During our time in Heidelberg we made a few day trips to places nearby.
One day we went to Stuttgart. As far as I’m aware Stuttgart is a fairly boring industrial town, but we didn’t go to see the town, we went to see the car museums. Yes, you heard right, we went to the Mercedes and the Porsche museums in Stuttgart!
The museums were a lot of fun. The Mercedes museum traced the history of the automobile from the first engines to today. It was really interesting not only watching the evolution of the motor-vehicle, but also seeing how various world events (like WW2) have impacted on the production of cars. They also had a section of cars that belonged to famous people, like Princess Diana’s mercedes which she owned for only a short time because the Brits kicked up a stink that she wasn’t driving a British car!
The Porsche museum wasn’t quite so interesting from a story perspective, but it was a museum full of Porsche’s, there were so many I couldn’t keep track of which model went with which era, but they were very shiny and nice looking. I particularly enjoyed the car called the “Pink Pig” (see picture) and getting to sit in a Porsche, I felt right at home.
Another day we went to visit Speyer. This is the place that the Roman Catholic church held their imperial diets (big meetings) in 1526 and 1529. It was at the 1529 Diet that the term ‘protestant’ was coined because a group of princes fought for the right to decide to whether they had a reformed church or a Roman Catholic church within their districts.
In Speyer we visited: the cathedral — an amazing building which had a crown hung in the centre above the altar to represent the king; the Reformation memorial church — a gothic style church built to remember the reformers; and we also visited a Jewish Synagogue which remembers the story of a small number of Jews who lived in Speyer for a time.
On our way back from Speyer we also stopped at the Hockenheimring, the second grand prix track in Germany. There was a practice day on, and while it wasn’t in such a nice location as the Nurburgring, it was nice to complete our race track tour of Germany by visiting it.