Now that we’re finally here in person, one of my favorite things to do is explore the different villages in the Stuttgart area. I’ve seen these names on maps for months, but there’s no comparison for being able to actually walk around. And truth be told, we really did arrive at the right time, because things are just now starting to open up here in Germany.
One of the best things about this military/government lifestyle is that it’s a small world, and chances are high that you’ll know someone wherever you go. That was the case with our friend Marie, whom we met in our last assignment in Omaha. She arrived during the pandemic and I’ve been following her adventures here ever since.
When we made plans to meet up, her suggestion was the village of Herrenberg for two reasons: the quintessential German village feel with all the half-timbered houses, and the fact that there are actually restaurants open on a Sunday! Yes – the day of rest thing is real here. Even the grocery stores are closed on Sundays. Finding a place to eat out on a Sunday is a big deal!
Herrenberg is about 30 km south of Stuttgart, right on the northern edge of the Schoenbuch forest (and ugh, my umlauts keep jacking up the text with a funky space – we’ll just have to deal with it for now). We arrived a bit hungry, so our first stop was at an Italian cafe in the village center. I got a cappuccino and a delicious salad of prosciutto and parmesan on a bed of arugula.
By the way – I recently learned that cappuccinos are considered breakfast coffees. Only non-Italians order it after 10 am. What?! So then why is it delicious 24/7? This reminds me of the struggle back in the day of trying to get to McDonald’s before 10:30 so you could order off the breakfast menu…you know, before they acquiesced to our demands and made breakfast available ALL DAY LONG! But I digress…
After whetting our appetites, it was time to go for our “urban” hike – climbing the city stairs for a better look at Herrenberg.
Once we got to the top, the view was stunning. Steeply-pitched roofs, fields of green, and cobblestone streets below. You could even spot the stone city walls from this 13th-century village – still standing after all these years!
There was also a bell museum (Glockenmuseum) in an old church, open and free to the public. And how cool is that sundial?
This being another hot summer day, we worked up a thirst. Conveniently, that Biergarten with the green umbrellas in the pic above was just a short walk downhill from the peak. It was the perfect place to have a glass of prosecco in the shade!
Then we ambled back down to the village square. Things had really picked up, and there was even a festival of sorts to honor Black Lives. Bikers, families, and couples milled about taking in the sights.
As for us, it was time to get back. The heat, stairs, and prosecco had brought on that wonderful feeling of sleepiness that begs for a nap on a Sunday afternoon. We parted ways with Marie and headed back to Boeblingen.
Hope you enjoyed this first village profile – and yes, it’s purposefully light on the history and big on the food and views, because that’s how I roll! Stay tuned for more “village visits” in future posts. We’ve got Tubingen and Esslingen planned over the next few months. 😉