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De Stuttgart a las tierras de los sueños

By the southwest of Germany you can find the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and Stuttgart as the capital city. Even the name can be unknown it’s the second most touristic region in the country, full of fascinating spots.

For instance, Stuttgart is the main gateway to enter the mysterious Black Forest, the impressive Constance lake, the stunning mountain rage of Swabian Jura o little fairytale towns like Esslingen, Freiburg, Ludwigsburg, Baden-Baden o Heidelberg. Now it all sounds a bit more familiar, right?

Black Forest

This is an area well known for the cuckoo clocks, famous among German. The Black Forest has a long tradition of cuckoo clocks makers, since 1740. In the touristic town of Triberg you will fins the biggest cuckoo clock in the world, also the second on the list. At 12:00 by noon you can see the 4-meters cuckoo singing.

Another curiosity from Triberg is that is where the traditional recipe of the Black Forest cake, the most famous in German gastronomy, comes from. It’s made of layers of sponge cake, cream and cherry jam. You can find it at Café Schäfer, open since 1915.

If you’re into that, there is also Gengenbach, a fairytale town you can visit. Actually, here is where Tim Burton filmed Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Not many changes were needed, as the cobbled streets, timbered and flowered balconies make Gengenbach a very charming town already.

Apparently, everything goes big in the little towns of the Black Forest. The windows at Gengenbach City Council (from 17th century) get open from Advent Sunday until Christmas, becoming the biggest Advent Calendar in the world.

To the west of the Black Forest, you will find the university town of Friburgo, considered the greener town in Germany and the one with more sun. Surrounded by nature, this is the perfect place to organize outdoor activities anytime during the year.

Following this series of stories, highlight that the Black Forest is primarily leading on rural tourism because of its large forest, green valleys and large lakes, like Glaswaldsee, Mummelsee, Kimbergsee, Feldsee or Titisee.

Constance Lake

But if we have to highlight something, probably the better known spot – as it’s the largest continental lake in Germany – is the Constance Lake, through the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The immensity makes it impossible to look further than an horizon of crystalline water, as if it was an ocean. Here is the final point of the tourist route Architecture of Elegant, almost 3,000 kilometers long.

For the rich enviorment and the little towns surrounding it -Constanza, Lindau or Wasserburg– the Constance Lake is a valuable cultural and natural heritage.

The lake, almost 74 kilometers long, has 3 wonderful islands inside that you can visit. Mainau – which can be reached through a bridge, is a paradise full of flowers and plants, as it’s better known as the ‘Flowers Island’, and a wide variety of butterflies are here. The Lindau Island is known for the port with a lighthouse and the Bavarian Lion and, finally, the Reichenau island, connected to the mainland by a bridge, has a monastery and churches which are condisered Human Heritage by UNESCO.

Swabian Jura

Swabian Jura goes trough the Baden-Württemberg state. It’s a medium-height mountain range, because of the erosion suffered by the peaks along the years. Danube and other rivers created deep valleys and is also one of the areas in the planet with the largest number of volcanoes.

Along the range there are stunning castles and palaces but, among all of them, the great Hohenllorn castle must be highlighted, it’s located at the top of the mountain of the same name.

The interior houses treasures such as the Crown of William II, personal effects of Frederick II of Prussia or a letter from George Washington to Baron von Steuben.

It’s operative as a museum and one of the main attractions in the area; even it’s a reconstruction built in the 19th century, homage to the Hohenzollern dynasty.

Maineau by Stako | Freiburg by joergens | The biggest cuckoo clockr by MrSurrender | Constance Lake by Markus Bernet | Hohenllorn castle by Uvatter

Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!

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The best libraries in Europe

They might be places you never thought of visiting, but the best libraries in large European cities actually have a lot to offer. Some of them have witnessed important historic events and others are famous for their contemporary architecture. So let's keep our voices down and discover the best libraries in Europe.

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Kinderland The Children’s Island

Mainau Island is a captivating green island carpeted with flowers emerging from the blue waters of Lake Constance, just an hour and a half away from Stuttgart. Standout features include a 45-hectare Mediterranean-style garden commissioned by Count Lennart Bernadotte who was related to the Swedish royal family. This gardening artwork is now managed by his children.

Mainau Children’s Land

Mainau Island (also known as the Island of Flowers) has some admirable features and not only those in its lush botanical gardens, with plants from all over the world. Mainau-Kinderland (Mainau Children’s Land) and Germany’s largest Butterfly House draw families from across the globe. Over two million people a year are estimated to visit here. The best thing about this huge children’s park is that it is suitable for children from the age of two years on, and it opens from spring to autumn.

But, what most rivets the little ones’ attention – and grown ups, too, we have to admit – is the Dwarf Village. This attraction is aimed at children between the ages of two and four. It has cave-shaped huts, a wooden train and an area for water games, which operates permanently. The Village is located between the Farm and the Lake and also features a stable for pony riding. There are also dwarf donkeys and dogs – loads of dogs, as virtually all the breeds are represented here. The Farm, which also has a garden, is full of rabbits running about, while cows and goats graze to their heart’s content. And, needless to say, there has to be a chicken run, too, with both roosters and hens crowing away. What child doesn’t like a farm?

One of the major attractions is the Zoo, where children are allowed to pet lots of animals. Perhaps the best part, though, is the Butterfly House, which is open all year around. Stretching across an area of 1,000 m², it is landscaped to resemble a tropical paradise. Strolling among the gurgling waterfalls, pond-straddling bridges and a grotto, visitors can luxuriate in the sight of hundreds of colours and rare butterflies from about 80 species flying freely and feeding, carrying out their mating dances and laying eggs. If you keep still for a while, you might be lucky enough to have one settle on you. Another highlight is the new Insect Garden where you can glean interesting facts about wild bees, honey bees and apiculture in general.

Caution! A Water World

The area which has been most successful of late is the Wasserwelt (Water World). It is an ideal precinct for children to play to their heart’s content in a safe environment. It is actually a game-show-like circuit with a set of small, attached or interconnected houses and towers where children are challenged to overcome hurdles and move from one house to the next without touching the ground. To this end, they avail themselves of ropes and climbing walkways. This water world also has large areas with sand built in the form of mud pools. Here, children can play unfettered – they can build, bake, discover and investigate. Alongside this area is a pathway where you can walk barefoot, made of materials which are pleasant to the touch, purposely devised for adults who are loathe to get splashed while accompanying their kids.

Lake Constance

Lake Constance, nicknamed the Schwäbische Meer (Swabian Sea), is the third largest lake in Europe and straddles three countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Be sure to take advantage of your trip to Mainau Kinderland to tour this marvellous landscape. Formed by the Rhine glacier during the last Ice Age and currently fed by the river itself, this enormous lake is 63 km long by 14 km wide and has a maximum depth of 250 metres. The region is characterised by meadows and vineyards, market gardens and dams, beaches and Alpine foothills. A motley region which blossoms into its full beauty in summer, just when the tourists flock here. Some of the most popular activities here are swimming in the lake and camping on some of its shores. In spring it is carpeted with flowers and in autumn there is new wine, fewer people and magnificent visibility when the warm Föhn blows.

Don’t pass up the chance to treat your children to this cultural extravaganza. The area also features countless Baroque churches, Benedictine abbeys, Stone Age dwellings, Roman forts, medieval castles and even zeppelins. You just can’t get bored. Come on – prepare your children for the grand surprise. Check out our flights here.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Germany Travel

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Culture and cars

It is easy to dream all four wheels in a city where worldwide fame cars are made. The car culture is very important in Stuttgart, more than anywhere else. Here began their unique trajectories Daimler-Benz and Porsche. We can find two spectacular museums in honor of these brands.

On one side, the ultramodern Mercedes-Benz Museum, which tells the car’s complete history from the beginning without skipping any of the stages. In his futuristic building, you’ll find over 1,500 pieces spread over nine floors documenting its history.

On the other hand, it is located the Porche Museum, in the town of Zuffenhausen. The building causes great admiration because of its architecture, and the fact that it is supported by only three points. It seems to float in the air. Inside, all white, we find rare vehicles and a variety of historical mode.

Also, if your visit to Stuttgart is in March, during the month Retro Classics is celebrated, one of the most beautiful car fair of all Germany, where classic car collectors worldwide met together.

But not only the automotive industry city lives, Ballet, Opera and Theatre are worldwide known. The Great Orchestra of Stuttgart, jazz clubs or two musical theaters in the SI-Centrum Stuttgart provide musical delights to all visitors. In the streets Calwer and Königstrasse will enjoy a mile of world-class stores where to shop. And save your time for another of the great attractions that Stuttgart offers: Wilhelma Park, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens and zoos in Europe.

 

Image: RudolfSimon

A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.

 

 

 

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