Thursday, October 6, 2011

Esslingen Evening

The kids were just getting up when I got back to the hotel from my quick tour of the Marktplatz of Esslingen. They were ready for some excitement and the town did not disappoint.

The town is on the Neckar River, which is divided into a few canals in the town. To take full advantage of the situation, several water wheels were installed to provide power. Jacob loved when we visited one of them. We went back there two or three times.

We were there three times and this is the best picture?!?!?

From there, we went across a bridge. We noticed swans swimming in the river (or was it the canal?) and found a little waterfront from which they could be fed. Luckily, our backpack still had some cereal in a ziplock bag, so Jacob and Lucy could feed the swans.

Lucy cast the first bread to duck, which led to...

Jacob tries out feeding the ducks and swans

Tourists admire our bird-feeding skills

Finally we were hungry enough for dinner. We returned to the Marktplatz and went to a restaurant recommended by the staff at our delightful hotel. Angie ordered the local ravioli, called maultaschen [Editor's Note: the link has a recipe, too!]; I ordered the beef and onions with local bread; the kids had spaetzle. And they shared an apple juice.

Pretty cute, all around

Since we were sitting outside on a park bench-type table, this guy came up and indicated he'd like to sit at the end of our table. I nodded assent. We never struck up a conversation since he didn't know English and we don't know German. His name was Stefano, which I figured out when the waitress came up and exclaimed his name in excitement, as if we were sitting in Cheers and Norm just walked in. Stefano ordered a glass of wine and pulled out a pretzel to munch on. He tried to share with Jacob; he succeeded with Lucy. After his drink he headed off.

Once done eating, we wandered some more and found a playground after dark. The playground was a lot of fun and we knew that we'd be back in the morning.

The slide was easy to figure out in the dark

Lucy loves a swing!

Jacob faced a big task in figuring out this play area

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