Category Archives: City Trips

Blaustrümpflerweg – hike around Heslach

Although I lived in Stuttgart during my bachelor degree and am now living here for more than half a year, I still find myself in places I have never been before. One of these places was the historic cableway, which still runs between the Südheimer Platz and the Waldfriedhof.

Last sunday we set of at the Marienpaltz to follow the Blaustrümpflerweg around Heslach which includes a ride with the cableway and with the rack railway at the end. The tour is 7.5 km long and except of a steep start, easy going. The sign-posting is also very good but to be sure you can find the whole tour here.

sign-blaustrümpflerwegStarting our day with breakfast at galao, a really nice café at Marienplatz, we headed off for the hike at around midday. We followed the way up to the Karlshöhe where you can have your first break in the small beer garden. If you already fancy a beer or something to eat, this is a good place with a great view. Continuing up, the views of the city get even better.

wineyard-blaustrümpflerwegview stuttgart-blaustrümpflerwegAfter a steep part at the beginning of the tour the way leads even through quiet neighbourhoods. Going down I nearly forgot that we are walking near a big city. The forest felt like somewhere in the alps or in the countryside where I am originally from. It was really calm and the city felt miles away.

view2-stuttgart-blaustrümpflerwegFinally we arrived at the Südheimer Platz where we took the historic cablecar up to Degerloch. You don’t need an extra ticket for it. The normal SSB tickets are also valid. The wagons have a unique historic atmosphere with wooden seats and old signs telling passengers to sit down or grab a hold for saftey reasons.

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Arriving at Waldfriedhof we first got lost but quickly found back on the right way. From the Waldfriedhof the tour continues through forests to the rack railway in Degerloch. The rack railway also is an unique experience moving down very slowly and steep back to Marienplatz.

We finished our tour with some ice cream from Gelateria Kaiserbau which is deifinetely worth the long queue in front of the shop. The tour isn’t that hard to do and you have plenty of spots to stop for a break and to enjoy the views of Stuttgart.

Great Architecture and a nice view – Library Stuttgart

The weather is dreadful, don’t you think. I mean it’s the end of april and we got snow on the weekend! The only good thing about the cold and rain is that I finally put my long pushed plans into action regarding sightseeing in Stuttgart. One of the things I wanted to do for quite a while was a visit of the city library in Stuttgart. I heard about their architectural audio guide tour which I finally did last week.

library

When the new library was finished in 2011 people in Stuttgart were and still are quite sceptical about the unusual form of their new central library. The very clean and strict architecture didn’t meet the general taste. I have to admit that I was irritated by the building in the beginning as well but the longer I live in Stuttgart and pass the library during day and especially night the more I love its special look.

The library was built by Eun Yong Yi. His philosphy is to try to bring modern architecture back to its roots by for example bringing his buildings back to its basic forms. His ideas and the meaning of the different areas within the library are well explained in the audio guided tour.

audio guide

The tour is completely free of charge and if you are not only interested in the architecture of the building there is also another tour about how the library is structured and where to find the books you are looking for.

The architectural tour takes aproximately 45 minutes and guides you through the whole building. I don’t want to spoil too much, so I just share with you some pictures and you can go and get the information by yourself doing the tour.

heart of the libraryinsideheartThe tour not only leads you through the library but also on top of the building onto the roof terasse where you have a great view over Stuttgart. Head down to the library before 6pm because the terasse is closed after.

view over stuttgart I highly recommend giving the tour a chance. The guide is very well made. There is a mixture of explanations and comments by the architecture himself which gives you a good understanding of his intentions by building the library the way it is.

On top of that you get a free view over the city and can pop into the café on the top floor for some coffee and cake.

Let me know how you liked it if you go.

 

Brown’s Tea Bar – British Experience in the middle of Munich

english breakfast teaSince I have been back from England I am looking out for cafés which might be serving some good old English Breakfast Tea along with great cake. One week ago on my trip to munich I finally found  what I was looking for.

Brown’s Tea Bar belongs to the café chain “The Victorian House” which runs five cafés in Munich. All of them offering a vast selection of different teas and homemade cakes. They even offer scones with original Cornish clotted cream.

I literally entered the café and felt like being back in Britain. The cakes looked amazing and tasted like heaven. I tried the banofee pie and my friend settled on a coffee-chocolate-nut cake. Both were equally great.

Banofee PieIn addition to the great food the interior was very victorian. The room wasn’t very spacious and together with the thoughtful decoration, it felt very comfy. However, you need to be lucky or patient to find a spot for your visit.

interior Brown's Tea BarThe Victorian House also runs an online shop were you can buy all sorts of English biscuits and sweets and of course tea.

tea selection The café is located within walking distance to the Brandhorst Museum in the middly of the student quarter. We stayed there for quite some time and people just never stopped coming in ordering some cake or tea.

If you are in Munich you should definitely pop in and have a scone or two together with a warming cup of tea.

 

Painting 2.0 – interpretations of our modern world

While I was staying in Munich for a longer business trip I was able to squeeze in a visit of  the Brandhorst Museum. Until the end of april they are hosting an exhibition called “Painting 2.0 – Expression in the information age” focusing on modern and contemporary art.

Brandhorst Museum Munich

The museum is located near the university and can be reached easily by taking a bus from the central station. The exhibition features over 230 paintings by 107 different artists. With this, it is one of the biggest exhibitions of contemporary art. Since the 1960s, artists have been discussing societal changes and the meaning of art within their work.

“Painting 2.0” shows in three inter-related sections how artists handled questions like the meaning of corporality or the development of social networks.The first thing you see entering the gallery is a container filled with destroyed pictures. Martin Kippenberger addresses with this work the relationship of art and spectacle. This relationship is the focus of the first section. It concentrates on the question of how art is able to create spectacles itself but also how it can reflect a culture of spectacle.

Exhibition Painting 2.0

On the top floor, the museum shows works focusing on the question of corporality. Artists critically explore how technologies transform our image of us and others.

In the basement the exhibition is completed by paintings centred around social networks. So for example there you can find computer generated pictures or a painting of a huge socket symbolising our dependency on electricity.

For a good overview of the exhibition I found this video from the Bayerische Rundfunk.  Unfortunately it is only available in German but even without the text you get a good impression about the works shown in the exhibition.

Overall “Painting 2.0” looks at some of the pressing issues of our society. It explains and shows how art  paralleled societal changes since the 1960s and how it struggled around the question of its own meaning. The pictures might not have the beauty of a painting by Monet or Da Vinci but they challenge your perception and leave you with some deep thoughts about how technology changes our world.

For that reason and the great line-up of popular artists like Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz or Martin Kippenberger the exhibition is worth every visit. It is running until the 30th April, so there is some time left for you to go.

Have you been to a great museum or exhibition lately?