3 things you should know about Open Air Cinemas in Germany

This temperature is just perfect for sitting outside till late at night. So why not watch a movie while doing so?? 😉

I’ve been to the Open Air Cinema in Ludwigsburg last week. I have to admit, I’ve never been there before, and I really missed out on something the last 30 years… They have put up this huge screen in the courtyard of the Karlskaserne, so the ambiance it quite nice by itself.

Open Air Cineama / Sommernachtskino in Ludwigsburg

Panorama of Open Air Cinema in Ludwigsburg

Click on picture in order to enlarge it

But I noticed three things, I want to talk about with you guys…

1.) Reservations

Better be at the Open Air Cinema early. Because as we are Germans, we are very territorial when it comes to reserving seats… Yes. We even reserve seats at the cinema (at least when it’s an open air one) and if we don’t have towels at hand, we don’t mind using pillows, bags or whatever is present…

Reserved seats at Open Air Cinema Ludwigsburg

Reserved seats at Sommernachtskino Ludwigsburg

😀

2.) Don’t be astonished when you have to order popcorn in liters.

At least when visiting the Open Air Cinema in Ludwigsburg, you can be faced with this…

3 liters of popcorn, please...

I ordered 3 liters but actually, I was a bit disappointed. I thought, I’ll get a bigger bag… But they tasted extraordinary good, I have to say!

Happy with popcorn

So let the film begin! I am ready!

Popcorn and Open Air Cinema in Ludwigsburg

3.) You should not mind that they show only movies in German…

We watched Die Kirche bleibt im Dorf, which is a German saying that translates literally into “The church will stay in the village”. The actors spoke with Swabian accent which was quite funny to watch as you don’t hear our accent in movies very often 🙂

I checked their program and unfortunately all of the movies they show until the 11th of August are in German. So if you want to go, you should either understand German or be interested in listening to it…

But I can definitely recommend going. I liked the atmosphere of watching a movie under the dark sky of a summer night…

Sommernachtskino Open Air Ludwigsburg 2013

More information about:

Sommernachts Open Air Kino Ludwigsburg 2013 (only in German)

Fairy tales become true in the MĂ€rchengarten

Moritz’ sister visited us lately with her family. Her family includes Moritz’ three-year-old nephew. And three year old nephews give uncles and aunts great opportunities to do children’s stuff – which meant in our case: Visiting the MĂ€rchengarten (Fairytale Garden) in Ludwigsburg! 🙂

Ludwigsburg is a lovely city for itself and definitely worth a visit. It’s right next to Stuttgart. I’ve been here last winter, visiting the Christmas Market, which is very special and beautiful. But to tell you the truth: Ludwigsburg is even more beautiful in summer. One of its main attractions is the Residential Palace.

Residential Palace in Ludwigsburg

Residential Palace with flowers

But we were not here because of the castle (well, at least not because of this one ;-)) but to see HĂ€nsel and Gretel and Rumpelstilzchen and Aladdin and, and, and…

Entrance to MĂ€rchengarten in Ludwigsburg

Doesn’t this look like you would expect a spooky entrance to the land of fairy tales??

Reading fairytales

I got some last coaching in fairy tales and then we were ready for witches, dwarfs and Co.

As we were quite early and it was not too crowded, we decided to start our day in the MĂ€rchengarten with a boat ride.

Boats in MĂ€rchenland

Different fairytale stations along the river

The boat ride is a very relaxing thing to do. You pass different houses where puppets tell you about several fairy tales. Very cute! The only scary thing (at least, when you’re three years old) is the mouth of the whale…

Driving into the mouth of the whale

…but don’t worry, Pinocchio is waiting at the end, eager to show you the way out! 😉

After this adventure, we had to prove how brave we are, again: By visiting the witch!

The home of the witch

Two courageous men debating whether it’s a good idea to knock on the house of the witch or not…

The witch

… and hiding behind the fence when she looks out of the window. But be assured: She didn’t put the two in the oven!

Our next stops where less nerve-racking: We saw Aladdin and the  genie of the lamp…

Aladdin and the genie of the lamp

… the orphan girl collecting star money…

Star money

…and looked through grandma’s window only to find out the wolf was lying in her bed!

The wolf in grandma's bed

Well, what can I say, the houses with the different fairy tales are a delight for the young and for the old:

Little man looking through the window

Grown up man looking through the window

🙂 Cute, hum?

We also passed a giant in his castle…

Giant in castle

…and Rumpelstilzchen…

Rumpelstilzchen

… before we arrived at Rapunzel’s tower:

Rapunzle's tower

Can you see her braid dangling down from the tower? 🙂

When you walk around it, you’ve got a great view:

View from the tower

360-degree-view

When you step inside, stairs lead you down…

Stairs inside Rapunzel's tower

…and down…

Walking down the stairs

… and down…

Inside the tower

… until you arrive at the very bottom of the rock on which the tower is standing.

At the very bottom of Rapunzel's tower

Well, and if you were the only one of your group who was stupid enough to walk down all the stairs of the tower, you have to climb up again in order to meet the rest…

Climbing up the stairs to the tower

Now we were hungry! We left the MĂ€rchengarten early afternoon and went to a CafĂ© in the park… not without enjoying the first flowers of this spring…

Spring in Ludwigsburg

We chose the “Cafeteria” for our lunch break…

Cafeteria in Ludwigsburg

… didn’t care about healthy eating principles…

"FleischkĂŒchle" and potato salad

…and had our first ice-cream in 2013!

My first icecream in 2013

Aaaah, what a beautiful day! And can you imagine a better end to it than swinging into the spring sky with an ice-cream in your hand…?

Swinging into the blue sky

Well, I couldn’t… 🙂

 

More information about:

MĂ€rchengarten Ludwigsburg (only in German)

Ludwigsburg

Fairy tales become true in the MĂ€rchengarten

Moritz’ sister visited us lately with her family. Her family includes Moritz’ three-year-old nephew. And three year old nephews give uncles and aunts great opportunities to do children’s stuff – which meant in our case: Visiting the MĂ€rchengarten (Fairytale Garden) in Ludwigsburg! 🙂

Ludwigsburg is a lovely city for itself and definitely worth a visit. It’s right next to Stuttgart. I’ve been here last winter, visiting the Christmas Market, which is very special and beautiful. But to tell you the truth: Ludwigsburg is even more beautiful in summer. One of its main attractions is the Residential Palace.

Residential Palace in Ludwigsburg

Residential Palace with flowers

But we were not here because of the castle (well, at least not because of this one ;-)) but to see HĂ€nsel and Gretel and Rumpelstilzchen and Aladdin and, and, and…

Entrance to MĂ€rchengarten in Ludwigsburg

Doesn’t this look like you would expect a spooky entrance to the land of fairy tales??

Reading fairytales

I got some last coaching in fairy tales and then we were ready for witches, dwarfs and Co.

As we were quite early and it was not too crowded, we decided to start our day in the MĂ€rchengarten with a boat ride.

Boats in MĂ€rchenland

Different fairytale stations along the river

The boat ride is a very relaxing thing to do. You pass different houses where puppets tell you about several fairy tales. Very cute! The only scary thing (at least, when you’re three years old) is the mouth of the whale…

Driving into the mouth of the whale

…but don’t worry, Pinocchio is waiting at the end, eager to show you the way out! 😉

After this adventure, we had to prove how brave we are, again: By visiting the witch!

The home of the witch

Two courageous men debating whether it’s a good idea to knock on the house of the witch or not…

The witch

… and hiding behind the fence when she looks out of the window. But be assured: She didn’t put the two in the oven!

Our next stops where less nerve-racking: We saw Aladdin and the  genie of the lamp…

Aladdin and the genie of the lamp

… the orphan girl collecting star money…

Star money

…and looked through grandma’s window only to find out the wolf was lying in her bed!

The wolf in grandma's bed

Well, what can I say, the houses with the different fairy tales are a delight for the young and for the old:

Little man looking through the window

Grown up man looking through the window

🙂 Cute, hum?

We also passed a giant in his castle…

Giant in castle

…and Rumpelstilzchen…

Rumpelstilzchen

… before we arrived at Rapunzel’s tower:

Rapunzle's tower

Can you see her braid dangling down from the tower? 🙂

When you walk around it, you’ve got a great view:

View from the tower

360-degree-view

When you step inside, stairs lead you down…

Stairs inside Rapunzel's tower

…and down…

Walking down the stairs

… and down…

Inside the tower

… until you arrive at the very bottom of the rock on which the tower is standing.

At the very bottom of Rapunzel's tower

Well, and if you were the only one of your group who was stupid enough to walk down all the stairs of the tower, you have to climb up again in order to meet the rest…

Climbing up the stairs to the tower

Now we were hungry! We left the MĂ€rchengarten early afternoon and went to a CafĂ© in the park… not without enjoying the first flowers of this spring…

Spring in Ludwigsburg

We chose the “Cafeteria” for our lunch break…

Cafeteria in Ludwigsburg

… didn’t care about healthy eating principles…

"FleischkĂŒchle" and potato salad

…and had our first ice-cream in 2013!

My first icecream in 2013

Aaaah, what a beautiful day! And can you imagine a better end to it than swinging into the spring sky with an ice-cream in your hand…?

Swinging into the blue sky

Well, I couldn’t… 🙂

More information about:

MĂ€rchengarten Ludwigsburg (only in German)

Ludwigsburg

Three Christmas markets in and around Stuttgart

Germany is famous for its Christmas markets. And of course there are some beautiful ones in and around Stuttgart, as well. This year, I went to three of them: the one in Stuttgart, the medieval one in Esslingen and the baroque one in Ludwigsburg,

I was lucky when I went to the Christmas market in Stuttgart during my lunch break as it had just begun to snow. And of course Christmas markets always look amazing when it’s snowing…

Stuttgart christmas market

Stuttgart christmas market

A great thing to do for kids is ride the miniature steam-train on Schlossplatz:

Miniature steam train on Schlossplatz

The Christmas market in Stuttgart is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. Its roots date back to the 16th century. And it is also a very large one, including parts of the Schlossplatz, the whole Schillerplatz, several streets between Schillerplatz and Marktplatz and the whole Marktplatz. Around 280 beautifully decorated stands offer food, drinks, Christmas decorations and much more. Especially the roofs of the stands are worth looking at.

A Christmas pyramid on the roof of a stand

Golden angel on top of a stand

Poet Friedrich Schiller looking down on what’s going on on “his” square, the Schillerplatz.

Statue of Friedrich Schiller on the Schillerplatz

Because of all the lights, it is always a stunning experience to visit a Christmas Market at night. So here are some impressions of one of my visits:

Stuttgart Christmas Market seen from Kleiner Schlossplatz

Two angels in front of the city hall on the Marktplatz:

Two angels on Marktplatz

Of course, the steam-train runs when it’s dark, too.

Miniature steam train during the night

When it gets too cold, it’s a good idea to step inside the Sporer Alm, between Marktplatz and Markthalle. It’s warm and cosy inside.

Sporer Alm on Stuttgart Christmas Market

Some of the stands offer very cute Christmas decorations. I have to admit, I do get weak sometimes…

Christmas decoration

Colourful candles

When visiting a Christmas Market, it’s a MUST to have a GlĂŒhwein (mulled wine). This year, I got a bit adventurous and tried Eierpunsch, which consists of egg-nog and white wine… well, I can’t recommend it… If you want to have something different from the traditional GlĂŒhwein, try a white GlĂŒhwein. That tastes very nice.

GlĂŒhwein and Eierpunsch

What I found very fascinating, but didn’t have the guts to try, were these chocolate-covered chillies…

Chocolate covered chilli

One of my favourite places on the Christmas Market in Stuttgart is the Finnish Village (Finnisches Dorf), which is located on Karlsplatz, close to the U-Bahn sation Charlottenplatz. They don’t serve GlĂŒhwein there but Glögi, which is made of berries and tastes very nice. And they sell the best salmon I ever had – seriously! You can have it on the plate for 10 Euro or in a bread-roll for 5 Euro. But they also offer a lunch special for 7,50 Euro for the plate. If you’re lucky, you find a seat inside the tent, close to the fireplace. Very cosy!

Enjoying Glögli on the Finnisch Christmas Market in Stuttgart

Cosy Finnish tent

The next Christmas market I went to this year was the medieval one in Esslingen.

Medieval Christmas Market infront of the city hall in Esslingen

Actually, only a part of the Christmas market in Esslingen is called “Mittelaltermarkt” (medieval market), there is also a “normal” Christmas market around it. When you enter the gate to the Mittelaltermarkt, you step into another world…

Entering the medieval Christmas Market

… and meet people you would not expect…

Meeting the Grim Reaper in Esslingen

Actually, the Grim Reaper turned out to be very polite and didn’t mind me taking a picture of him. Who would have thought that?? But I still asked him to keep his distance for some more decades… And he promised to do so! 🙂

When it comes to food, I made one epic discovery: Waffles with Nutella and cherries taste fantastic! How could I have lived without them for so many years???

Waffles with Nutella and cherries

There is one more Christmas market I would love to introduce to you: The Barock-Weihnachtsmarkt in Ludwigsburg. It takes place on the Marktplatz and is surrounded by baroque buildings and churches.

Baroque Christmas Market in Ludwigsburg

What blends in very nicely with the baroque surrounding are the illuminated angel statues in the middle of the market square.

Angel statues on the Christmas Market in Ludwigsburg

Don’t they just look beautiful?

Illuminated angel in Ludwigsburg

Unfortunately, it was raining heavily when I visited Ludwigsburg, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures. But I hope you can still get an idea of how lovely the baroque Christmas market is.

These were the Christmas markets I had visited this year. But of course there are many more around Stuttgart. I hope I get the chance to go to some of them next year.

That leaves me with only one more thing: I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas with your friends and families! Have a good one!

More information about:

Christmas market in Stuttgart

Medieval Christmas market in Esslingen

Baroque Christmas market in Ludwigsburg