Hopping over museum to museum, city to city.
G and I love museums and we do try to visit as much possible whenever we’re traveling. At the moment this is a bit tricky because A is at that age where rooms with art and history are not at all interesting. She runs around the halls but then this isn’t really a great way to enjoy, well, anything. But as many parents do, we still try and go with her running around, barely touching the artworks (it hasn’t happened… yet!) and then come out with only faint memory of the place. So far so good.
So when I got an email about an invitation to discover museums around Karlsruhe as part of a “Blind date project” with the Karlsruhe and Stuttgart Tourism Board, I immediately sent an email asking,”Can my little family of two tag along?” They said yes.
It was a joint initiative of eleven museums in both Karlsruhe and Stuttgart to attract both museum lovers and even non-lovers through various digital channels. The museum landscape in the region of Baden Wuerttemberg is indeed impressive, which includes some of the best car museums like Porsche and Mercedes Benz, a chocolate museum and a pig museum. Yup, we have a pig museum in Stuttgart.
I’ve never been to Karlsruhe, which is an hour train ride away from Stuttgart, and it was a shame I hadn’t because it’s in fact the second largest city in the state of Baden-Wuerttember. (Stuttgart is the biggest.) That’s a good reason enough for me.
We started off with the Badische Landesmuseum and then continued to the Kunsthalle. The Badische Landesmuseum and the adjacent Karlsruhe Palace is beautiful and we were invited for a little screening for some new artifacts.
Surrounded by instagrammers and social media experts can really push you to the extreme, meaning you try to take as much photos as possible, even if you know you won’t use it. It’s getting a bit easier to take photos with a baby, and I did appreciate the challenge. I haven’t been to a lot of these social media and instagram events happening in Stuttgart the past few months, but it was still so nice to see familiar faces like Andre and Rainer and also meet new ones like Salvia and Anja.
This one was not so happy to be chained in a stroller but there wasn’t much we could do because we were scared she would knock off something inside. She didn’t but there were a few close moments. Traveling with her has been a fun, exciting and sometimes gruelling experience, but then being a very internet-friendly person, I looked up a lot of things and found some that were really helpful (renting apartments is the norm now for us, packing food is essential and packing cubes, obviously).
After reading the book “Bringing up Bebe” which is about raising children the French style, I try not to give her snacks just to get her to stop crying or whining. I’m not sure if she recognizes it, but I have been trying hard to, so let’s see how it goes.
Some museums can be tricky to travel with a baby as some require them to stay in the stroller, while others want you to swap them into the strollers offered by the museums. All in all, it’s still a doable experience. Trust me.
That was an ancient mouse trap. The fanciest rat trap I have ever seen. We were all mesmerized. (Did you know there’s a mouse trap museum in Germany?)
Book binders! I guessed belt buckles, but I guess they’re like belt buckles for books, right? Like many German museums, the records and documents of such artifacts are amazing. I wrote more about my amazement here.
Don’t forget to miss the view from the top. You can walk up and like many towers and churches, it can get a bit dizzy and cramp, so keep in mind of that. But, like always, the views are worth it. Not with a baby, though. Nope, not with a baby.
The Kunsthalle is where you can roam the halls with the pleasant company of some of the most revered artists from around the world. The museum building itself is the third oldest in Germany, after Berlin and Munich. And yes, the building is beautiful. Those ceilings, the paintings, the stairs, the floor!
The Botanischer Garten is right next to the museum and it’s beautiful as well. It reminded me of the Wilhelma in Stuttgart but smaller and a bit more modest. The trees were amazing.
We headed back to Stuttgart after enjoying a short walk around the garden and some coffee at the museum, and A slept the entire way in the train, which allowed the exhausted parents some chill time as well. Good girl. We finally headed back to the Stadtmuseum in Stuttgart and met up with all the other bloggers and instagrammers from both cities. The museum is still under construction but will open its doors to the public April next year.
Yes, the language barrier is real. Although most Germans speak English and I’m used to going up to strangers to start a conversation, I still feel awkward starting one in a different language. But seeing some familiar faces help. I find that these meetups and events are happening much more around Stuttgart, and now that A is a bit older, I’m very eager to participate as much as possible, which means more content.
On another note, this little one was a champ. Maybe it’s because we’ve been taking her everywhere or she just likes traveling, she’s pretty happy when she’s out and about. But I have to say, we were all glad to head back home after the long day. It was a great experience: visiting a new city, meeting new people and wandering around museums and it did made me appreciate all the museums so close to where we live.
Bravo to the teams at both Stuttgart and Karlsruhe for the successful event and hoping for more.
- Badische Landesmuseum (Happy Friday: free entry after 14:00 on Fridays)
- Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
- Haus der Geschichte Baden Wuerttemberg
- Stadtmuseum Stuttgart
- Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
- Linden Museum
- Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart
- Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
- Landesmuseum Wuerttemberg
- Stuttgart city tour
- Stuttgart Green city tour
- A day with StuttCard
All photos by rachelsanghee. July, 2017.