Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Stuttgart - home of Porsche

"This is probably the best day out I've had on the trip so far," James exclaimed. We were in Stuttgart  and spending the day with friends at the Porsche Museum, an outing James had been talking about for months. The sleek museum was next to the Porsche HQ and was stuffed full of cars that would  raise even the most reluctant visitor's (me) pulse.

After nearly 9 months travelling overland from Kathmandu back to the UK, gathering visas, overcoming the complex red tape of  the ex-Soviet countries, getting through Tibet in the smallest of windows when the Chinese gatekeepers had allowed it, enduring the roughest roads, climbing the remotest mountains, gaining passage across the Caspian Sea on a cargo ship and travelling through the Southern Caucasus, misadventures and stories aplenty, but after all of that James thought the Porsche museum was the best experience. It would have been a much cheaper trip if we had just spent a weekend going to the Porsche museum instead of all the other travel.

James waiting for the train in Vienna

Our trip to Stuttgart hadn't begun with the Germanic transportation efficiency we had expected from this part of the world. The Vienna to Munich train was delayed, the Austrians blamed the Hungarians the Germans blamed the Austrains. Luckily the rail staff pulled out all the stops to make up time and we got our connection in Munich which delivered us to Stuttgart on time. There, at the station, my friends, Eloise and Philipp were waiting to welcome us off the train. Eloise and I had studied Geography together on a year abroad at McMaster University, Canada, 11 years ago. There Eloise had met Philipp from Stuttgart. Now they are married and have set up home in Philipp's home city. Philipp drove along the windy roads to their flat as if we were in the dying minutes of Le Mans.

Eloise and Philipp were perfect hosts cooking us Schnitzel and showing us around the Christmas market where we drank gluwien and ate tastey German snacks. James and Philipp spent the evening competing on Philipp's full sized seated driving console game which James thought was amazing.

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