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Mitzingen, Ganesh Temple, Ludwigsburg

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This weekend was my first weekend abroad. I did not want to waste it by staying in the hotel room. As it was ganesh chaturthi as well, I thought of first going to the ganesha temple and then to benz museum. The museum is one of the biggest tourist attraction spot in Stuttgart. I met Adarsh and formulated the plan with him. He had a group known to him with whom we thought of joining. The initial plan for everyone was to meet at 8 .  
Not worrying about anything else like the route , food to be taken etc I slept after watching a nice movie.
I woke up the next day at 9. With the tension that the group might have left us, I got ready quickly and took Adarsh and went to have breakfast.. We engorged our food and went to the hotel in which the group was there to find that none from the group was ready yet.  
It was already ten by then. I came to know from the group that the temple is open only till 11 in the morning and opens again at 5 in the eve. So we decided to go to the temple in the evening. We then decided to go to Mitzingen- a shopping hub near Stuttgart. I was   initially not   enthusiastic about the idea as I had no plans of shopping in Germany. But they coaxed me to get ready by extolling the cheap prices that the place offers.  
As we had no proper travel itinerary,   on reaching the station, we came to know that we had to wait for half an hour for the next train.   With no choice left,   we waited . We took some photos, made fun of Germans amongst ourselves by passing comments on them in Kannada and somehow passed that half an hour. We took the train and reached the main station to find out that the train to Mitzingen   was another   45 mins later. HOOF!!!. We   roamed around   and stumbled upon a place where in all the photos from the world press meet was kept. The photo of the man doing bench press is from the same place. There were some amazing photos there, some of which I have posted. We met few Indians from our company there and the size of our group increased.
The train finally arrived   on time, as usual,     and we reached mitzingen at 12 : 10.
This place has many shopping malls in it. The directions to different shopping malls is present on each and every trip that mad us reach the mall easily.   Each mall was a shopping complex like in majestic. I was pretty disappointed to see the branded items, Reebok, adidas … even there and the prices were the same as in India. No discount. I was expecting some cheap local brands, but I could find none. Unfortunately, our big group got split into smaller ones and we   sere stranded without   mobile as well. After having costly  pizzas, which were not that good, we returnedshopping much. Some of the people bought shoes and watches there.
We then took the train to Ganesha temple. We just knew the stop to get down but were unaware of the exact location of the temple. Luckily we found some Indians who were going to the same place. Ganesha temple here is a nice, small and simple temple. A couple was performing some pooja there. The poojari was quite colorful with all namas ,vermillion etc. He was wearing white socks which was gaining the attention of every new comer to the temple.( for old comers were aware of the fact). There are idols of navagraha, chamundi, Subrahmanya, naga as well. We came to know that the temple serves delicious Indian food on Fridays. But we were not sure whether  they would provide it today. The poojari invited us to a big pooja at 8. As we had plans to visit the Koenig strasse( brigade road of Bangalore) that night we were in a dilemma. We would have cancelled our plans if it was guaranteed that food is available. It was still 5 then. We then finally decided to take the risk assuming that after big pooja they would provide food.  
We went to G hotel which is a BOSCH apartment and met some people there and came back to the temple at 8:30. The pooja was good. They took ganesha pradikshna .I came to know that it is a Srilankan temple with many sri Lankan family bearing the cost of the temple.
Finally the pooja got over. We were eagerly waiting for food, when   an   old guy started giving  a speech in Tamil. I could not see more than 5 people listening to him   in a gathering of around 100 ppl.We were still not sure whether food would be served. Finally our tensions were allayed when the priest announced that Prasad am would be served. The food was awesome. We were served bisibele bath, some 2 kinds of sweets, kosumbri and some banana Prasad am. I took bisi bele bath twice !!! It was 12 when we reached home.
The initial plans for the next day was known. We had to go for some fest in Ludwigsburg. Learning a little from yesterday’s experience I googled and came to know about the fest and about a big castle there as well. My initial search made me aware of what I can expect.
Venetian fest are based on carnival, or carnevale, the period just before Lent, as celebrated in the 17th century in Venice, Italy. Venetian festivals re-create the fantasy of the earlier events with food, costumes, masks, music, theater, juggling and other spectacles. The masks and costumes are worn by people who often travel from other countries to attend and perform (or parade) in these festivals. The elaborate costumes and masks are handmade by artisans from various countries. Many involve male and female or group versions and are based on old Venetian characters and costumes( copied from wiki) More can be clearly seen from the photos.
We had taken lunch which saved money. The fest was good. We then went to the Ludwigsburg palace. It is one of the largest Baroque palaces it seems in Europe. Baroque refers to the architecture of the 17th and 18th century. As we were late we were not given entry inside the castle. But the park surrounding the castle was good. It is called as Blühenden Baroque. There was a world pumpkin fest going on there. Different shapes were created using pumpkins The photos of which are attached. There were 450 varieties of different delicacies formed from pumpkins which was for sale.
Again our small group of 5 got lost. We finally met at the station. I do not know whether the castle was beautiful from inside: probably have to revisit both mitzingen ( when I have confirmed news that there are offers) and Ludwigsburg again if the castles are worth it from inside.
Next week we are planning to go to Munich. The October fest/beer fest is one of the greatest attractions there. Also to add to it this is the 200th anniversary. The expected number of people are 5 million to gather there. I hope we plan well this time and enjoy our time there.
I will update next week on my trip to Munich


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Week end beginners trip 01

Ludwigsburg, Mitzingen, Germany