Visit to Stuttgart

This time when I was in Germany, I had a different kind of experience – that of unplanned trips. And no, it was not bad at all though there were a few things that I feel, would have helped in making the trips better.
But spontaneity is something that has always interested me and I have taken several decisions at the spur of the moment and more often than not, they have turned out to be good (or may be I have selective memory so as not to remember the bad ones).
So much for the foreword. Now to the actual action.
So, here I was in Germany alone and thinking of what to do over the weekend ( it can be pretty mind boggling if you are sitting in the hotel room watching television and trying to figure out the plot of a Hollywood movie in which the actors are speaking in German, and your knowledge of German doesn’t go beyond “Guten Morgen” and “Danke”!) Suddenly I broke out of my reverie by a phone call. It was from another colleague (MD) who was staying at some other hotel. She and two more colleagues were planning to go to Munich by road, and she asked me if I was interested. Boy was I interested! I felt it was a godsend phone call.
We both agreed that I would catch the next train to Heidelberg and they would meet me at the train station.
So I rushed towards the bath and then for breakfast. At the hotel reception, I met two people from the same hotel but different teams than mine (In the hotel, there were lots of people from the same company). They too were going to the train station but to a different destination – Stuttgart.
Now at the tram station also I had my share of gyan for the day. I assumed that the ticket that you buy there was meant for all the public transports but realized the mistake only after having taken out a 5 euro ticket from the vending machine.
Nonetheless, as soon as we got the tram, we boarded it but instead of taking the turn towards the train station, it turned in the opposite direction. So we got down and ran towards the train station. Upon reaching there, getting the tickets and all, I missed the train which MD and I had agreed upon, by one minute. Now the next train was only after half an hour.
I felt anxious as MD had said that it would become crowded if they start late from Heidelberg and there was a possibility of getting caught in traffic jams. But I had no means of communicating with her. In the haste, I had forgotten to take any contact number from her.
But it seems these two colleagues were heaven sent. They proposed that we go to Heidelberg and if I don’t find my friends, then I can join them in their trip to Stuttgart.
So off we went first towards Heidelberg and then one of them came with me up to the outside of the train station but finding no one at the appointed place, we ran back inside as we had one minute left to catch the train to Stuttgart!
And thus began my journey to Stuttgart. The view was good but would have been awesome if there were some leaves on the trees!
It was the end of winter but spring was yet to come.
When we reached Stuttgart, it was quite chilly as there was no sun to be seen.
We decided to check the tourist office for the info and after collecting all the details, one of them decided to go for the Mercedes Benz museum while the other one and I decided to skip the same.
Thus, armed with the map of the city, two of us started on foot, after having decided that we would meet the third one at about 1:00 PM.
At the tourist information center the lady had said that we could cover all the places on foot and so we started from there. But frankly speaking, it was really difficult to understand what building was what if you go without any home work.
So we simply kept looking at the map and tried to match the buildings with the numbers given in the map. Looked in awe at the buildings but really could not appreciate their importance.
But still, a quick list of the places that we saw. Starting from the main train station we saw the Schloss square or the Palace Square which was quite big and is quite an important place during the Summer Fest.
Next we saw the State Gallery and the State Theater.
The State Gallery is comprised today of three buildings. The oldest part of the gallery, known today as the Old State Gallery, was constructed during 1838 to 1843 by Gottlob Georg Barth as the Museum of Picture Art. Later, the Old State Gallery was joined by the New State Gallery While the Old State Gallery contains works from the middle Ages to the 19th century, the New State Gallery contains art from the 20th century. Furthermore, the Gallery has one of the most important collections of Picasso’s work to be seen.
But we did not see any of these things as we were not aware of this information at that time.
Then we reached the city hall and then the market place. We were quite hungry by that time and also the time for meeting the third friend was approaching so we hurried towards the train station.
Upon reaching back, the three of us went ahead for the Mc Donald’s to satiate our rumbling tummies but all we could have was some french fries and some salad along with some coffee as all three of us were vegetarians.
Then we decided to end our tour and to go back to Mannheim. Upon reaching Heidelberg, we were greeted by some snow and that was the first time I saw a snow fall – quite light but nonetheless.
By the time we reached back the hotel, it had become quite cold. So we bade each other good bye. I don’t know what else to do and so simply went ahead for a good night’s sleep, with no clue about what to do the next day. But the day was enjoyable and that was enough.
But may be, if there is a next time, I would surely like to do my research before going to places of such importance, so that I can know the worth/importance of what I see there.

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