Porsches and Snow

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Sunday, December 2, 2012

Howdy folks,

Friday night was time to let off steam and it was Kim's birthday so the 2 Steffies and I went over to have dinner and make a party. 34 years old may not be a milestone, but with newborn twins it was time to relax and let it all hang out. It was a fun night full of pasta, cake, a xylophone and too much gin and the next day brought a nice hangover to finish it off. There is nothing better than taking a bath when you have a pounding headache and then sleeping into 1pm!

We spent Saturday afternoon in Mannheim hitting up the Christmas shops for goodies for Nikolaus which is a spin on the Santa theme. It takes place on the 6th December and someone dresses up as the jolly, fat man and gives the kids a present from his sack after reading out the naughty/nice list. Seems to me like double the effort of buying gifts to me! We decided to take the tram into the city and the first store that we took a look in gave me a big surprise! I turned around to find a woman staring at me who promptly asked the question, "Didn't you used to work at Andersons Solicitors?" Turns out she was Anita King one of the solicitors I used to work with on a study leave in Mannheim! Very random and definitely unexpected. After a 10 minute catch up it was time to keep shopping and we bade farewell.

On Sunday we had quite a bit to do because we had planned to visit the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and when we woke up it had been snowing overnight! It first snowed on 22nd October in Banff, but it took until 2nd December here in Germany. That just goes to show how long the winter is there! There was a good couple of inches covering everything and it took some work before we could get on the road. Our first stop was Neckargemünd, which is a village east of Heidelberg where we picked up Kiran who wanted to tag along for the day. The roads were slippery and it became evident that we had to take care after passing an overturned car on the side of the road at the bottom of a hill. It must have just happened because there was only a police car in attendance.

Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Württemberg and home to 600,000 people and the factories of Mercedes Benz and Porsche. As a result it is a motoring mecca with many people travelling to see the official museums and we were no different. We arrived at the Porsche Museum at 10:30am after a 130km drive along the Autobahn (give or take a few wrong turns), We stopped for a coffee in the cafe before we started and gazed at the workshop where a few vintage cars were being restored. Then we took the escalator up to the start of the museum where the real magic begins!

The museum is only a few years old and is an architectural masterpiece starting in a circular pattern of extending concentric circles. The exhibits are somewhat designed to be viewed in chronological order and the first exhibit is the 1939 Porsche 64 Prototype which looks more spaceship than roadcar. From there the museum goes from early begininngs at the turn of the century when Ferdinand Porsche was designing all types of vehicles from fire trucks to early racers. Then it broadens out to when he started designing the 356 and 911 models which were carried on by his son Ferry Porsche. There are so many immaculate cars on display that it sometimes hard to believe that you aren't in a showroom or that some are vintage autos. There are quite a few of the racers as well from circuits, Le Mans, F1 and even rally examples. The museum winds itself up to the top and you catch the extended escalators back down to the bottom.

We spent a good 2 hours in the museum before driving into Stuttgart for lunch. There isn't too much open on a Sunday and the snow was continuing to fall limiting our views. After some doner kebabs, we headed back into the Hauptbahnhof to go up to the 10th floor viewing platform. We walked down the Königstraße to where the Weihnachtsmarkt started and were greeted with the usual gluhwein and gingerbread heart stalls with a minitature train track, ice skating rink and about 3 times as many stalls thown in for good measure as well. The market was quite busy and we stopped to warm our bellys with a gluhwein and a hot chocolate while we were checking out the stalls.

It was now 4pm and time to head back home. After walking around for most of the day and enjoying all the sights, we were thoroughly pleased with our day trip. Given that there are many other villages and cities within a 100km raidus of Edingen, there is a lot more to see!
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