For me, our trip to Stuttgart was about three things; killing some time between our stay in Amsterdam and arrival in Domat/Ems (Switzerland), breaking up the potentially long journey between the two cities, and the Porsche Museum. However, from the moment we walked out of the Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof I had a feeling the short stay we had planned was going to turn into something more than I had intended.
Our trip to the Porsche Museum did not disappoint. While I was only going because Jase wanted to visit, I did enjoy the day. The museum was really well done. Aesthetically, the building itself and overall design and layout of the displays looked amazing. Of course the cars were also nice to look at, but I really appreciated the blend of technical information and history behind the company and the people. It was very inspiring to read the story of Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry, how both of them had dreams that they were going to see through to the end. Their determination and passion came through in all the work Porsche has done.
The two great surprises of Stuttgart for me were the shopping mall and the parks. For some reason I envisaged Stuttgart to be a small town, nothing really to do other than go visit one building with lots of Porsches inside or another with a lot of Mercedes. I was happily proven wrong when we spent the day walking around a huge shopping district and then sat in the adjacent park on luscious green grass, soaking up the rays of sunshine that filtered through the clouds. After our visit to the Porsche Museum we once again spent some time in the outdoors, exploring a fantastic park that included an amazing playground – one which would certainly have been pulled down or at least made ‘more safe’ if in Australia.
I guess it is always the way, but it has taken me these two months to really find myself as a traveller. In the beginning I struggled with what we were doing and the concept of what the typical Aussie backpacker is ‘meant’ to do while travelling. While this trip has always been about seeing the sites for me, it has also confirmed the type of people Jase and I are. So regardless of whether or not it is the ‘thing to do’, we have been most happy on this trip spending time in the great outdoors – even if that is just a small park to the side of the city.
As we leave Stuttgart and enter the final month of our European trip I am happy with what has been and what is to come. Visiting family and friends and spending a bit more time off the beaten track will truly be a special, and a more ‘us’, way of ending our trip.