Commentary by Alisha Pabon
Special to The Stuttgart Citizen
As a senior in high school, many changes are occurring rather quickly. The big transition to “adulthood” is taking place and before you know it – it is the last month of high school.
With the excitement of closing a chapter of life and moving forward to the next, it is easy to not realize the experience and places that are right in front of you. For me, Germany is forever a part of who I am. Not just with growing up with a German mom but more so the lessons I have learned here. For instance, buying a train ticket in order to not get fined 80 euros, an expensive but much learned lesson. The main message, and my last as an intern for the USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office, is to not take your time in Stuttgart for granted. There are so many amazing places here that I will miss. Here is my list. However, I encourage everyone to create their own favorite experiences.
One of the most famous locations in Stuttgart is Schlossplatz, and for good reason. In the summer, this quickly becomes a great hangout spot for teens, adults and families. No matter where you sit, enjoy the view of the Neues Schloss (New Palace). The official Stuttgart website describes the palace as “One of the last big city palaces to be built in Southern Germany, and is reminiscent of the magnificent French palaces of the 17th Century. ”Schlossplatz is found directly downtown along the shopping district, Konigstrasse. After a long day of exploring Stuttgart, take a break, treat yourself and relax on the grass.
When strolling through the park on a summer day, take a walk along the paths of the Killesberg park. People everywhere will be enjoying the weather and atmosphere. Killesburg is known for having a spiral tower, suspended by metal ropes where arriving on top is rewarded by a stellar Stuttgart view. Take a break from exploring the park at the Restaurant Höhencafé Killesberg and enjoy a cold refreshing beverage or food. However, make the best of Killesberg and take the opportunity to have a picnic on the grass.
Mercedes Benz Tower
This tower is a great representation of Stuttgart, as it is the city of Mercedes Benz (as well as other amazing car companies). This tower is a part of the “HauptBahnhof,” or main train station where local, regional, and Europe wide trains depart and arrive. The top of the tower can be reached via stairs or the elevator. However, when deciding to take the stairs it can become draining very quickly. Believe me, I have done it and arrived very dizzy. The view is beautiful and views downtown Stuttgart from a different perspective. This is a perfect way to start your journey through Stuttgart or a great way to end the day.
Germany has the North and East seas located at the top of Germany leaving Stuttgart isolated, and almost 700 km away from beaches. What Stuttgart does have, though, is the Neckar, a 362-kilometre-long river that runs through Stuttgart. Visit the “Strand Neckar,” where you can enjoy beach-like amenities. There is sand, beach chairs, a cocktail bar, burgers, beach volleyball and a potential tan waiting for you.
Experience this diverse zoological-botanical zoo that has “around 9,000 animals of almost
1,000 species,” according to the Stadt Stuttgart website. This is a perfect day trip for anybody! There are indoor exhibition’s that feature butterflies and bats, and outdoor exhibitions such as the elephants or rhinos. The aquarium features different fish from all over the world in tanks fit perfectly to their environments. There are two restaurants found in different parts of the park, ideal for the size of the entire zoo. The food is great and the beverages especially refreshing after the walking. Some tips when going are to bring water, stay hydrated and don’t forget sunscreen lotion.
Enjoying Germany is possible many ways, and one of the ways is to fully submerge yourself into the culture. Fasching is a traditional parade which believes in scaring away the winter. It is an experience for anyone living in Germany. There are many towns that participate in the “Fasching Umzug” that incorporates different masks and outfits. Examples of traditional Fasching costumes include witches and devils who are seen with detailed carved wooden masks. When at the parade, beware of the many antics that follow such as getting your shoe laces taken out, or being carried from one location to another. For kids, there is the opportunity to dress up in a fun costume again as well as candy that is tossed and handed out. This is a very popular parade but for good reason and will be one of the events that I will miss being back in the United States. For more information regarding Fasching, be sure to check out the Stuttgart Citizen article here.
As someone who loves trying new foods and specialties, it was only right a restaurant was included on this list. The Gruner Turm is a Greek restaurant located in Böblingen in an old, traditional, German house. The great ambiance, food, and servers makes this an amazing location for birthday parties, date night, as well for casual dinners/lunches. After dinner, enjoy walking around old Böblingen, which has a lot of traditional German buildings that add a certain charm. Make a reservation for the restaurant here.
Next to Robinson Barracks, Neckar river, and vineyards is the lake of Max Eyth. The lake began as a “gravel pit”, according to Stuttgart Tourism and is now an area for recreational use such as jogging, walking, riding a bike, and rollerblading. There are little boats available
to rent that are either moved by pedaling or automatic. There are restaurants by the water perfect for a nice day, the view, food, and refreshing drinks. This is a very kid friendly environment and close to a U-Bahn station, ensuring a way there and back home.
For more information to encourage your own experiences, go to https://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/en
Editor’s Note: Alisha Pabon is a senior at Stuttgart High School and is a part of the Career Practicum program for the garrison Public Affairs office. She is interested in majoring journalism and communications.