Friday, March 18, 2011

Visiting the Swabian region of Germany: Getting to know Stuttgart

I recently had the opportunity to visit Stuttgart Germany. I arrived in late January to what felt like a blistering cold. I spent most of my time at a nearby small town but I did make it into Stuttgart for a couple of days. The city is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

 I arrived by train on what was a scenic and beautiful journey.

It was really cold so I mostly stayed in the city center and did not stray too far away from the central train station. This is a beautiful and prosperous region of the country. This area of German is referred to as the Swabia. This is well-to-do section of the country. It is home to manufacturing and car production (think Mercedes-Benz & Porsche). As a result, there are many places to do some upscale shopping.

As with other parts of Germany, Stuttgart is experience an influx of immigrants. Many of these immigrants come from Turkey. As you can see below the influence of Turkish immigration is visibly represented by the many Turkish Kebab restaurants located throughout Germany.

Germany is cold much of the year (especially for me, a Texan). As a result much of the country has mineral bath saunas where families relax and warm up from the cold. I visited one of these baths in the small, picturesque town of Böblingen about 20 minutes south of Stuttgart The picture below shows a long line of folks waiting their turn to enter the hot baths. The visit costs about 20 dollars but trust me it is worth it on a cold, German day.

At the Stuttgart airport I got one of my best laughs in the entire country. Germany has very liberal attitudes toward sex. Sex shops and erotic stores are everywhere. However, I did not know that the condom machine also sold sex toys. Don’t worry the picture is not too graphic.

Auf Wiedersehen Germany! It was a fun and educational trip.