Buying things for the flat makes me happy

Close to Schwetzingen, there is a huge furniture store called Höffner. As we were leaving Schwetzingen on Saturday, Jan suggested for drop by there to see if we could find any of the bits we still need for the flat (I love that I have a boyfriend who’s not only willing to shop for furniture with me but actually suggests it himself!). When I agreed to stay I told him that I wanted to get back to sorting out the flat this year, and he obviously took it to heart.

Here’s what we got:

A cupboard to go under the bathroom sink. Jan had to saw its back legs off so it could go on the raised ledge thing that runs the length of the bathroom.

Bathroom cupboard
Bathroom cupboard

I love how neat the bathroom looks now that our toilertries are inside the cupboard and not lined up along the entire length of the ledge!

I wanted something to store wrapping paper in, so we ended up taking this:

Giant vase? Nah... gift wrap holder!
Giant vase? Nah… gift wrap holder!

I saw a beautiful umbrella stand that would have worked just as well, but I refused to pay €75 for something I planned to store wrapping paper in. (I wouldn’t have paid that if I was going to use it for its intended purpose either!)

This basket now holds all my self-help books:

Basket for books
Basket for books

They were previously stacked up under the bedside table, partly because there’s no room left on the bookcase for them but also because I don’t think every visitor to our house needs to know I have those books. It was difficult to move the pile when I wanted to hoover… now I can just pull out the basket.

A gorgeous table runner, or more fuel for my obession with owls:

Owl table runner
Owl table runner

They had bedding with the same owl on, but only in single bed size which is no goo to us.

Jan also got a frame for a poster of his that refused to stay up with simple blu-tack. It looks much nicer framed anyway!

Not a bad haul for a couple of hours shopping.

Schwetzingen

Last week, Jan told me I should pick somewhere for us to go this weekend, so I looked around at places that are near here and chose Schwetzingen. The reason? They currently have an exhibition on The Magical World of “Figurentheater” (the only translation I can find for Figurentheater is “puppet theatre”, but they had examples of paper and shadow theatre as well so I’m not sure what to call it). The exhibition is on until 27 January 2013 but this Saturday only they had someone coming in to do a talk on the making of a marionette, from the idea to the acting of the story. Naturally I wanted to go (yes, mentally I’m probably about 5!).

Schwetzingen

It wasn’t snowing when we arrived in Schwetzingen, but as you can see from the above photo, there was still some white stuff lying from previous days.
The marionette talk didn’t start until 2pm, so our first stop was the castle, which is included in our Museum cards (which I got for my birthday last year). You could only go inside the actual castle as part of a tour, and the next one was at 1:30 pm (which would have prevented us from going to see the puppets), so we just went into the gardens instead.

In Schwetzuingen castle gardens
In Schwetzuingen castle gardens

I’ve heard they’re supposed to be beautiful, but right now they’re mostly just white. And all the plants are dead. There was an exhibition in one of the wings of the castle though, so we went to have a look at it. Art work by Miro. Can’t say I was particularly impressed.

On the square outside the castle there’s a sculpture called “Die Spargelfrau” (The Asparagus Lady). Apparantly Schwetzingen is on the German asparagus route… Germans are weird 😉

Asparagus Lady
Asparagus Lady

I liked the little dog best. His collar says his name is Nico.

Woof!
Woof!

It was 12:30 by this time, so we decided to grab some lunch. There was a brewpub right on the castle square – Brauhaus zum Ritter – so we went there. A Ritter is a knight, by the way. We chose a table with a view of the castle and ate some lovely German food. And, of course, drank some of the beer.

Looking out the window of Brauhaus zum Ritter
Looking out the window of Brauhaus zum Ritter

Once we’d finished lunch, it was time to head down to the Stadtmuseum (town museum) to see what we’d actually come for. The talk was really interesting and afterwards we were allowed to play with the puppets. Most of the audience were adults (only 3 kids were there!), so I’m obviously not the only childish one 😉

Princess puppet
Princess puppet

Then we went to have a look at the rest of the exhibition. We had a go at the shadow theatre. Here’s my attempt to do the alligator:

Shadow alligator
Shadow alligator

Jan tried his hand at the elephant, but to me it looked more like a bird. What do you think?

Elephant, bird or something else entirely?
Elephant, bird or something else entirely?

Making shadow creatures is more difficult than it looks!
I would have liked to play for longer, but the kids wanted a go so we moved on to the other exhibits.

Paper theatre
Paper theatre

Naturally I had to take a photo of this owl puppet!

Owl puppet!
Owl puppet!

Back in the town centre, we found the Evangelical church.

Evangelical church, Schwetzingen
Evangelical church, Schwetzingen

Close to the church, there was this stone sculpture that Jan thought was cool. There was no plaque or anything to tell us what it was supposed to represent though.

Interesting...
Interesting…

A little further on, we came across the Catholic church. If there’s one thing all German towns seem to be full of, it’s churches! I can think of six in Karlsruhe off the top my my head, and I bet there are more.

Catholic church, Schwetzingen
Catholic church, Schwetzingen

The sun had come out by this point, so I actually managed a photo with some blue sky on it 😀
Moving on, we spotted this peacock lying outside one of the town council’s buildings. I wonder where he belonged?

Peacock
Peacock

Schwetzingen is not the prettiest of towns, although it does have a few nice buildings. There’s also not a huge amount to do. If you’re going to visit, I’d recommend doing so in summer when you can take a proper long walk through the castle gardens. There seems to be a lot to look at there, but a lot was closed or inaccessible in the snow. Maybe you could even take a picnic. We certainly intend to go and look at those gardens when the weather’s more suitable for walking around!

Schwetzigen Castle
Schwetzigen Castle