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A Day in the Lives of Two NON-tourists

So, March 31 Sandy and I decided that we would document our day.  We had nothing touristy planned and decided to write about and take pictures along an ordinary day.

Sandy had planned to get up early (which I find completely incomprehensible, after all we are on vacation) to go jogging with my brother who was trying by means of  applying his guilt trip strategy on me, to get me to join them.  I, however, can NEVER be guilted into running at any time of the day and so I did not even think about that option.  Well, the two of them had good intentions and I heard Sandy get up but she only made it as far as the bathroom and then decided she was too cold and tired and a nice cozy, warm bed would be the better choice.  Sensible girl!  My brother never showed and so it all worked out.

When we eventually did get up, we had a quick breakfast and  got ready.  We were supposed to catch the trolley at 10 am to get to a meeting point at 11 am where my mother’s friend Charlotta would pick us up.  Charlotta, however called and said she would pick us up from home.  Where were we planning to go?  I guess I should tell you that my mother has a childhood friend who is a well known painter in these parts, who was having a showing at his workshop in Bad Sebastiansweiler.  I wasn’t all that excited to go but there are some things we just have to do for someone else and not just ourselves.

So, Charlotta, who turned out to be a very kind and friendly lady, came to pick us up and off we went in her little VW Golf.  I am always somewhat nervous riding in the car with anyone, though I’m sure my children would disagree with the word ‘somewhat’.  Ok, I confess, I am the kind of person who has her own set of imaginary brakes and is not afraid to use them!  I also make all kinds of funny noises when I perceive danger, like breathing as if in labor or squeeking if we get to close to the car in front of us.  I have learned to sit on my hands so as not succumb to the urge to take over the steering wheel.  Needless to say I am not the one who should be teaching our children to drive.  Just so you know, I am the complete opposite when I drive myself! I have a little Hyundai Sonata Turbo and let me tell you, that car has power!!! I would have loved to drive that on the Autobahn!

Anyway, Sandy and I got into the back of the little VW Golf and I can honestly say, that I felt very comfortable.  I have to tell you that German drivers are a very unfriendly and unforgiving lot.  Always have been, for as long as I remember. When Charlotta was in the wrong lane at a light, the driver next to her tried to ignore her and would not let her in his lane and the driver behind her was honking at her.  But she was calm as a the surface of a lake on a windless day and completely ignored the annoying driver behind her and butted in front of the car next to her.  Very impressive! So we drove to the town of Belsen (not to be confused with Belsen-Bergen) and stopped at the local OBI which is comparable to the Home Depot stores in the USA.  We needed to use the Ladies room which in German is either called ‘Toiletten’ or ‘WC’.  When in Germany NEVER ask for the Badezimmer (bathroom) because basically you would be asking to take a bath.  See, you are learning all kinds of useful information on this blog of mine.  (By the way, if you like my blog, click the ‘like’ button if you see it.  WordPress is keeping count of how many people like a blog and there may be some reward if a blog gets lots of likes.  Haven’t really looked into it, but if there is a prize I promise to share it with you!)

See, how easily I get sidetracked!  There was a point about me telling you about OBI.  Oh yes, I got a picture to show you.

Bakery at the entrance to OBI hardware store

After all this blog is primarily about bread and bread is such a huge part of the German culture.  So, the point I want to make is that even in a hardware store you can find a bakery.  To justify the statement I forgot to make: that there are bakeries at every street corner and in between.  And that’s the truth.  Sandy asked me where all the fast food places are.  Well, bakeries ARE the German fast food places.  If we need fast food, we will have a Brezel with butter,  a roll with coldcuts (ein belegtes Broetchen) or veal sausage with ketchup and curry (Curry Wurst).  And that’s what we got from the vending cart outside of OBI.  Sandy had her first Curry Wurst. Unfortunately, they slathered and drowned it with sauce and Sandy said it tasted like hot dogs.  So my travel tip of the day is, stay away from the Curry Wurst at the OBI in Belsen .  However, the grilled ‘Kalbshaxen’ looked delicious.

Kalbshaxen (veal feet)

After we consumed our early lunch it was only a few minutes to our destination of Sebastiansweiler.  I took this beautiful picture on our walk from the parking lot.  They have an intersting system for parking.  There are certain parking places where you can only park with what is called a ‘parking disk’ (Parkscheibe).  Apparently you get that for less than a dollar at the hardware store and when you occupy a designated parking spot you set the time of your arrival on the disc and then you have 3 hours to park.  I didn’t quite understand the whole point of it but I am just mentioning this to future travelers.  Do NOT park in a parking spot that has a signage with a parking disc!

What a beautiful day in Sebastiansweiler!

When we got to our destination we found a little market there and people where selling handmade gifts and other things. I am attracted to rocks that feel good in your palm (not just 100 but 300%) and saw this polished purple egg shaped stone that was beckoning me to take it home.  Some women feel that way about shoes, (I have been told) or jewelry, but not me.  I can’t even say that I collect rocks, because I do NOT. But this beautiful purple rock whose name I don’t even know just had to be mine.  and here it is:

Then on we went to the workshop of Andreas Felger, the painter.  What a cool workshop he has!  It is in a former chapel and even still has an organ.  The windows are arched stained glass windows except the glass panes were not colored.  It was a very friendly, sunny place and I imagined having a workshop like that as a sewing studio

Here are Sandy and I taking a rest.  There was a sign on front of the Brezel basket that said “Bitte bedienen Sie sich.” (Please, help yourself).  And so we did.

See that tree thingy with the Brezel hanging from it? I found out something very interesting about that.  It wasn’t just decoration.  It was a ‘Weidenstab’ that is set up at easter time.   Apparently the latin origin of the word Brezel has something to do with price and it is symbolic for the price Jesus paid for us on the cross.  Normally there is a rooster crowning the top to symbolize the denial of Peter when the cock crew (?) thrice. It is to remind us to never forget him (Jesus).  I apologize for the bad grammar.  My brain is trying to de-scramble English from German and is not very successful, it seems.

My mom and Charlotta

This a great picture of two friends having a great time together!

This painting looks good with Sandy

REHA Klinik Bad Sebastiansweiler

Atrium inside REHA Klinik

Hyazinths outside the Klinik

Schwaebische Mautaschensuppe (local specialty)

I have to tell you about this local specialty.  Though you can find it in every grocery store it is particular to the Friday before Easter.  We are actually making them from scratch (practically) this Friday.  This has been a long standing tradition with the Swabian people for the following reason:  The Friday before Easter (Karfreitag) the catholic population does not consume meat during the fasting season. And so apparently some monks, who ended up with a piece of meat and did not want to offend by eating it openly,  chopped up the meat, added some spices and wrapped it in a pasta cover, so the meat was hidden.  The Maultaschen are also called ‘Herrgotts-Bscheisserle’ in dialekt which means ‘cheating God’.  Sandy and I decided we are going to attempt to make these when we get home and continue the tradition.  Firstwe eat them in broth and then you eat them with homemade potatoe salad.I can’t wait!!

After we had partaken of the delicious soup, we remembered that Stuttgart had a ‘Lange Einkaufsnacht’ (extended shopping hours) until Midnight and so Sandy and I decided we need to do some midnight shopping at 9pm. We walked halfway into town in the cold at night and took another picture to share with you.  This is a picture taken at a gas station showing the prices per liter in Euro.

And you think you are paying a lot for gas???

Now remember, there are almost 4 litres in a gallon.  We used the current exchange rate.  So, good people of the United States of America,  I have you know that you are getting a good deal on your gasoline prices.  The gas price here converts to over $8 per gallon!!!

A few more cool pictures of Stuttgart, Sandy and Sibyl at night.

Stuttgart at night (Schlossplatz)

Window advertising for S. Olivier

Koenigsstrasse at night (King’s Street in Stuttgart)

Sandy am Schlossplatz bei Nacht

Over and Out.

#art #BadSebastiansweiler #Maultaschen #travel #Bretzel