Stuttgart, Germany - August 2008

In the middle of August we decided to take a short trip to Stuttgart, Germany. With the high speed train it takes a little over three hours to get to the city center, so with a national holiday in France we spent two days in the city.

Right outside of Stuttgart is the Mercedes Benz headquarters with a large museum that opened just two years ago. In these two pictures we decided on our new cars once we get back to the U.S. and actually start driving again.

The Mercedes museum takes visitors through the evolution of cars and one of the more interesting exhibits is on the first production cars. The car pictured here was one of the first cars built (in the late 1800's), an important aspect of this car was the creation of an engine (seen here in the back of the car) that enabled a car to be powered efficiently.

There are some eye catching cars in the museum, these two pictures have a variety of cars from the 1920's and 1930's.

Mercedes is now heavily involved in Formula 1, sponsoring one of the leading teams. They have a section on their racing heritage with cars from the 1930's all the way to the present. Tom is standing in front of one of their cars from the present, too bad that the cockpits are too small for him to fit into them.

Advanced technologies are on display in the museum, a solar powered car is shown here, but given the normal cloudy weather in Europe I am not sure how well this would work.

The new schloss (castle) is in the middle of Stuttgart and dates back from the mid 1700's. In the past it was the residence of the royalty of Stuttgart but now it houses mainly ministeries of the state government.

In the middle of Stuttgart there is a large green area spanning 4 miles with fountains and only foot paths, no cars are allowed. Pictured here is the beginning of the green area, it continues to the right for the remaining 4 miles. The really nice thing about this 4 mile green area is that it is built with bridges and overpasses in such a way that during the 4miles, a person never has to actually cross a road.

In front of the new schloss (which is to our back in this picture) there is an open area with grass and this nice scuplture.

The old schloss is a short walk from the new schloss and as you would expect from the name, considerably older. It dates from the 1300's and seems much more impressive than the new schloss. It is smaller than the new schloss but it has a courtyard decorated in Renaissance style that exceeds anything you can see in the new schloss.

Every Saturday morning there is a market held in a square right next to the old schloss. In the background you can see an old church that we visited and were given a short impromptu tour by a German woman who only spoke a few words of english. The church dates from the 14th century, but like much of downtown Stuttgart it was heavily damaged during WWII but reconstructed to appear as it did before the war.