All tagged Germany

Stuttgart-Frankfurt-Valencia: First time with Lufthansa Express Rail

When I was choosing flights coming back to Valencia from Stuttgart, I noticed something interesting: there was a flight around 6:30pm to Zurich, connecting to a flight to Valencia; there was ALSO a train around 6:30pm to Frankfurt, connecting to a flight to Valencia. While the trip time was about the same for both, I would have had to get on an airport train from Hauptbanhof at around 4:30, giving a 2 hour advantage to the train itinerary.

Traveling with "Lufthansa Express Rail" is as similar as possible to boarding a flight as possible. First, there are Lufthansa self check-in kiosks on the ground floor of the train station, in the Deutsche Bahn travel assistance center, the "Reiseservice"...

Architecture Pilgrimage: the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart, featuring Le Corbusier

At the Mercedes-Benz Museum, I saw a photo of a housing development that I remembered studying in Design History class: the Weissenhof Estate. I'd forgotten it was in Stuttgart! So I went online to check out the place, called to verify that they were open (since it was Monday, and also the May 1 holiday), and hurried to take the train and bus back over to the west side of town.

The Weissenhof Estate was a model development by the city of Stuttgart planned by Mies van der Rohe, and designed to experiment with new models of housing. It was an image of this townhouse complex designed by J.J.P. Oud that made me suddenly remember the slides in Design History class.

Cars! Cars! Cars...2! A visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum

After visiting the Porsche Museum, it was time to head back to the Stuttgart Hauptbanhof to catch the S-bahn to Neckar Park - basically clear on the other side of town. I only had time at Hauptbanhof to pick up a sandwich and pastry in the station, to eat while waiting for the next train.

Unlike the Porsche Museum with its advantageous location adjacent to the station, you do have to walk about 15 minutes from the station to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It's fairly well signposted, though.

On the other hand, like the Porsche Museum, there's a vanity roundabout sculpture next to the museum. While the Porsche Museum had Porsches mounted on top of three tall posts, the Mercedes-Benz version is a more subtle, extruded 3-pointed star.

Cars! Cars! Cars! A visit to the Porsche Museum

When I was looking for a destination around Europe to spend my May 1, International Labor Day, long weekend, I decided to combine Strasbourg, with its charming village feeling, and Stuttgart, known for being the industrial home of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

Just after waking up, I hopped on the S-Bahn from Hauptbanhof to Neuwirtshaus/Porscheplatz station. The museum is right there, adjacent to the train tracks.

I was impressed with the service as soon as I walked up to the ticket counter. The attendant proactively asked me if I had taken public transit to the museum. Indeed I had, and upon showing my transit day pass, I learned that I got half-price admission, paying €4 instead of €8! This discount wasn't published anywhere on the website, so it was a very pleasant surprise!

Lodging Review: Motel One Stuttgart

 I had stayed at a Motel One a few years ago in Munich, and thought the concept was quite attractive: modern rooms with just what you need at a reasonable cost. One of the Motel Ones in Stuttgart (there are a few) was just a block from the Hauptbanhof (train station), and given that I had late evening/early arrivals in Stuttgart both times I was passing through, this hotel was a logical choice.

ARN-FRA-VLC: new SAS lounge + new Lufthansa pastries


My journey back to Valencia started in the groggy early morning hours to walk to the train station, getting on the Arlanda Express, and checking in my bag in time for the 6:15am flight. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the SAS Lounge, having been to the Copenhagen one a couple years ago (very crowded), and the Gothenburg one (very slim pickings). I was surprised that the lounge in Stockholm featured a new design, with sections separated by carpeting and screens, creating various little living rooms. The use of diverse furniture designs is brilliant in breaking up that massive uniform look a lot of lounges have.

The food was pretty good - mainly cold options besides an oatmeal option (I seem to recall). I went in for one last big helping of the pate that I so loved from the hotel breakfasts.

When checking into my Lufthansa flight, there was a warning in the email saying that certain countries (i.e. Sweden) have instituted passport control, even for flights within the Schengen zone. This started with the refugee crisis...