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This morning I decided to head to Stuttgart. About the first half of the journey was on a the same track I took to Fussen from Munich, so there's nothing new to report there. As we approached Stuttgart we started to enter what is called the Black Forest (as in the cake), so there started to be a lot more trees.

The first order of business once I arrived was to find a hotel. To my surprise, I found something reasonable just a block from the train station. I was thinking of staying 2 nights, but the rate jumps by nearly 50% tomorrow night because there is a World Cup Soccer match here, so I'm just going to stay one night.

Immediately after checking into the hotel I headed off to the Mercedes Benz Museum. I didn't know if I'd have time to see it before it closed, but I thought I'd give it a try. Because of my eagerness to get to the museum I hopped on the wrong subway train (unlike most every other city I've been to so far in Europe, they have multiple trains sharing one platform here). I figured out that I was going the wrong way after one stop, so I turned around at the next stop. By the time I got back to where I started I realized that where I turned around was very close to the Porsche Museum, which I also wanted to see. Oh well, I managed to get on the right train and when I got to the museum I found out they were open later then I expected so I was able to do a good tour.

After the museum tour I headed back towards my hotel. The subway station is just below the train station, so as I exited the subway station I stopped by the observation platform in a tower attached to the train station. That gave me a chance to get an idea where things are nearby.

From the train station I headed down the large pedestrian only street in the center of the city to find some dinner. Along the way I got to see many soccer fans. They have many jumbo screens set up at various places near downtown which attracted many fans.

Speaking of soccer. Last night after Germany won its World Cup match against Poland, the folks in Fussen went nuts. That sure reminded me of the Flames fans in Calgary earlier this spring. Apparently the same seen was repeated throughout Germany last night.

After dinner and a quick stop in Starbucks, I headed for a walk through the large park they have just next to the train station. In the park there were several more jumbo screens with more fans gathered around watching another one of tonight's matches.

The Mercedes Benz Museum is an 8 story building that is kind of triangular shaped (ie what you would get if you put 3 circles together). Each floor has basically 2 main rooms, a period room and a theme room. All the floors, except for the last 2, are connected by a long circular ramp. When you tour the building you take an elevator to the top and work your way down the ramps. The museum is basically ordered chronologically from top to bottom. So all the period rooms show a different stage in the history of the car company, starting with the origin at the top. The long ramps that connect the floors connect the car company to events in world history.

Here is the top floor.

The are many exhibits on each floor, like this one - the world's first truck.

An early Mercedes car in an elaborate display.

As you can in this and some of the other photos, the museum is kind of interesting in how it gives you glimpses of other portions of the museum as you spiral your way down to the bottom.

Around the outside far wall is one of the ramps connecting two floors. The posters on the wall each talk about an different event in history.

All of the vehicles on display are in excellent shape. Some are owned by Mercedes Benz and others are on loan.

This is first Mercedes truck with a large in-line 6 diesel engine. Note the long front end to house that huge engine.

An interesting transport vehicle. The sports car is nice also.

That the Dalmer Stadium where some of the World Cup matches will be held, like one of tomorrow night's games.

The original pope-mobile.

This was one of the first vehicles produced by Mercedes after WWII. It's a utility vehicle that's part tractor and part truck. I found this interesting because they still make these today, although they are much more modern, and I saw many of them in Fussen over the last couple days.

The first time I see a Formula 1 race car up close. They are much smaller than I expected. The one in the front is what Mika Hakkinen used to win the 1998 Formula 1 Driver's Championship.

That's not a picture, those are all real vehicles.

Here's a partially disassembled version of the car Mika Hakkinen used to win the 1999 Formula 1 Driver's Championship.

This is a shot looking up the hollow center section of the building.

Down on the bottom floor there are several exhibits relating to the modern day Engineering that goes on at Mercedes Benz. This is a ergonomic test platform.

The stairway leading down to the bottom floor. Again, those are real vehicles hanging up on the wall.

This is a view from the tower at the station looking down on the large pedestrian street in the center of Stuttgart.

One of the larger sets of giant screens showing the World Cup matches.

Happy fans celebrating after a match.

An interesting fountain, a Smart car, and the tower connected to the train station. The observation deck is just below that big revolving Mercedes emblem.

The Stuttgart planetarium in the big park next to the train station.

I could have shown a lot more pictures from today, but that's all I have time for. Tomorrow I'm going visit the old Porsche Museum and then catch a train to Zurich, Switzerland. I could probably make it all the way to Interlaken tomorrow night, but I'm not in a rush so I'll do a short stop in Zurich along the way.