20 September 2009

Our First Weekend Trip: Stuttgart ~ September 3rd

Our inexperience making our nerves high, Hilary and I headed off today after classes got out at noon and took the train from Reutlingen to Stuttgart, the first stop planned for our trip this weekend. We hadn’t the time or the resources (i.e. internet) to reserve a hostel there, so we were banking on the fact that it was a weeknight and *hopefully* that meant there would be room somewhere for us. Well, we stopped off of the train and began what ended up being a 2 hr search around town for a hostel that either a) no longer exists, b) is too difficult for the normal tourist with a map to find, or c) vanishes at dusk like a hidden castle into the mist so as to foil foreign invaders. Yeah. It was frustrating. We finally gave up and looked for another hostel that *conveniently* was named Hostel Alex 30 and gosh! Was located at # 30 Alexanderstraße….why can’t all places make so much sense?!? *sigh* The downtown also seemed so much bigger than we later realized, since we had walked around it probably three times in our hostel-hunting-eagerness. In anycase, we stumbled up the stairs into our room, thankful to finally take off the backpacks that now felt like they had had bricks in them….and just flopped onto the beds and did nothing.
Our stomachs eventually got the best of us and we ventured downtown again, this time without needing the guidance of a map (we were very proud of ourselves!) They were having a wine festival around the church, similar to the one in Reutlingen, so we stopped and bought ourselves a bag of mixed roasted nuts. We ate them while walking around the square, past the Altes Schloss (old castle) and ending up in front of the magnificent Neues Schloss, with its massive fountains, sprawling green, and cobbled paths. As the sun went down, it was a lovely place to be in the midst of. We sat there on our park bench, munching on a big loaf of bread that we split between us for dinner, until it got cool and we decided to head back to our room for a good night's sleep. I think we both felt very good for having managed so well on our own thus far and that gave us a well-needed confidence boost. We were certainly happy to have a comfortable bed to sleep in, since we had to get up really early to catch a 5 am train to Mainz......


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