Yesterday we went with Steph, Felix and Marius (her nephew) to the new Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. This Museum was only opened in 2008 and is not overly popular with the locals as it costs 8 euros to go in (includes the hire of an audio guide). Supposedly, the old musuem was free. However, they don't know what they are missing out on because this one is fantastic.
We were there for about 5 hours but you could easily spend a whole day there. The museum is divided into two types of exhibits, the legends and the collections. The building is very spectacular, with each level descending in a double helix with the legends on the upper curves and the collections on the lower curves. However, instead of choosing one or the other, most people (including us) choosing to do both! The Legends Tour covers Pioneers - the Invention of the Automobile, Mercedes - the Birth of the Brand, Times of Change - Diesel & the Supercharger, Post-War Miracle - Form & Diversity, Visionaries - Safety & Environment, Moving the World - Global & Individual, Silver Arrows - Races & Records. The Collection tour has the following galleries - Voyagers, Carriers, Helpers, Celebrities and Heroes.
For us, the best thing about the Museum is not that it focuses on Daimler and Benz, but on the company in the community and history. There is as much social history and comment as there is about the development of the cars and the brand. This includes the use of their engines in aircraft (yay said Michael!!!!) and the changes made during the war years, about how the company supported the workers movements in the area and provided social benefits for their workers.
Marius who is ten was as enthralled as any of the adults and was a delight to have along. There are a whole heap more photos and when I get a chance, I will load them into a Picasa Album so you can see them all.
On our return to Weiler last night we joined Olga and Rudi (Steph's aunt & uncle) at Buergerstueble Restaurant which is next door to their place (how handy is that!!!). The hosting was superb and the food fabulous. We concentrated on ordering traditional Swaebian (Schwaebisch) food. Michael had rabbit (the other choice for him was offal ~ yuk) and I had sauerbraten (marinated beef with vinegar in a red wine gravy) and spaetzle ~ SO GOOOOD!!!! We finished with trio of dessert - nougat, panna cotta and marinated pineapple - yum yum yum. Girls, forget the diets! Then off to bed to sleep and dream it off.
Today we went into Schorndorf to spend some money on buying some more warm clothes - Michael got a really good jacket that you can take the inner jacket out. We got thermal underwear and fleece jumpers that are not bulky so we can walk around without feeling like the Michelin Man! Spend a total of 250 euro (about $500) but would have spent at least twice at home. Then off to the old town of Schorndorf. The market place is fascinating and lined by buildings constructed in the 1600s and 1700s. Michael did a Maria and went crazy taking heaps of photos. Again, we wil add some more to a Picasa Album sometime soon.