VT meeting and picnic
Favorite thing: On August 5, 2006, we had a nice VT meeting and picnic in Karlsruhe, first in the pub Multi-Kulti and then here on the lawn behind the castle.
Second photo: Our meeting point was one of the best-known landmarks of Karlsruhe, the Pyramid on the Market Square (Marktplatz).
For more photos of the people at this meeting, please have a look at my travelogue about it.
Favorite thing: Many thanks to the ABC squad (Andrea, Bernd and Christine aka Jadefrau, Bernd_L and tini58de) for organizing this great meeting in Karlsruhe from May 30th to June 1st, 2008.
VT manager Giampiero gave an enthusiastic thank-you speech in which he apologized for "peddling in clichés" -- the cliché in this case being that the Germans are always so well organized, but in this case they certainly were.
While I can't claim to have spoken with all 130 VT members who attended this meeting, I did get around to quite a few of them, especially ones I have corresponded with online. I really enjoyed meeting these folks in person after reading their tips and exchanging comments and e-mails.
It was also very interesting to meet the founders of VirtualTourist, J.R. Johnson and Tilman Reissfelder, as well as the General Manager Giampiero and the controller Stephanie Johnson (J.R.'s mother). Her original function was to bring pizzas in the early days while J.R. and Tilman were putting in long hours setting up the site, but she is now the controller of VirtualTourist Corporation and comes to big meetings bearing gifts such as VT pins, caps, clogs, T-shirts and pens. I had some good talks with Stephanie and her husband Gerry during our tours of Karlsruhe and Baden Baden.
Second photo: VT members on a tour of Karlsruhe.
Third photo: Touring the nearby town of Baden Baden.
Fourth photo: Sunday brunch at Lehner's Wirtshaus in Karlsruhe.
Please also have a look at my travelogue about EuroMeet 2008.
Home is where your heart is
Fondest memory: Karlsruhe is my husband's hometown and I learnt to love that place as well:
it is a rather quiet city, has a beautiful surrounding like the Black Forest or the Alsace/France, great weather conditions - well, and for me it has the most special person in the world!!
You just got to love this place!!!
Favorite thing: Karlsruhe is VERY international:
- it has an international school
- it has VT members
- it has an internationally known soccer club
- it used to have an American Army base
- it can be found on international maps!!!!
Favorite thing: Karlsruhe has a university and a number of colleges, and most of them are right in the city center. The University of Karlsruhe, formerly called "Fredericiana" after Archduke Friedrich, is now an elite university and has changed its name to KIT - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. You need to be REALLY good if accepted at the University
Should you be interested in studying here,
more information can be obtained at:
University of Karlsruhe
- Study Abroad
The Rule of Law
Favorite thing: Karlsruhe is home of the two highest courts of the Federal Republic of Germany: the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The Federal Constitutional Court was built between 1965 and 1969 right next to the palace, where - until 1944 - the Court Theater used to be.
In 1990, right after the reunification of Germany, however, Karlsruhe's tradition as Germany's "seat of justice" was called into question. The state of Saxony wanted the Federal Supreme Court to be in Leipzig while Thuringia felt the Federal Constitutional Court belonged to Weimar. In 1992, however, the Bundestag rejected the motion from Saxony by a big majority - which was quite a relief for Karlsruhe!
For those interested and capable of reading German, here is the official website of the Bundesverfassungsgericht
Fächerstadt - the Fan City
Favorite thing: Karlsruhe is called the Fan City because of its architecture:
the palace is the center of Karlsruhe and from there the streets leave like rays - or like a fan! This means that you will be able to see the palace from every side street off Kaiserstraße!
When Karlsruhe was first founded in 1715, the tower of the Palace was the highest building all around, so everybody acknowledged the new palace there!
Fondest memory: When returning from Ireland we had the best of weather and flew over Karlsruhe, thus being able to see the fan-like shape of the city. Truly awesome!
Favorite thing: When preparing a trip to Karlsruhe, the following links might be helpful:
- http://karlsruhe.city-tiger.de (German only)
- http://www.ka-news.de (German only)
Day trips from the city.
Favorite thing: You can easily do some day trips from Karlsruhe by tram or by train.
You could visit Ettlingen; a beautiful small town only some kilometers from Karlsruhe (see my Ettlingen page...) and Baden Baden. This spa town is not far from Karlsruhe. It has a couple of spa estabilishments; a building where you can taste the medicinal water (Trinkhalle) and a nice old core.
Another beautiful town worth a visit is Heidelberg. It is home of the oldest university in Germany. Its highlight is the castle.
- Family Travel
Day trip to Rastatt.
Favorite thing: The highlight of Rastatt is a Baroque castle. It is a huge building constructed between 1700 and 1707 by the Italian architect Domenico Egidio Rossi. on order by margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden.
The palace was built after the residence of margrave Ludwig Wilhelm in Baden Baden had been burnt by French troops during the Palatine war of succession.
Several rooms are opened to visitors. These include the private apartments of the margrave ah his wife; Sybilla Augusta. One of the wings of the palace houses a military history museum.
Visits are permitted only by guided tours.
I went to Rastatt by train from Karlsruhe main station.
- Castles and Palaces
- Museum Visits
6th Annual International VT Glühwein Meeting
1. Natalie (nhcram) and Mariel (marielexoteria)
2. Bernd (Bernd_L) drinking Glühwein
3. Sonja (yumyum), Mariel and Christine (tini58de)
4. Margaret (margaretvn) and Koos (kovani)
5. Natalie talking to Isa (Belsaita), with Karl (Roadquill) in the background
Although I attended the first, second and third VT Glühwein meetings in Karlsruhe, I missed the fourth and fifth because of teaching commitments in Frankfurt am Main. So I was happy to see that the sixth annual meeting was on a weekend when I was free, namely December 4-5, 2009.
There were fifteen present this time, thirteen VT members and two guests, which is just the right size group so you can get to chat with everyone. (This is not counting Kathrin_E, who arrived on Saturday afternoon just a few minutes after I had to leave -- sorry, Kathrin!)
We met as usual on Friday evening on the steps of the big church at the Market Square, went and had some Glühwein or coffee or whatever at the Christmas Market (which was dry this year -- no slush on the ground!) and then went for supper and conversation to a restaurant called Alte Bank.
The next day Bernd took us to a place called Bretten, which I had never heard of up to then.
Thanks again to Christine for organizing the meeting.
Christmastime in Karlsruhe
1. Some Christmas lights that I actually liked
2. Natalie and Mariel at the Christmas Market
3. Isa (Belsaita) at the Christmas Market
4. Martha (nomad7890) at the Christmas Market
I'm afraid I'm something of a grouch when it comes to Christmassy stuff. This started as a fit of pubertal pique when I was about thirteen, but unlike most people I never seem to have grown out of it, in fact it keeps getting worse with each passing decade.
Nonetheless, in Karlsruhe I actually came across a set of Christmas lights that I quite liked, namely the white lights in the first photo.
The other three photos show VT members at the Karlsruhe Christmas Market (continued from the previous tip).
Favorite thing: Taking a stroll in the park near the former Duke Palace was wonderful!
You can just walk or lie on the grass near the pond there.
If you like visiting museums, you can go to the Baden State Museum located in the Duke Palace where you can see big collections dating back to the Middle Ages.
Fondest memory: There are lots of streetcar routes in the city, among them those that would take you outside the city including those that would take you from the city center to Bad Herrenalb, a famous recreational area in the Black Forest.
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: Also a well-known square in Karlsruhe featuring a post office, a mainstream movie theater, stores and a travel office where you can ask for directions and information if you're confused about travelling around, they also have small maps there, maps of the entire transport system and separate train or bus routes.
Karlsruhe Stadtwiki (for those who read German)
Favorite thing: A group of enthusiasts has started a wiki about the city of Karlsruhe a while ago. Right now (March 2008) the page is already at more than 14,000 articles, and hopefully it will keep growing. This source of information is becoming more and more useful.
Sorry, the Stadtwiki is in German only.
Web address: http://ka.stadtwiki.net
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