Tuesday, August 14, 2007

9 June: Market Day in Tübingen

My mom loves outdoor markets, so today we decided to check out the big Saturday market in Tübingen, a mid-sized university town about 25 miles south of Stuttgart. The day started out sunny and warm, but by the time we arrived in town the sky was beginning to cloud up. As usual, parking was a major pain. We eventually found a spot on a surface street a few minutes’ walk from the medieval center.

With its winding streets, half-timbered houses, and eclectic mix of shops, Tübingen is one of my favorite cities in the region and a perfect day trip from Stuttgart.
We walked into the Altstadt and made our way to the sloping, cobblestoned Marktplatz (top photo). The market was in full swing and we spent some time checking out the bountiful fresh produce and flowers. The 15th century Rathaus, covered with Renaissance murals, provided a particularly stunning backdrop, its window boxes dripping with bright purple petunias (photo at right and below).

As we browsed the market stalls, dark storm clouds were forming to the north and we decided we had better find a place to take cover for lunch. We wandered down to the riverfront, where I showed Mom the string of pastel-hued off-kilter houses that look like something straight out of a fairytale (photo, right). We didn’t see any restaurants that looked appealing so we walked back through town, at which point it started to rain. We took shelter inside a high-end kitchen store where we admired the sterling silver and various cooking gadgets.

When the rain had lessened to a drizzle, we headed back to the market square and explored a couple of side streets, finally stumbling on a cozy-looking place called Weinstube Forelle (bottom photo).
We were shown to a comfortable wood-panelled booth in the back of the restaurant, the walls of which were decorated with antique fishing baskets, flies, and rods (Forelle is German for “trout”). John and Mom both tried one of the Schwäbischkartoffelsalat. sampler plates, which was cleverly presented in four little porcelain bowls lined up in a boat-shaped platter, accompanied by a big bowl of Each bowl contained a different speciality – maultaschen, lentils and wurst, käsespätzle, and an unidentified meat in a red sauce, which was probably tripe. I had the homemade maultaschen, which was served piping hot in a wrought iron pan with kartoffelsalat and a mixed salad. Add three beers and we enjoyed this yummy feast for the bargain price of about 40 Euro!

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