I packed up my stuff...once again...and left Barcelona for Stuttgart, Germany. Due to an outstanding opportunity, and after weighing our options, we made the difficult decision to relocate. It's not permanent but we will be here for a little while.
I'm excited for the change but, at the same time, I'm sad about having to leave everything that I've grown to love over the last couple of years about Spain. I'll especially miss all the friends that I've made along with the dynamism, excitement, and diversity of Barcelona. I've learned so much from and am so appreciative of everyone. Thank you so much! (I won't try to name everyone but you all know as you've all made huge impacts on my life as well as cameos here on the blog.) I will miss you all but I know that I'll see you all again very soon.
So, next up? Stuttgart. Up until a few weeks ago I really didn't know anything about the city or, with the exception of a visit to Frankfurt last year, Germany as a whole. Well, flash forward to now and I've learned quite a bit, which I'll be writing about over time.
As for the mechanics, we've found a great place to stay that's clean, nice, convenient to transportation, and comes with a great roommate. Can I just tell you how blessed I've been to have had some incredible roommates? It's true! Overall, it'll serve as a great base of operations for the continuing saga of whereisdarrennow.
So, I'll leave this post, which is both a sad goodbye as well as a exciting look to the future, with a few random photos around the center of Stuttgart that I took on our second day in town. This is the main shopping street, named Königstraße (koo-nigg-strahs-sah) or Royal Street, with the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in the background. Note that the train station tower (at the far end) has a very large rotating Mercedes logo on the top. (More on Mercedes in a future post.)
Stuttgart's the sixth largest city in Germany with a (city) population of about 600,000 or so. The city itself is not very large or dense, especially when compared to Barcelona, but it is very green. The state that it's in, Baden-Wüttemberg, is the one of the country's main wine-growing regions (which I'm looking forward to learning all about). This photo, taken from the top of the tower at the main train station, shows just how much a part of the region that wine is. These vineyards are like a five-minute walk from the very center of town!
Further down the Königstraße is the Neues Schloss, or New Palace, which was built in 1746 and served as the residence of the kings of Würtemberg until 1807. In front of the palace is a huge, open area that's a popular place for folks to sit and sun themselves on nice days.
As was with Frankfurt, there's not much old architecture due to the damage from World War II. Most of what's here that looks older has been rebuilt to look historical. I know that the buildings aren't all old but I guess I don't really care. Seeing them rebuilt to celebrate the area's history is very cool. This is a twice-a-week farmers market that happens in the Schillerplatz. The church on the left is the Stiftskirch, which is the city's main protestant church.
It's scary and exciting to be in a place again where I don't speak the language and have to learn about a whole new culture. Well, besides Philadelphia, that is. :-) It'll be a fun and interesting challenge to learn the language, become part of the community, and make it a great experience. Oh, and hopefully I´ll learn (and remember) a bunch of German and how to type those "extra" German letters soon!
Una vez mas, muchas gracias de nuevo a todos en Barcelona. Os extraño mucho! Nos veremos pronto!