Saturday, July 16, 2011

Livecam Schlossplatz

When we found out we were moving to Stuttgart, I started reading about the history and layout of the area. I came across this webcam of downtown Stuttgart, which covers an area called the Schlossplatz. (Go ahead and watch it pan for a minute. I'll wait.) "Schloss” means “palace,” the large building on the left. I set the webcam to be a part of my desktop background, so for months I watched a few minutes of Stuttgart every time I logged on to my computer. I watched it change from windy to rainy to foggy to snowy to more snowy to sunny; saw festivals and protests and the gigantic Christmas tree they put in front of the building on the right; and watched people lounge on the grass when it was warm and walk as fast as they could when it was cold. I even imagined Tom there, knowing he often walked downtown on his days off.

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,
Walk in woods near Gartringen
and a dark, spooky, overgrown path on the left.
Walk in woods near Gartringen

We, of course, went left.
Walk in woods near Gartringen
Walk in woods near GartringenWalk in woods near Gartringen
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.
Walk in woods near Gartringen
Random Observations:
  • 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,—.
Walk in woods near Gartringen
Tsch├╝ss!

5 comments:

  1. I love the blog posts, keep them coming!

    Some of the stuff you have discovered over there (the comma/decimal point switch for example) I am familiar with since Quebec follows many European traditions.
    The dogs being allowed in restaurants thing is a little gross though.....I'm picturing Po fur all over the place :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just got caught up on your posts and have to say I have been enlightened as I am one who knows little of the world:) so enjoyed reading about all of your experiences. And Happy Birthday to Jonah. He is a great kid.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't looked at your blog in awhile, and for some gosh awful reason I'm up way to early for a Saturday morning. I love these pictures, what a beautiful place! I bet the winter's are cold though? Your kids seem to be adjusting well, are they learning the language? What a fun learning experiance for them!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Jennifer! Wow your kids have grown! I have never been on your blog. Love the posts about Germany and all the pics, especially since I know little about. I am glad to see ya'll are settling in. I know what it is like to be without hubby for a while. Going on week 3 of 15 and then we move to Hawaii for 3 years! I hope Germany will be next for us after that:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the update! I love your pictures! what a beautiful place to live! Keep the posts coming. We can travel through Germany through your experiences!
    Hello to everyone! :)

    ReplyDelete