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Pfullingen and the Journey Home

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Aah Germany. I'm back. It's been 10 years since I've been in Germany, and 10 years since I've seen my friend Nicole. We met when she was an au pair outside of Baltimore and I spent the summer as a fill in au pair for her friend's family. The friend had finished her contract and they had a couple months before their new au pair arrived... so I spent the summer out east and met Nicole! She came to visit me in Minnesota and in Bristol, and I visited her the last time I was in Germany.

The last time I visited, she lived in a small town outside of Cologne. This time, she lives in a small town outside of Stuttgart. Let's see what there is in Pfullingen!

Well, first off, there is Annika, Nicole's 3 month old. Johanna, her almost 4 year old, was less impressed with me. Annika liked me though!

The first day I arrived, we didn't do much of anything. We picked up Johanna from kindergarten and hung out in the house. I was in bed before 9pm cause I was so tired from my overnight bus! I slept like a rock that night. One of the best night's of sleep on my trip.

The next day after picking up Johanna from Kindy, we decided to go to Schloss Lichtenstein. Aka, Lichtenstein Castle.
The first views of the castle
Walking up to the castle from the parking lot.
No idea who this guy is, but it's a pretty cool statue.
Schloss Lichtenstein! It was first built in the 1100s and destroyed in the late 1300s. A new castle was built nearby, which lasted until 1802, when it was torn down by King Frederick I and a hunting lodge was built in its place. A book about the castle was released a couple decades later, and in 1840, King Frederick's cousin had purchased the estate from him and began reconstructing the castle.
It was damaged in WWII, but restored. However, they charge you to walk in the courtyard (plus also to get a tour, so it's over 20Euros to get a tour and walk around the courtyard... crazy!) so we only looked from the outside.
We took a short hike to the original ruins of the castle, where there is a great viewpoint of the current castle and the valley.
The only photo Nicole and I took together. Haha we both said after I left that we should've taken more photos! Next time...
As we were walking out, we passed this awesome looking obstacle course! Definitely a place to come in the summer!

After the castle, we headed back to Nicole's house as we were planning on going out for dinner that night. Nicole and I decided to walk to the restaurant with Annika in hopes that she would fall asleep in her stroller and sleep through dinner.
We passed the church, and the street next to it is all under construction.
A little waterfall in the middle of town.
The restaurant. Very German building! It was an old train depot that they have changed into a restaurant and a childcare center.
My dinner. Pork medallions in mushroom cream sauce with spaetzle. Yum!

The next day we went for a drive after dropping Johanna off at school.
Some nice views of the towns.
And an awesome forest road. The colors are great!
I love taking photos out of windows.
Lovely views
This view had a parking lot where a bunch of people were just sitting in their cars working.

That day, Johanna was being picked up by her grandmother, so we had the whole afternoon. Nicole had an appointment, so I said I would take Annika in the stroller and walk her around Einingen (the town next to Pfullingen) while she was at her appointment.
Ready to go!

We found a park to walk through before making a couple laps of town.
Statues in the park.
More statues. With all the statues, it looks like it would have been a huge park, but it wasn't at all. Took about 5 minutes to walk through the whole thing.
I found a nice German building and statue to showcase my Free Wave, a non-alcoholic beer by Athletic Brewing. Photos of ABC beer in Germany... check!
A cute set of German buildings.
And a bear fountain.

After Nicole's appointment, we went on the hunt for Kinder Eggs at the grocery stores. You can't get them in the US because someone was dumb in the 90s and let their child literally eat an entire plastic egg... and they choked and died. So now they are banned... and every time I go to Europe I pick up tons of them and bring them back. Turns out at Christmas, they also have giant ones! So we were on the hunt for eggs.

We got back and spent the afternoon in the house. I baked Nicole some cookies because she said that she doesn't know how to make soft cookies and the last time I visited her, I made cookies. So I baked her some cookies! We then decided to take Annika for a walk. She likes to sleep while she's moving...
Crossing a little canal.
As we were getting close to the walking/bike path, we passed a house with a ton of random stuff in the yard.
Like this guy, waving at us.
A crocodile.
So many bikes.
A little squirrel friend.
This one was the creepiest.
I guess this is what snowmen look if they melt?
No idea. But it was fun to look around at all the random things.
Walking on the path during sunset.
Reflections :)
Super pretty area to walk around.

We got back to Nicole's and got ready for raclette night. She had invited her partner's cousin and his wife over to join us. It's the German version of fondue essentially. Instead of having melted cheese though, you melt the cheese on top of things.
Quite the spread!
Fill your raclette pan with meat and veggies and top with cheese.
Insert in grill and wait for it to get all melty!

We had a really fun night with Micha's cousins. They both spoke a decent amount of English, so we had a fun night in both German and English. Turns out raclette is just like fondue in that you need a group to do it properly! Really fun and really yummy. I've never said no to melted cheese...!

The next day was my last day of my travels. I had to catch the bus to the airport at about 11am. Turns out even though Pfullingen is small and about an hour from the airport, they still have an express bus that runs every hour!
Made it to the airport... first flight to Amsterdam!
See ya Germany!

I made it to Amsterdam and didn't have very much time at all until my next flight, but I figured I'd stop at the lounge and quick have a bite to eat in the 20 minutes I had.
Pasta salad and a Heineken. You can't be in Amsterdam and not have a Heineken.

Turns out my 20 minutes wasn't really 20 minutes as I was the last one boarding. Haha oops! Oh well, I made it in time on a very empty flight.
Look at all my space! The entire middle row next to me was also empty. Of course, when I got to Chicago to fly to Minneapolis, the flight was completely full. But at least my European flights (the Stuttgart-AMS as well) were almost empty!

Europe, it's been awesome. I guess I'll spend another couple months exploring you in another decade. Seems to be the trend!

Grand total: 35 cities (I think?), 15 countries, 8 weeks. Fast paced trip!

Posted by rhwanderlust 15:22 Archived in Germany

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