Yesterday I left the house for the first time without my winter coat this year. It’s always the same feeling when that happens; one of absolute delight and freedom. Winter is nearly gone and the last of the snow is melting – even in Salzburg, where my train from Budapest travelled through on the way home this week, there are only specks left of what was once completely white territory.
Down here in Stuttgart, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months. With spring comes a need to celebrate, and alongside the spargel and the fabulous beer gardens opening their doors for business, there are a lot of festivals coming up in this neck of the woods for us to get ready for.
Taking another tour of Germany, the Holi festival crosses through Stuttgart on the 16th May. Having gone to one two years ago in Magdeburg, I can’t recommend attending this day at least once in your lifetime enough. The soaring colours which are allowed to be released every hour make for spectacular viewing and the hippie stores on the side make for a very relaxed and cool vibe surrounding the main events in front of the stage.
The inaugural wine walk in Esslingen – the day before Holi on the 15th May. It’s 6km long and you pass through six ‘stations’ of wineries celebrating the upcoming summer with tastings and a chance to get a little piddled as they say in upper class Britain. You can do it in a group or just take a stroll with your dog for company, and the accompanying music plays into the evening.
The biggest spring beer festival in Europe, this cannot be missed and while it isn’t as big as the autumn equivalent a walk through Bad Cannstatt is definitely worth it, even just for some cliché German gingerbread. The beer tents are full of young people out for a good time, and are reasonably priced compared to Oktoberfest. It goes from 18th April to 10th May, so you have 23 days to get in on the action – just don’t plan on getting a table without a booking and if you want to try your luck anyway make sure you get there VERY early.
This is when summer really kicks in and the city makes way for some of the biggest jazz names from the 3rd to the 12th of July. Jamie Cullum is returning and Bob Geldof is also scheduled to make an appearance at this open air festival which is in locations all over Stuttgart over the course of the week.
A nice twist on the Holi festival, this combines the throwing of coloured powder with a 5km run. Tutus are the norm and with a mixture of music and entertainment it won’t feel like hard exercise at all.
Not exactly Stuttgart but within an hour you’re there – it’s the place we always bring visitors to Germany to get a taste of a historic town and beautiful castle and with the light show happening first on the 6th of June, then on July 11th and September 5th, it’s a great way to see such a beautiful area from a new perspective. The video on this link shows just how cool the fireworks are and if you get there early enough to save prime spot with a picnic you’ll have the perfect day and night out.
It’s all the way over in Schwabisch Hall but I for one will be very happy to make the 50 minute drive to taste cheese ‘until my heart is content’ according to the website on May 9th-10th. There’s going to around 200 different types of cheese – as a cheese lover it’s high on my list to get at least one cheese festival in my schedule every year and this is going to be it for 2015.
Held in Oberkich, it’s a chance to see a new city and taste some delicious strawberries on May 30-31st as well as getting some fantastic spargel in while the season lasts. Germany is so great at taking full advantage of when their foods are in season and this festival is the perfect example of that – I’ve complained before that in the winter it’s impossible to stay skinny in this country, I fear the summer will be the same! Lucky for the colour run to balance it out ;)