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Saturday, June 27th, 2009

I left Antwerp the next morning after some more waffles (via one of the nicest old train stations I’ve seen) for Stuttgart (home of one of the least attractive train stations I’ve seen), to stay with a friend I met in Korea for a few days.  It’s been a nice several days, enjoying the summer weather and just hanging out.  I haven’t done much sightseeing, though I did check out the view from the tower on the hillside above the city.

central stuttgart

Stuttgart is the home of Porsche and Mercedes Benz and while I’ve been here I have seen more porsches, mercedes, bmw’s, audis and funnily enough smart cars than I ever have before.  Apparently people get smart cars here because parking is a nightmare in the city…

parked smart car

I did go to the Mercedes Benz museum one afternoon, which had a collection of vehicles and exhibitions from the first Mercedes ever made right up to the latest fuel cell technology cars and everything in between.  Good stuff.

first mercedes

Other than that, I’ve mainly just hung out with my friend, played some guitar, drunk lots of good German Hefeweizen and eaten delicious local German food (like Maultaschen soup, Saumagen and Kasespatzle).

me drinking some hefeweizen

My last day, before my overnight train to Paris, we drove to nearby Tubingen, home of a charming medieval town centre and river-front complete with a castle perched on a hill overlooking it all…

river through the old town

town hall

old town

old town

marker square

view from the castle

We walked around, soaking up the atmosphere and sunshine, had some of the best gelato I’ve ever eaten, then headed back to Stuttgart for my train that night.  The last few days have been slow paced, relaxing and good fun.  My next few days will swing the other way.  First an overnight train to Paris, unfortunately I only have one day there (due to the high cost of earlier trains), then a train to London, 1/2 a day there before for my flight to Buenos Aires.  That is 4 countries in 3 days, a record pace even for me!