| ||What you've been doing || |
Brrrh! It’s the middle of March, how can it be so cold? What happened to spring???
Well, anyway, I’m still in Germany and it’s still cold but I’m also still enjoying myself, checking out new places! So today I’m in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, in Baden-Württemberg, visiting Stephan’s little sister, Miri. By the way, I discovered that she has a portrait of me on her wall, which made me very happy and proud! *grinning pig* XOX
Where was I? Oh yes, Ludwigsburg. Ludwigsburg has about 85,000 inhabitants and was founded in 1704 by the Württemberg duke Eberhard Ludwig, whose initial plan was to have his summer residence built here. The guy supposedly said “There are already more than enough boring towns”, so he went a bit over the top and the result were several baroque palaces and, in the end, a whole town around them. Today the ‘Residenzschloss’ (Residential Palace), part of which you can see in the picture, is the biggest and best-preserved baroque palace in all of Germany. From next week (March 18th) until the beginning of November, its gardens are transformed into what’s called ‘Blühendes Barock’ (Blooming Baroque), a flower show that attracts thousands of visitors – kind of hard to imagine that spring’s around the corner on a bleak day like today … The palace also houses the ‘Porzellan-Manufaktur’, one of the last genuine porcelain makers in Europe where products are still made entirely by hand.
If you want to see more palaces, there’s also Monrepos Lakeside Palace, the duke’s former hunting lodge (currently under scaffolding on one side) and the ‘Favoritenschlösschen’, opposite the Residential Palace, also a hunting lodge and summer residence, which Eberhard Ludwig had built for his lover Wilhelmine. It looks very pretty and colorful but unfortunately I didn’t get a close-up look.
Enough history, now for something completely different and more important … food! I had the chance to sample two local dishes, ‘Käsespätzle’ and ‘Maultaschen’, and I enjoyed them both very much. ‘Spätzle’ are a type of noodles that you can make with a ‘Spätzlehobel’ (it’s a tool that is a bit similar to a mandoline, except that instead of vegetables you ‘grate’ the somewhat runny dough and let it drop directly into a pot of boiling water) or – the old-fashioned way – just with a cutting board and a knife, scraping the dough off of the edge of the board. Not sure this makes sense to anybody who isn’t familiar with the process … but hey, I’m a travelpig, not a chef! To make ‘Käsespätzle’, the noodles are then mixed with cheese (not sure what type of cheese they used) and topped with caramelized onions. Mmmh, delicious! ‘Maultaschen’, on the other hand, can best be described as a type of oversized, very firm ravioli. They can have a meat filling or, as in this case, a vegetarian spinach one, or a mixture of both. The ones I tried were then cut up into strips and pan-fried with eggs but you can also boil them (whole) in a broth or a do a lot of other things with them. Help, I’m getting hungry again!!!
That’s it for today, now we have to say goodbye to Miri and drive back to Franconia. Tomorrow I have to get up very early for my flight back to New Jersey, where it’s probably just as cold as over here!