On Saturday we viewed a few potential apartments and drove around quite a bit through Stuttgart. At one point we found ourselves downtown near the city center and noticed what looked like a really big marketplace. It had all the signs of a good time, including balloons, flowers, beer tents, and pedestrians everywhere. I followed the signs to a parking garage and we dumped off the car and made our way to the street level. After initially going the wrong way, we eventually made our way to the Palace Square (Schlossplatz), which is very much the center of the city. There, we found a whole lot of stuff going on! There was a concert (a German band with a female vocalist was singing classic rock songs), there was a bicycle show/sale, a pet rally (dogs and cats), there was a petanque championship set up, there was a small group of protesters letting balloons go to celebrate the international day against homophobia, and there was at least three hot air balloons setting up and taking off right from the square. It was quite a scene!

We took a seat at the restaurant right across the main walkway from the Neue Schloss and ordered a beer, a brat, and a plate of fries to munch on. People watching was in full effect! After about 30 minutes, we went across the plaza and watched the third hot air balloon take off (see video).

Once the balloon was airborne, we made our way back across the plaza into the city and found an ice cream stand... that was probably Cooper's favorite part of the day! We ate our ice cream and found our way back to the car. What a cool detour we made!!! As usual, there is more to come, but that's all for now!