Saturday, May 23, 2009


Prononciation: Not sure how they pronounce this. We just called it the Hopsplatz. (Kerstin?)

Location: The street right outside the front doors of the Schwetzingen Castle.

What Is It?: Small cobblestone streets where cars are not allowed. They have small mom-and-pop-stores, as well as ice cream shops all along (think a better, more quaint version of Birch Street Promenade or Union Station Shops, just without the cars and franchised stores).

As if our experience wasn't amazing enough at the Castle, but as we walked out the gates, the weather was absolutely perfect. There was no way I was going home. (And for those who know me, I'm not an outdoors person. I'd rather be indoors where my porcelain white skin...heehee... can hide from the this was a big thing for me). I called Brian and told him that it was too beautiful to eat indoors and that there were a bunch of restaurants along the "Hopslatz". He laughed and said he would be right over (in other words...4 hours after work). So, we had some time to kill.

Looking down the street (this one still had cars), we didn't see much but I still wanted to walk a little bit further. So, I promised the girls ice cream. I was SURE there was an ice cream shop somewhere. They had them everywhere we went.

The girls were getting really hungry so as we were walking (oh, and the sidewalks were probably 10 feet wide, and had little outdoor restaurants. You can kind of see on the picture below) we passed a few fresh fruit market vendors. We HAD to stop and get something. We were not disappointed...this is what we bought...

...and this is the girls eating them.
We just sat down on a random little bench to eat our fresh strawberries. How fun is that?

As we continued walking, we came upon this...a Hopfenplatz. I HAD to go in.

And the following pictures are how we spent the rest of the day til Brian met us. yummy, yummy ice cream! Mine had Nutella (cream chocolate that is mostly spread on toast over in Europe) drizzles through it. Seriously, that did me in. Yum.

...made friends...

Spencer was entranced by this pigeon. And we were okay with just watching him being REALLY into it. He got really excited when it got close. We would throw cone pieces to it just to watch Spencer react to it coming over near him.

About 2 hours passed by and we had gotten to the end of the street. I was really trying to buy time before Brian got there and was running out of ideas. As we were walking back to where we had started, my head turned and a little alleyway came into view. I said, "Girls, let's just see where that leads us." Well, what do you know? We went down into a tiny alleyway that had fresh produce lining it, a little Belgian chocolate shop (of course I had to buy some) and a few eating places other than German (Thai, Greek, Italian) and then it opened up into this little courtyard with flowers framing the whole thing.

At the end of it is a little aviary holding about 20 birds. Then as we turned to the right, there was the most random little ice cream plaza (with 3 ice cream shops...sit down ones where you order ice cream desserts) and a little playground. Yup. You guessed it. We went a-playin!

Spencer didn't like the sand at first......this is him holding his foot out of the sand.

...Ya...and Spencer won't eat solid foods, but make it the taste, texture and smell of playground sand, and he just might. (Sorry guys. I let him. Just once. Well, maybe twice cuz I thought it was so funny that he didn't spit it out. He went for more. THAT'S when I stopped him).

First he stared at it for long that it was long enough for me to be able to take a picture of him...

...exploring it.... and trying to catch it as it ran through his fingers...

...then it went straight to his mouth...

I would have to consider this day a perfect day. And remember, it didn't end at this playground. Afterward is when we met up with Brian for the German version of Mexican food (f'amazing!) and then toured the gardens of the castle again. Can it get any better than that? I submit that it canNOT!


Randi said...

This looks like so much fun. I love the little shops and the ice cream is making my mouth water. I can see why Spencer wont eat real food...I mean why would you when there is an entire sand box full of the best stuff on earth.

Kerstin said...

Not sure how to describe it. You can click here:

and hear it. Don't take "der" ("the") and you have it.

Ho-(like in HOller)p-f-n-pla(like in PLAza)-t-s.

It's difficult to explain. :-)