On Sunday, we joined up with a friend, Quincy, for breakfast. The diner was located somewhere withing walking distance from the city center, at a cafe that’s apparently been around for many years. The place is typically packed by 10 on a Saturday, but since we were going on Sunday, we slipped into a table before the lazy people woke. The food represented a pretty typical German breakfast; muesli, yogurt, meats and soft cheeses, breads, jams, and fruit. And butter. It was all delicious.
Stuttgart is centered at the bottom of a bowl-shaped mountain range, so Quincy drove us along the side of the bowl for the best views. All my photos here came out awful.
Then we drove around to a few sights in the city. The first one we went to was a tower apparently made of sticks and string, called Killesbergturm. There is very little damping in the structure, and since it’s about 40 meters high ( 1,574.80315 inches), the top sways in the wind. And if you move back and forth, quickly, at the tower’s natural frequency, you can get the whole thing to shake quite a lot! It’s fun! Please wait until all the older people have moved to the lowest level. That way, they will have time to recognize what you’re doing, and will be able to leave the tower before they get sick. Quincy apparently had 10-20 school children at the top one day, and they had the tower moving so much, he had to force himself to walk down the stairs. That kind of movement apparently tricks your brain into thinking you’re going to die, regardless of what you do. The effect works just as well for grown men, as well as for small screaming children, who have no basis in the matematics required to convince themselves that the structure won’t fall down at any moment.
There were no children with us, so I had to take Quincy at his word that the children would, in fact, begin to scream.
The views from the top of the tower were pretty fantastic, as you may imagine. Luckily, you don’t have to imagine, since my camera decided to work properly. The photos are in the gallery towards the end of this post.
Later, we passed a bridge supported by a big net. The net was designed to support creeping vine plants, but the vines never really took to the structure. It might have been neat to see it support a large canopy of leaves, but it was also pretty cool to see the underlying structure.
Weather in Stuttgart seems to oscillate between beautiful sunshine and thunderstorms, eight times a day. So when we headed up to a nearby mountain to look at the city below, it was totally expected that it should rain. It was completely unexpected that it should hail, but that’s only because we’re from New York. It doesn’t typically spontaniously hail there. But I’ve started noticing a trend here, and it seems confirmed by talking to others; it hails here all the time, this time of year. Tiny, almost fluffy, pea-sized hail. It bounces harmlessly off your coat, so I really prefer it to rain. It’s also neat to see bouncing off houses and cars, and collecting in gutters.
Before we headed back for beers, Quincy took us to an area of town that looked a bit unreal. Like a fairy-land. It’s possible that he was simply trying to turn the car around, and got stuck in a one-way street. But for whatever reason, it was amazing to think that we actually live here. The buildings were old, the streets were paved of stone, a river ran through a city complete with intricate bridges and sculpture and markets and tons and tons of people. As I was considering that, Alissa spoke up.
“Isn’t it crazy to think we live here?”