Leisurely Ludwigsburg and unexpected fests…

Advertisements

Stormy skies hung over Unterjettingen this morning, altering my plans to hit a spa this afternoon.  We had a large collection of empty beer bottles that had been sitting in our pantry since our last Ludwigsburg beer run.  I asked Bill if he thought maybe today would be a good day to get rid of them.  He agreed, so off we went to the pleasant city for a little brew shopping at Getränke Heinrich 3000.

A lone poppy blooming on yesterday’s walk route.  Poppies always remind me of England, when we lived near a huge field of them.

We bought less beer than usual.  Much of it came from England, with a few from Bury St. Edmunds, a place in Suffolk that will always have a warm spot in my heart.  My dad’s last duty station in the Air Force was at R.A.F. Mildenhall, which is very close to Bury St. Edmunds.  Someday I’ll learn to stop being tongue tied when someone asks me in German if they can help me.  An employee did just that and I answered in English… and then he switched to perfect English.  Man, I wish I’d studied German in high school!

After our shopping excursion, we headed into town and parked in the Rathaus garage.  As we emerged from the underground part of the garage, I spotted what appeared to be the makings of a fest.  Evidently, it’s time for Ludwigsburg’s Brew Days (Brautage).  There were only a couple of stands open as we passed, so we continued to the main square, where someone had just gotten married.

The stage was set for music…

And a few people were drinking beer.

And there were places to stand, drink, and smoke.

The skies were still blue when we arrived.

I wanted to use my big new camera, but forgot to charge the battery.  The iPhone had to suffice.

Wedding party…

Complete with drones!

And a roving band… these guys were pretty good.  They worked their way around the square and played a couple of numbers for the bride and groom.  

But then the clouds darkened the skies.

The smell of shrimp and garlic lured us to outside seating at La Signora Moro, an Italian place we sometimes visit when we’re in town.  I don’t actually love this restaurant.  The menu is kind of limited and consists mostly of pizzas, which I will admit usually look good.  But Bill has decided to take a new job here in Stuttgart instead of Vicenza, so we figured we’d eat Italian again today.

I catch Bill smiling sometimes.

 

It was a busy afternoon, so service was a bit slow.  It took a few minutes before anyone acknowledged us and a few more before they took our order.  Fortunately, I wasn’t hangry today, so I didn’t mind the wait at all.  One thing this restaurant has is a great view.  You can sit there and watch Ludwigsburg in action to your heart’s content.

The good natured waitress was saying something about how she needed a light cart to carry all of the food and beverages.  The people at the table next to us started joshing with her about that, just as her colleague, a very good looking young blond guy came out with a small dolly.  Everyone laughed at the coincidence.  Even we Americans were in on the small joke.

Bill ordered the antipasti.  He was not expecting it to be this huge.  It really is a feast intended for more than one person.  It came with salami, prosciutto, olives, octopus, grilled peppers, Parmesan cheese, and rucola.  He didn’t come close to finishing it.  There was a whole lot of octopus and I think it was a bit too much protein!  I will admit that it was an attractive dish, though.

I had risotto with asparagus, salmon, a single olive, and two cherry tomatoes.  It took awhile to get this dish and I wasn’t able to finish it.  It wasn’t bad, but I think I’ve had a version of this dish before with shrimp and liked it better.  

 

We each had different glasses of white wine and shared a bottle of San Pellegrino.  I might have lingered a little longer, but it looked like it might storm at any minute.  We paid the tab, which came to about 44 euros before the tip.  Then we headed back to the parking garage.

I do think the ambiance at Signora Moro’s is charming.  And one of their signs doubles as a bike rack.  Clever!

Bill talked about how much he enjoys watching people just hanging out…  Ludwigsburg is a great place to do that.

Off in the distance, you can see weird art depicting what appears to be a snake draped over a pole over the road.

By the time we got close to the parking garage, the fest had gotten underway.  We decided to stop for a beer.  The one brewery was serving small glasses of a few styles including “Indian Pale Ale”.  Bill likes IPAs, so he ordered one.  I had a Maibock.

“Indian” Pale Ale?

The band had arrived.

I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  No, he wasn’t posing.  

There was salmon being grilled and chickens were rotating on spits.  I was kind of sorry we’d eaten in town.  It might have been better to eat at the fest.

 

I’m glad we won’t be saying goodbye to Germany just yet.  There’s always a good reason to have a fest somewhere.  This one in particular will be going on tomorrow, too.

 Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll go somewhere we haven’t already been.

Lovely Ludwigsburg…

Advertisements

I told Bill I really needed an outing.  We were thinking of hitting the Mineraltherme in Boblingen, a very nice spa near the Panzer Kaserne, but decided instead to head for Ludwigsburg, a pretty town about 15 miles from Stuttgart and maybe an hour’s drive from our house.  We had been there before.  When we lived in Germany last time, we bought wine from a small French vintner that sold his wines in Tubingen and Ludwigsburg.  Bill signed up for emails and would order the wine, which sometimes meant he’d have to get it in Ludwigsburg.

This time, we were going there to go on a beer run at Heinrich’s Getranke Markt 3000, an enormous beer and wine store that also sells water and juice.  In preparation for this booze run, we got some cash and headed north.  On the way up there, someone passed us in a salmon pink colored Mini convertible.  They honked at us.  We’ve found that people who drive Mini Coopers act like they’re in a fraternity or something.  They often wave and honk when we take my car.  I think it’s funny.

Big drink market!

Those carts require two coins to operate.  It’s to get people to put them back where they belong.  They’re hard to steer, though.    

A Penthouse keg?  Sex sells…

Big haul!

I posted this photo on Facebook and asked what it was.  The guesses were interesting.  It turns out it’s plum liquor made with vodka.  I’ve seen pictures of it and it comes with a condom on it.  I guess you shoot it before you have sex.  That’s one way to take the edge off.  I think it would be funny to serve it with whipped cream on the end.  I tasted it.  It reminds me of strawberry Kool-Aid.

Anyway, we spent awhile shopping at the drink market and got lots of great beers, including one from Ghana that I’m dying to try.  We also got some beer glasses.  The place isn’t as well laid out as, say, Spec’s, but it has an impressive selection of suds.  We left with lots of stuff to test and blog about, along with some old favorites.

German graffiti.

After our trip to the  drink market, we went to downtown Ludwigsburg.  Bill had to pee and I needed lunch.  We took a shortcut through a mall and hit the restroom.  As we approached, I pulled out the obligatory 50 euro cents and quipped, “You have to paaaaay.”  That’s an inside joke.  In 2009, I took several tours out of Edelweiss Lodge in Garmisch and the guide was a very annoying German woman who chain smoked and made quips about the need to pay to pee in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe).

After our potty break, we had a nice lunch on the square at an Italian restaurant.  There was a lot going on today.  Someone got married, so there were a lot of people around the church.  A classic getaway car was parked there, adorned with flowers.  Lots of people were having lunch and drinks on the square, listening to a small band of musicians playing.

It was a little chilly, but otherwise very pleasant.  We really enjoyed ourselves…  Since we have been reminded of the way, we’ll be back… if only to turn in the bottles.

 

Basil risotto with balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes.

Spaghetti al proscuitto.

The new fridge of sin is about to be restocked.