Whenever we are in a city for several days, we typically let the kids each choose one preferred activity to do was a family. After looking around online, Danica chose to visit the Wilhelma Zoo, while Oliver was extremely excited to see that the Mercedes Benz Museum was right in Stuttgart. Derek and I chose the Staatsgalerie for our pick – we are limited as well, as even though the kiddos are getting relatively interested in certain aspects of museums and galleries, they definitely have their boiling-over point, and we can usually only squeeze in one good gallery visit per trip.
The Staatsgalerie turned out to be a great choice. They had an incredible exhibit on called Poetry of Colour, with a wide selection of pieces by Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, among a few others. It was a really inspiring collection of works (no pics allowed). We also took a walk through the modern art wing. The kids enjoyed some of the pop art, and also were pretty fascinated by Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet — me too!
Up next was the Wilhelma Zoo. While I have said before that the whole zoo thing doesn’t really sit well with me, we did go and it was a really lovely visit. It is also a botanical garden which was really beautifully done. Being right in the city, the layout was quite interesting, with paths meandering around tiered levels, and the habitats almost tucked away from view as you walked through. I admit that we all did enjoy it, but at the same time, the kids started to experience that same uneasy feeling that Derek and I have had about zoos for a while.
In any case, we were treated to some pretty incredible animal encounters. There was a large baboon habitat, and as we stood watching them all sleep in heaps and pick nits off one another, suddenly there was a bit of tension in the group and some funny tooth-baring glares, and then before we knew it there was a crazy show of dominance between two large males, lots of screaming and gnashing of teeth and chasing each other around. It was fascinating!
There is also a gorgeous new ape house, which housed a large habitat for gorillas and one for chimpanzees. The family dynamics were amazing to watch with each group of apes. There were also several young, including two tiny gorillas and two tiny chimps. They were ridiculously adorable, and we were fortunate to witness some super cool ape behaviour. Despite our misgivings, it was a highlight.
Last but not least was our visit to the Mercedes Benz Museum. I am so glad that Oliver made this choice. It was a really incredible museum! Very well designed (unsurprisingly) and laid out from top to bottom by decades, starting with the very very old and working towards the newest models as you wound down the ramps. Lots of amazing history and beautiful photographs to complete a chronology down the ramps joining each floor. Off to the side of each level was a different themed gallery, things like “famous people’s mercedes” or “people movers”. The last floor was an exhibit of mercedes race cars through the ages. It was so well done, and not just for car-lovers. We all had a great time.
Well, this finally wraps up our trip to Stuttgart. It only took me five weeks to wrap it up, sheesh! We have just finished a wonderful Christmas holiday, spent mostly here in Loches. My parents came to visit for two weeks, and while they were here Derek and I snuck away for a solo weekend in Paris — dreamy! We ended the kids’ school break with a quick family getaway to Brittany last weekend to breathe in some crisp ocean air before school started up again. I will share some more catch-up posts later this week!