Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend in Stuttgart / Esslingen

My final weekend in Europe as my project has come to a close. I felt it was poetic to spend my last weekend in Germany as the only other time I had done that was my first weekend in Europe which is now over 10 months ago. The weekend was low key and very cold. Basically spent it taking in the Christmas fesitivals all over Stuttgart and Esslingen, which is a neighboring town only 20 minutes away.
Aside from that, I did run into a bunch of Stuttgart soccer players who were staying in my hotel the weekend they played Bayern Munich. Huge game with lots of excitment in the air. Very fun to see people's expressions as they run into these players in the hotel. Most of them are in absolute awe. Below are some photos from the weekend of December 12th, 2008:

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Sweetheart's Visit...Stuttgart & Munich

I was fortunate enough to have my significant other visit me while in Germany for 4 days. We tried to make the most of if even though the weather was quite ghastly.

Photos were taken from the weekend of April 4th.

Welcome to Stuttgart...

Welcome to Munich or München...

Rathaus-Glockenspiel (Apparently one of the most famous if not the most famous Glockenspiel in the world)
it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the bemusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V (who also founded the world famous Hofbräuhaus) to Renata of Lothringen. In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time of course. This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflerstanz (the coopers' dance). In the 16th century a particularly bad period of the plague hit town and everyone went into hiding. The first people to dare go back onto the streets were barrel makers who performed a big dance to show that it was okay to come out again. The Duke of Bavaria was so happy about this that he actually ordered them to re-enact this every seven years, a custom which continues to this day. The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day.
Kathleen and I were bored after the first 2 minutes and were amazed at how entranced people were with this silly event. Undoubtedly a showstopper in the 16th century...Not so much now. Very cool architecture though. Gothic and scary.

Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan

Residenz Museum (simply amazing)

Peterskirche - Church of St. Peter

Frauenkirche - Cathedral Church of Our Lady (Landmark of the city)

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guten Tag From Germany

I’m currently typing up this posting while I travel at 38,000 feet…It appears that I’m now at the center point between Frankfurt and JFK airport, directly over the Atlantic Ocean. This is the tail-end of my third week in Stuttgart for what has thus far been an exciting and challenging engagement. I’m sure there’s plenty more where that came from. Anyway…I wanted to take a moment to commemorate and share some of the non work related activities I’ve managed to squeeze in here during my short time.

Hope you enjoy! Also, t
he following photos were taken on the weekend of February 8th in Stuttgart, Germany.

Beautiful day in the park. Check out the size of that swan! :

Now this was interesting. It was probably the most intense game of Bocci I’ve ever seen. Located in a beautiful park directly across my hotel. Very competitive and angry old men. Good times... :

Chess pieces that require two hands to move them...You got to love that! Also enjoyed by competitive and angry old men. :

More of the park. I believe that’s some sort of museum, straight ahead. :

This is the Slozzplatz or town center. Very beautiful. Lots of energy. :

Museum courtyard in Stuttgart. I have no idea who the statue (Yes...I'm quite the historian aren't I) is of but I thought it looked cool. :

Interior of a beautiful Roman Catholic Church in Stuttgart. Very modern. Check out those pipes! :

Daimler Stadium. Picture does not do it justice, but trust me…It’s massive. :

Mercedes Benz Museum. It’s easily one of the most impressive pieces of modern architecture I’ve seen. It recently won some prestigious German architecture award. :

This picture is dedicated to my girlfriend’s brother (Joey) who is a big Formula 1 fan. Granted his a Ferrari fan but I’m sure he’ll appreciate it just the same. :

Just a crazy looking vehicle built in 1939. It’s main purpose as you might of guessed was to go fast. Really fast! 373MPH fast! Crazy. :

My new ride. Yes…It’s a McLaren SLR. :

I'd like to offer up a special thanks to a colleague of mine who kept me occupied most of the weekend with a slue of fun activities. Including Geocaching of all things. He even took me out to a nice restaurant for my first birthday away from home. Thanks Marty.

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