Two unexpected extra nights 

Somehow or other I screwed up with my plans at the end of the Trail of the Red Deer. I suddenly calculated that I had 2 extra nights – unplanned, no accommodation booked, nothing!  So enjoyable were the hotels and Wellness centres on the hike that I requested an extra night in Freudenstadt at the end of the trek! Perfect, now the second night was still up for grabs. I had a train ticket from Freudenstadt to Frankfurt via Stuttgart. So I decided to break the train journey in Stuttgart and stay overnight then travel onwards. 

Some of you may recall that 2 years ago I visited Turin, Italy and found it quite charming with a well maintained historical part. But the number 1 tourist attraction of Turin was a tour of  the Alfa Romeo car factory, followed in second place by a visit to the famous soccer club of Turin, so famous that it’s name escapes me! A distant third was a pilgrimage to the chapel containing the eponymous “shroud”- revealing in the crumbling cotton, a sort of death mask of Jesus.

Stuttgart, according I presume, to the mainly male contributors of TripAdvisor,  ranks tours of the Mercedes Benz factory as number 1   Almost equally attractive being a tour of the Porshe museum at number 2. I am not at clear of whether there is a third. Stuttgart sadly appears to lack religious relics.  I suppose that a mausoleum containing Aryton Senna’s remains, would fit the bill?  In summary, Stuttgart is very much a motorist’s Mecca.

Despite my dim recollection of a classical music history  – Mozart having lived or passed through Stuttgart, I found little remaining in terms of monuments. There  was a “Mozartenplatz,” but every village in Germany and Austria has one. 

This is strikingly similar to the  multitude of  Australian country towns that boast  of the “actual cottage”  where Don Bradman was “actually born”. How this came to pass, God only knows. However to carry on with this analogy, quite appropriate given Don Bradman is God to a significant proportion of our population, I  suspect that Mrs Bradman  heavily pregnant, travelled the outback of south western NSW with Mr Bradman Snr. in a horse and buggy looking for emergency accommodation. 

If the poor woman was progressively dilating from 2cm in Gidginbung to 12cm in Coolamon, finally breaking her waters at Stockinbingal, then who would quibble over a couple of centimetres when it comes to keeping the peace of these small community historical society!
So next time I shall bypass the pitstop at Stuttgart but Frankfurt is worth a stay and with the River Main coursing through the city it had a slight Melbournian feel, here are a few pictures at dusk. 

the main railway station . these are invariably architectural wonders in European cities

I am sure you agree this looks a little like Melbourne from south bank

a pleasure cruise having all the characteristics of a similar event on the Yarra River – loud music and volatile intoxicated Gen Y

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