and in and out of stores, stopping for a pastry here and an ice cream cone there. Because the trip was unplanned, and because my batteries died during our walk in the woods yesterday, I had no camera with me and therefore no pictures to share. I thought about finding pictures from the web to post, but since I know we will be going back, I want to wait and share my own. Hope you don’t mind!
If you are not on Facebook (as you should be!), here are the pictures from yesterday. Tom and I and our little lady went out to dinner in the next town over, stopped for ice cream (they make it so easy here), and drove around until we ended up on a narrow road heading into the country. We got to a place where the road split into three, none of which allowed cars, so we stopped and went for a walk! It reminded me of a movie, because there was a sunny, open, well-lit path on the right,
and a dark, spooky, overgrown path on the left.
We, of course, went left.
This was relatively a pretty small patch of forest, surrounded by farmland. But gorgeous! It was actually very dark in there. My dinky little point-and-shoot was trying its best to lighten things up. I plan to go back with my better camera, a little earlier in the day, with someone who wants their picture taken, and see what we can capture. And can you imagine it in the fall?!?
Tom picked up a walking stick along the way, so naturally Vienna needed one, too. Tom broke one off to be the right height for her, and it is actually pretty cool looking – it has a handle shape on the top, so it looks like a cane. I kept trying to take a picture of it, but she would move it at the last minute so it cut off the cool part. Plus, she thought it was better to turn it over and make it a foot-stick. Whatever. We held on to it for future outings.
- Dogs are allowed in many stores and restaurants.
- Smoking is very prevalent here.
- Many drinks (water, soda, juice) are sold in 1.5 liter bottles – as tall as a 2L soda bottle, but skinnier.
- Commas replace periods in decimal points, so the volume on the bottles above is listed as 1,5L.
- Periods replace commas as digit separators, so if you have a million of something it would be 1.000.000.
- A dash is used in money to indicate “zero cents.” So something that costs 5 euros exactly is written as €5,—.