Monday, July 21, 2008

Last Weekend..

Well for starters, I'd like to thank everyone who has voted for the new header and helped with me with the choice. The orange-y one and this one were head to head for quite some time, I was wondering if having that poll was a good idea at all, but finally this one got more thumbs up. Thank you!

Second of all (radio station style), I want to send a shout-out to one of my bestest pals, Tifa, who's feeling under the weather. Prolly because of the weather.

And another shout-out to a couple of friends of mine who have given their final bachelor presentations today! *applause applause* You've done a wonderful job girls!

Now, to finally get to the point, this is how my weekend went..

On Saturday, we decided to check out the Stuttgart "Fernsehturm" (or television tower).
It's the first television tower to go into operation in the world, following a construction period of 20 months from 1954 - 1956.
With a base that's 483 meters above sea-level and a total height of 217 meters, this tower is one of Stuttgart's main tourist attractions, it serves as a model for many other towers worldwide and is already protected as a historical monument.

I'd have to say, in addition to the lady running the only international cinema around here, the lady operating the tower's elevator was the second least friendly person I've seen. Don't really blame her though. Can't imagine how monotonous it would be if my life's job was to operate an elevator. (Apparently the 700 euro minimum wage thing doesn't help much in that area).

Anyway, when we got up there, we were struck by an incredible view of the valley that is Stuttgart. But personally, I thought the viewing platform would be a bit higher (was just 150 meters high).

One of the guys kept saying it reminded him of the Cairo tower. Not sure how eggsactly, since we were actually able to see things further away than 15 meters in any direction around us.

What neither me nor any of my friends had in mind though, was how FREEZING it would be up there!! I was literally being pushed by the air, my eyes were tearing up and I couldn't really feel my nose.

In case any of you are in Stuttgart and intend to get up the TV tower, do not forget your jacket.

Looking for any way out of the air, Tifa pointed out a cafe up there. Of course we all jumped right in.. looking like we've been in a blender.

It was surprisingly less expensive than normal cafes on ground level in the middle of the city (prolly to compensate for the ticket to get up there in the first place, UNLIKE on the Cairo tower).. and the view was BE-AU-TIFUL!

And we were oh so very happy to be warm again.

We had a few desserts and were enjoying the sun setting:

and our little chitchats till the man working there came and got us the check all on his own without us asking for it! Oo
Which.. was.. weird. (and we hadn't stayed there for THAT long!)
TV tower staff have serious courtesy issues.

Sunday was also a sunny day. The skies were clear, the temperature was warm enough and since everything's closed on Sundays, we took the opportunity to have one of the panoramic scene walks through Stuttgart.

This route (out of three) was the shortest. About 4.8 km long and would've supposedly taken an hour and a half to get through.
It's composed of a total of 12 stops, starting and ending at the Wilhelmspalais on Charlottenplatz.

1. Wilhelmspalais
We started off at about 6 pm (keep in mind that the sun sets by 9:30 pm over here).
Wilhelmspalais is a neo-classical palace built between 1834 and 1840 that houses the state library today.

It took us a while to figure out our exact position and which streets were which (but it wasn't difficult at all) then we took off, steeply uphill along Alexanderstrasse, to our next stop...

2. Eugensplatz
From this viewpoint (way way uphill), we were able to look down at the city in the valley as if from a balcony.

There was also a pretending-to-be-roman monument, the Galathea fountain.

We got a tip from the booklet we had that "Pinguin" is always worth a visit in the summer, an ice cream parlour that's only open mid-February to mid-September.

And it was! All the flavors we tried were so rich, it was like eating the coconut, berries, cookies, nuts or whatever themselves! (and apparently it's very popular among Germans as well).

Alexanderstrasse, after that point, splits in two. According to the route, we had to take the one going uphill. Again. -_-

and off we were to...

3. Hausmannstrasse
Wasn't quite sure what was so special there. A frog fountain that formed an "ensemble" with two of the houses. Something like that.
We saw two people and their coach (maybe) fencing! That was interesting.. hadn't seen them in real life before.

We had to follow a sign, yes, UPHILL, to..

4. The Swabian Observatory

Where visitors can see the moon, the planets and the stars in the night sky through a telescope.

Unfortunately we didn't get to do that though. We couldn't wait till it was nighttime because it had started to get colder and because a couple of us had to study German for an exam early on the next day.

After hanging out over there for a while, enjoying the sun, the view and the company, we decided to cut the route short and head back home.

We got to the nearest U-Bahn, got off at the main station, had a very late lunch together and went home... having covered 4 out of 12 stops of the "shortest" panoramic route, that should have taken 1.5 hours. xD

Wasn't our fault.. it's the whole "uphill" thing!
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