We made it to Stuttgart without any fuss, on what was, despite being a budget flight where all five of us flew for cheaper than the fare for one person from Charlotte to New York, a nicer flight than most of the “big name” ones I’ve been on. A pleasant surprise. We landed in Stuttgart in the early evening, and made our way into town, before getting totally lost trying to find the hotel. Thank goodness for GPS–I don’t think we ever would have found that hotel.
By this time, it was around 9 and we were all hungry, so we headed out to find something to eat. All being tired of German food, and wanting something different than Italian, we wandered into an Arabian restaurant and enjoyed an excellent meal, with an excellent beer (Andechs double bock), and were even treated to a bit of belly dancing–interesting, to say the least.
Not having any plans for the evening, we decided to take it easy and head back to the hotel after dinner. Just at midnight, as we were about to get in bed, we started hearing popping, bangs, whistles, explosions, shouts–looking out the window, we were treated to the most incredible fireworks display I have ever seen. This wasn’t some massive city sponsored show, but was all small, personal fireworks. The kicker was that everyone was shooting tons of them. Everywhere you looked, the horizon was just filled with rainbows of exploding fireworks. From our 5th floor windows, we could see it all, and just sat there, taking it in, for 30 minutes. The street below us was filled with celebrators, and we could see bottle rockets bouncing off cars, people, and buildings–one even hit the window next to me. The sheer number of the fireworks going off overtook any professional display I have ever seen. It was, by far, the best fireworks “show” I’ve ever seen–and maybe even the best New Year’s I’ve ever had.
That was really the end of our trip. The next day, we ambled around Stuttgart’s meager sites, Wilson went ice skating, and then we just hung around. Not much to report on there. The next morning, I caught the train back to Tübingen, and the rest of the family headed to the airport to fly home, thus bringing a close to our Christmas trip.