A sunny day at the top of the Fernsehturm (TV-Tower)

Hi guys! Spring has arrived! And today, I could totally feel and see it. Sunshine and blue sky – what else can a girl ask for?

This weekend, my sister-in-law came to see us with her family. After visiting the Märchengarten in Ludwigsburg (for more information about this place, check out my post from 2013) and the Eselsmühle (to learn more, check out my post from 2015) they had one more “must do” on their list: the famous Fernsehturm (TV-Tower) of Stuttgart. As some of you guys know, the tower was closed for a while due to fire safety improvements but it opened its gates again just a few weeks ago. I was very excited to be able to go to the top of the tower again!

Today, we took the U-Bahn to Ruhbank and walked the few meters to the entrance.

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Let me share some fun facts with you before we enter the tower:

  • it is 217 meters/710 feet high
  • it was the very first TV-Tower constructed in reinforced concrete
  • it was built within 20 months
  • the engineer that constructed the tower was Fritz Leonhardt
  • the tower was opened on February 5th, 1956
  • the construction cost 4.2 million Deutsche Mark

Not too bad, right? OK, let’s move on.

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As it was early in the day, we didn’t have to line up and could walk in nearly right away. The cash point is located in a little gift shop where you find lot’s of cute little things, all related to the tower of course Smiley

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After we had a look around, it was time to hop into the elevator and fly up the 217 meters to the top.

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Even though it was not the clearest day, the sight was good from the top of the tower.

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Check out Schlossplatz with the Königsbau on the left and the Neue Schloss on the right:

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And here is the stadium of Stuttgart, the Mercedes-Benz Arena:

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And do you know where that is?

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I am sure you recognize the colorful buildings of the Marktplatz in the center of the picture, the white  tower of the city hall on the left, and the Stiftskriche in the back. Zwinkerndes Smiley

And here comes one more beautiful spot: the Karlshöhe:

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Yep, I liked it a lot up there!

 Fernsehturm

(Before you ask – we got balloons at the entrance because the Fernsehturm is celebrating its 60th anniversary! Happy birthday Fernsehturm!! Smiley)

As it got a bit cold after a while, we decided to visit the Panorama Café.

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We were lucky to get a table. It was crowded up there. I saw that the group next to us had made reservations for a table in advance. That’s definitely a good idea if you guys want to visit the tower and intend on having a break in the café.

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The Panorama Café is open until 11 pm everyday and they even serve cocktails up there! A great location for an after-work drink, don’t you think?! Smiley

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But it was only around noon, so only coffee and hot elderflower tea with a view for us Smiley

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We had a great time at the top of the tower. Bye bye, Fernsehturm – see you again soon!

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The Fernsehturm is open from 10 am to 11 pm during the week and from 9 am to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The entrance fee is 7 Euro for adults and 4 Euro for students and kids between 6 and 15. They also offer special prices for groups, early birds or night owls. Check out their website for more details.

More information about:

Fernsehturm Stuttgart (only in German)

 

Sydney I – the city

Sydney was the last destination of our trip down the east coast of Australia. For me, this is the most beautiful city I know (don’t get confused with my article about Byron Bay “My most favorite town ever” – I’m talking city now! Smiley)

So, why is Sydney such a special place? I think it’s partly the location. The natural harbour this city is build around, makes a huge difference to cities without access to water. The view from a high building downtown is incredible when you see the famous sights, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, plus many yachts, driving around (or underneath them Zwinkerndes Smiley) and leaving white trails behind them on the opal blue water.

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But it’s also the people that make Sydney a place you feel at home from the very first moment. It’s such an intercultural and thus open minded city. You meet people from all over the world and when walking around on your own, it doesn’t need much time before someone comes up to you and asks you where you’re from and if you need help.

And I recon, Sydney will always be a very special place for me anyway, because my best friend since kindergarten moved here ten years ago and it’s always great to visit her because she’s simply the best Smiley

Moritz has never been to Sydney before so we spend our first day exploring the city center.

We started at Darling Harbour in the morning, when most of the shops and restaurants were still closed and not many other tourist were around.

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We crossed Tumbalong Park, which is located just behind the Imax at Darling Harbour and walked over to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. We didn’t get inside (mainly because you have to pay entrance fee and I’ve been inside during one of my previous visits to Sydney) but caught some glimpses from the outside… pretty pretty! Smiley

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Our next stop was one of the famous landmarks of Sydney, the Harbour Bridge. We walked along Hickson Road – which was actually not one of our best decisions because there’s a lot of construction work going on at the moment. Next time, I would choose an alternative route, like Kent Street for example. We did a little detour to visit the Park in front of the Sydney Observatory, where we had a lovely view.

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And there she was, one of the most famous bridges in the world –definitely the most famous one on the southern hemisphere Smiley. We got to the pedestrian walkway through an entrance from Observatory Hill – thank god, so the steep climb up to the park was not for nothing Smiley!

Of course, the view from the bridge is stunning.

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But I like the bridge itself very much, too.

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After we’ve enjoyed the views for quite a while we climbed down and found ourselves in the middle of The Rocks, the oldest neighbourhood in Sydney. Even though this is a very touristy place, I love the old buildings and narrow sidewalks.

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Now it was time to see THE main landmark of Sydney. We walked along Sydney Cove, passed Circular Quay and stood in front of the Opera House.

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Fun Fact: Did you notice that the Opera House resembles shells, that are stuck into the earth? Some say, it’s not shells but sails, referring to the ships that brought the first white people to Australia. I like both theories. I myself am part of team shells. Smiley

And as we haven’t walked enough for one day (attention: irony! Smiley mit herausgestreckter Zunge), we decided to walk a little bit more. So we promenaded along Farm Cove, passing the Royal Botanic Gardens with its huge, old trees.

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We grabbed a coffee, sat down on a bench and enjoyed the moment. Lovely park! But we finally got up again and walked along. Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair was waiting! Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife used to love the place where the landmark is today. It is known that she used to come here by carriage to enjoy the view. Rumor has it that is was not necessarily the harbour she was looking at, but the boats arriving from and leaving for England as she might have been a bit homesick, the poor thing. Her loving husband noticed her frequent trips and arranged that a chair should be carved out of the stone for his wife. Well, I can report that the chair itself is not that comfy but the view is nice!

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We walked along Woolloomooloo Bay, took Art Gallery Road and arrived at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

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After we had walked around Hyde Park…

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… we turned right and found our way to the Town Hallsydney_town_hall.jpg

… and the Queen Victory Building, a beautiful shopping center, build in 1898.sydney_queen_victory_building1.jpg

A beautiful day in a beautiful city! The only way to top this, is having dinner in another famous landmark: the Sydney Tower.

And that’s what we did Smiley!

The buffet was amazing…

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… and we had the best view over the city while dining:

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But this was just the city. There’s so much more to Sydney, the beaches and the National Parks around. I’ll show you some of it in my next posts, I promise. Smiley

More information about:

Sydney

Darling Harbour

Sydney Observatory

The Rocks

Opera House

Royal Botanic Gardens

Queen Victoria Building

Sydney Tower Buffet

Fairy tales become true in the Märchengarten

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 Märchengarten (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 Hänsel and Gretel and Rumpelstilzchen and Aladdin and, and, and…

Entrance to Märchengarten 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 Märchengarten with a boat ride.

Boats in Märchenland

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 Märchengarten early afternoon and went to a Café 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…

"Fleischküchle" 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:

Märchengarten Ludwigsburg (only in German)

Ludwigsburg

Fairy tales become true in the Märchengarten

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 Märchengarten (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 Hänsel and Gretel and Rumpelstilzchen and Aladdin and, and, and…

Entrance to Märchengarten 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 Märchengarten with a boat ride.

Boats in Märchenland

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 Märchengarten early afternoon and went to a Café 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…

"Fleischküchle" 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:

Märchengarten Ludwigsburg (only in German)

Ludwigsburg

The “Golden City” covered in white – Part II

Little snow man in Prague

Hello everybody and welcome to the second part of my Prague adventure! If you’ve missed part I, you’ll find it here.

The second day of our wonderful weekend in winter wonderland Prague started as the first day had closed: with lots of snow!! We saw little snow men everywhere! Very cute 🙂

We had decided that we want to spend this day just wandering around, sucking in the atmosphere of this beautiful city. After breakfast (which was very nice in our Grandhotel Bohemia!), we headed to the Old Town Square again and walked to Charles Bridge.

When in Prague, make sure to look up from time to time. There are so many beautiful, historical houses. You’ll find a lot of Art Nouveau for example.

Art Nouveau in Prague

Old houses close to Old Town Square

Old house close to Charles Bridge

Statues on a building in Prague

But you don’t have to get a stiff neck, there’s also a lot to explore by looking straight ahead:

Two statues holding a balcony

A crown in the wall

A lovely lady at the wall

And sometimes, it’s also worth looking to the ground…

Four hearts on the ground

Isn’t that cute? Four hearts in a golden circle. I nearly missed it… 🙂

We crossed Charles Bridge and entered the “Kleinseite” (“Malá Strana” in Czech – which translates to “Little Side” and refers to the part of Prague in the west of the Vltava River).

View from Charles Bridge over to Kleinseite in Prague

View from Charles Bridge over to the castle

Towers of Kleinseite in Prague

When you leave Charles Bridge, you’ll find the park Kampa on your left. I’ve never been there in winter so we wanted to find out what it looks like covered with snow. And our undertaking got rewarded: Suddenly the sun came out and the snow was sparkling. We had such a beautiful view from Kampa over to Charles Bridge, with a blue sky over it.

Kampa in winter

View from Kampa over to Charles Bridge

View from Kampa

Magical view from Kampa

It was so magical, time could have stopped moving, I wouldn’t have minded…

But to bring you guys back to reality, too, that’s what we found in front of Kampa Museum:

Babies on Kampa

Yes, it’s a museum for modern art, why are you asking…? 😉

There’s a little canal leading around Kampa and that’s why this part of Prague is sometimes called “Venice of the east.”

Venice of the east

Romantic Malá Strana

A very romantic spot. 🙂

We left magical Kampa and started to walk up the winding streets to the castle.

Winding street in Prague

Old street in Prague

On the way to the castle

Old houses in Prague

Walking up to the Castle in Prague

Steep walk up to the Castle in Prague

The last part of the street is a bit steep but it’s worth the climb because you get rewarded with a stunning view.

Panorama from the Castle in Prague

Even this little snow man liked what he saw… at least I think so, he didn’t talk much… 😉

Snow man looking enjoying his view in Prague

We didn’t visit the castle, we just had a look at St. Vitus’ Cathedral from the outside.

Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

OK, I couldn’t resist, I had to get this touristy picture taken:

Soldier Mel in Prague

We also had a look down on the city from the other side of the castle…

View from the back of Prague Castle

… and descended by using the stairs next to this wall:

The stairs down from Prague Castle

On our way back to the city center, we passed Charles Bridge again.

When you’re on Charles Bridge, you might observe many people touching pictures of a saint. Let’s talk about this cult for a moment: John of Nepomuk was drowned in the Vltava River at the behest of King Wenceslaus in 1393. As the confessor of the queen he refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional – and thus got in trouble with the king. Today, he is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional and a protector from floods. And many people touch his picture for good luck. But some people get confused by who exactly they have to touch…

This is one of the pictures of Nepomuk. So, if you have to, touch it…

Picture of John of Nepomuk on Charles Bridge in Prague

Here’s another picture of Nepomuk – but there are other individuals on it, as well. Question: If you want to touch this picture for good luck, what figure would you go for?

a) the random dog

b) the rubberneck, watching poor Nepomuk getting killed without doing anything

c) Nepomuk, falling down the bridge

d) none of the above because by touching this picture, I’ll get in contact with billions of bacteria, the hundreds of tourists, who touched it before me, left.

It seems to be tricky to find the saint

Well, this woman is not on the right track, she’s touching the rubberneck. Don’t know what luck will come from that… 😉

On our way back to the city center, we passed two more points of interest, I would like to share with you:

1.) My favourite shop in Prague: Manufaktura!

Manufaktura in Prague

Here you find cute Czech folk craft and traditional wooden toys and (even more interesting! ;-)) cosmetics inspired by balneology and Czech natural ingredients. I LOVE their soaps, shampoos, body lotions, creams… 😀

I got two body lotions and a shampoo for kids…

2) Marionette shops: You’ll find a lot of marionette theaters in Prague. Many of them are performing Don Giovanni (and they are doing it quite well, I can tell you ;-)).

Marionette theater in Prague

But even better: You can buy a marionette as a souvenir, too. You’ll find a lot of cheap puppets in many of the souvenir shops, but there are also a few professional marionette makers, too. They sell high quality puppets and they are absolutely worth their price.

Marionettes in Prague

When I left Prague after living there for 7 months, I wanted to buy myself a souvenir that’s worth my good memories of this city. So I went to some of the marionette shops and chose a little wooden replica of Mozart. I still love it.

Mozart marionette

We had again an awesome time in Prague. This city is simply something very, very special. It was great being in Prague in winter when there is heaps of snow. But I am also looking forward to coming back one day soon in summer, when you can sit in the parks, climb one of the hills and enjoy the view from there. Good bye Prague, see you soon again!

More information about:

Museum Kampa

Manufaktura