Today’s activity comes courtesy of an ad from Vinum, my favorite wine and spirits store. Vinum has locations in Tübingen and Reutlingen and I subscribe to their Facebook page. If I had not been subscribed to their page, I probably would have missed today’s market. That would have been a shame, because not only was it a great scene today, but Tübingen is always a pleasure in any case. I love going there on sunny, warm Saturdays, people watching, eating, drinking, and doing the odd bit of shopping.
I was originally afraid we’d have rain today, but after a few sprinkles, the clouds cleared and we made our way to the big Koenig garage by the Klinik as you’re coming into the city from the west. Every time we visit Tübingen, we also pass our old town (from 07-09) of Pfäffingen. It never fails to bring back pleasant memories of our first tour in the Stuttgart area.
The very first banner about this twice yearly event featuring products from near the city of Tübingen…
Flowers… just one of the beautiful products of nature available for sale today.
And fresh pasta!
After we parked, we walked into the city and noted the large crowd of people sampling wares in the main square. Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea to have lunch. We passed the Alte Kunst on the way up to the square, but then I remembered they had a large Biergarten behind the restaurant. I walked through an archway and soon found myself in an oasis of quiet and calm. We chose a table for two near an umbrella. It was about 12:45 pm and I was surprised more people weren’t out there. I didn’t have to wonder long. Within the next half hour, we had plenty of company.
This empty scene lasted maybe ten minutes before the garden was full of smokers and little kids who needed naps. Not that I’m knocking naps, you see. I need them myself nowadays.
Bill checks the menu.
It’s asparagus season, so I had risotto with tiny shrimps, white asparagus, Parmesan cheese, and tomatoes. This was paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio and San Pellegrino.
Bill went with asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and the same wine. We had originally considered other dishes, but remembered this is the time of year to eat asparagus in Germany.
A family with two small children sat near us. The children shrieked and cried while they waited for their lunch. Their parents shushed them as the guy sitting behind me lit up a cigarette just in time for my lunch to arrive. Once the kids had some lunch, they seemed a lot more contented and started playing with another little boy at another table. I got a kick out of the other kid. He was wearing a Fedora hat and looked adorable. I also appreciated that his friendship calmed the other two kids down a little. Lunch came to an even forty euros. Bill paid and we made our way to Vinum, taking note of all of the stalls we needed to visit again on our way home. We saw everything from fresh bread to fresh cheese, with plenty of other locally made wares like gin, wine, dips, spreads, and handcrafts.
And Schwabian ketchup…
As usual, Vinum had Georgian wine. We took the two bottles on display, then tasted several they had on special. The guy who helped us spoke perfect English and looked like he could be a shorter version of our first German landlord’s brother. I tried some local wine, which he made clear he didn’t like. We discussed the finer points of how America’s Rieslings are too sweet. Bill and I have become fans of the Alsatian and locally produced German Rieslings, but before we took the plunge on our second tour here, we avoided them like the plague. It just goes to show that you should try the local stuff… except maybe the cheese made with raw milk. Kidding, actually. Bill loves it.
We walked out of Vinum with four bottles of wine and I suddenly realized I needed to pee again. So we headed to the Neckarmueller, which also happens to be the location of my favorite Biergarten in this area. We drank hefeweizens at a table and watched people on the river… We still need to try punting before we leave.
It’s always time for beer. Especially if you’re in a German Biergarten on a beautiful spring day.
Today was an excellent day to be on the river, drinking beer…
After our beer and rest stop, we walked around the city some more and did some shopping. Bill bought some spreads from an African vendor. We listened to some buskers and I discovered a Moroccan store I had never noticed before.
Or maybe I had seen this store before… but I never stopped in.
Spreads by HottPott…
We made our way to the main square, where we found a man selling locally produced gin. We tried some and bought a bottle. I am now enjoying my first gin and tonic of the season.
The guy who was selling this looked like he could have starred on Little House on the Prairie. I thought he was very handsome.
Bill tried it first, then gave the rest to me because he was driving later.
Okay, maybe he had two sips.
Then we moved on to cheese made with raw milk. Bill said it was very good. To me, it just smells like a combination of dirty feet and ass. Different strokes, I guess.
Gin is all the rage. You can even get it to go.
We stopped here for a little dessert for tonight. We got a lemon tart and a chocolate cake. Bill spoke German, but the lady behind the counter immediately switched to perfect English.
I have a feeling this business is owned by Armenians.
You could even get escargot today! It actually smelled wonderful.
We went into the Rathaus for the first time ever, because we were searching for these before the drive home. There was an interesting exhibit in the lobby about energy.
More sights from today’s regional market are below. This was a one day event, but there will be another regional market on Saturday, October 6th. If my post has piqued your curiosity, be sure to mark your calendar. We had a really good time today, but we pretty much always enjoy visiting Tübingen. It will always be one of our special places.
Piano playing on the street!
You probably have to be a certain age to get this…
I took this as we passed the “Schloss” near Unterjesingen, very close to where we used to live.