About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 6: Oh the adventures we go on....

I a a day late for day 6, but it is because we did so much yesterday!
Saturday- This begins our free weekend. Up until Friday we still did not seem to know what we were planning on doing. But Bettina offered us a scavenger hunt that she cooked up, and we accepted.

First off, we stopped by the Street market. They host these every Wednesday and Saturday morning, and the streets are filled with people.

The square was filled with stands of all different kinds. Teas, to butchers, to bakeries, veggie and fruit stands, flower stands. The smell was amazing!
Asparagus seems to be huge in Germany. I felt like I saw it at every stand! I love asparagus!
The apples looked amazing! Next Saturday I think we are all planning on coming back and gathering items for a picnic!

I saw leeks and I got really excited. Leeks are one of my favorite veggies. I learned how to cook with them last year when I made leek and potato soup. 8 Servings and I believe I ate half of all the servings at one meal, and half at another. Worth it....

After the market we started the scavenger hunt that Bettina had set us up with. She wrote down a bunch of questions pertaining to Esslingen, and Stuttgart, and we traveled along finding out the answers and taking pictures.

First off
Question: How many stairs is it up to the castle in Esslingen?
Answer: Alot. But we cheated on accident when we asked how to get to the stairs. One of the ladies in the traveler info shop told us that there are 313 steps up to the castle. We decided we were still going to walk them. I got my workout in for the day with these steps.
313 steps. What a blast!

The view was amazing though. You could see for quite a distance, and everything was beautiful.
Look at the vineyards! There are everywhere in this part of Germany, covering the big hill in the center of town.

Question: How many canons are in the castle?
Answer: We found 3. So we assumed there were 3. :)

Question: Find the residential castle.
Answer: We found it! Took us a while to figure out the train system. Meaning we got on the wrong train and had to backtrack.
"The New Palace (German: "das Neue Schloss", which may also be translated as New Castle) is a building which stands on the south edge of Schlossplatz, the central square in Stuttgart, Germany. The castle is built in late Baroque style.

From 1746 to 1797 and from 1805 to 1807, it served as a residence of the kings of W├╝rttemberg. (At other times, the Ludwigsburg Palace, a few miles to the north was the favoured residence of the royal family). The palace stands adjacent to the Old Castle.

The castle was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing during the Second World War and was reconstructed between 1958 and 1964. During this time most of the inside of the castle was also restored and the building was used by the Baden-W├╝rttemberg State Parliament. Today it is used by the State Ministries of Finance and Education. Public tours of the building are only permitted by special arrangement" Wikipedia information

The courtyard was filled with so many people. And the grass was so soft! WE sat around for a little bit before moving on to our next scavenger hunt situation.

Question: Go to Stuttgart and have fun.
Answer: uhhh.. that's not a question but I believe we can make it work.

Tasha recommended we try a dish named currywurst. It is a bratwurst covered in a sweet ketchup, and then they put curry spice over it. They serve it with a baguette. It was amazing. I have not yet been let down by a food yet.

We also witnessed a rally in Stuttgart.
Could not understand a word they were saying, but we asked around and found out they rally were people against the rebuilding of Stuttgarts train station and multiple other things. It was titled K21, or Kein 21.

"Stuttgart 21 Protests
Stuttgart 21 is a massive urban development and transportation project with a goal of making Stuttgart the "heart of Europe". For many reasons, from the uprooting of 200year old trees for the project to the outrageous costs, and the dubious ways it passed through local government, S21 has seen much opposition.
One of the interesting things about S21 is traditionally, Stuttgart is a very conservative city not known for protests of this scale. Every day at 7pm, people all over the city participate in the Schwabenstreiche, a Schwabisch style of protest. Basically it is 5 minutes of blowing whistles, banging on pots, and making noise.
There are usually 2 very large and organized protests each week as well."

We traveled to the Porshe museum to view some cars, but turns out it was not a free entrance fee. So we hung out in the gift shop for a little bit and headed back to Esslingen.

Where we took a much needed nap.

Once we all woke up, groggily... We decided to grab dinner and drinks in the park near our hotel. Our waitress was a teacher in one of the Grundschule (grade schools) here in Esslingen. She spoke little English but made us speak in German. She helped us with words and even made Tasha and Marcela say the German word for silverware when they were asking for it. After dinner she sat with us and chatted (the best we could) thankfully one of us knows some sort of German. Emily was embarrassed to speak German, but she did a great job! We were all so proud.

Most of us are starting to really understand German, and even though we can't find all the words to speak it, we are able to listen and pick out the main topics of what is being said.

The waitress even taught us about German coin money. You know how we (in the states) have the quarters from different states? Well that is how the Euro works too. Germany has its own design on the coins, which is different from Spain, or France, or any other country in Europe. All the coins work where ever they take Euro, but its just different designs. She even went through her money pouch to show us the different types that she had with her.

We showed her American coins, and even gave her one of each coin to keep. She was a rather amazing waitress, and I think everyone had a blast. Her manager came over and told her to wait on her other tables too (in German) but she just laughed and said she wanted us to have a good time. It was a great end to a great day!

Btw, I think I found a beer that I can drink! It's beer mixed with cola. So I am not full out beering it. But I am getting closer. :)

Today seems to be a rest sort of day. Zoo may be in store, or canoeing, or a mineral water bubbly swim. We will see.


Cat said...

oh my god i climbed those stairs once... a had to stop for a break in the middl because it was too much!

stuttgart 21 is a very big protest and i really hope they win, that project is just so stupid and useless!

i would kill for a curry wurst/cumin wurst right now! you really make me miss german food...

Renee Anne said...

Never got to go to Stuttgart.....someday, maybe.

But I do remember going to the outdoor markets in Salzburg and Munich...so much food! And there were so many people. I wish you could find a farmer's market like that around here (but the health codes would never allow some of it!).

I think I still have some of my Euros from when I was in Austria and Germany. It wasn't too long after they instituted that system so everything was fairly new. And then the money was close to American value so we didn't have too much trouble with it. I think I bought my Doc Martens for 100 Euros and it was something like $110 on my credit card statement.

I'm jealous that you're in Europe and I'm stuck in Wisconsin where the temperature has fluctuated so much this past week that both Little Man and I have gotten colds :(