Friday, May 19th
Today was our free day. So naturally, I chose to get on a train and travel two hours away from my group to look at cars! I met up with a family friend who showed me around Stuttgart as well as the Mercedes Museum, Motor World, and Castle Solitude. It was an amazing day because I got to see a large collection of old and new cars as well as explore German culture.
The day started at 6 a.m. so that I could get to the train station in time for my 8 a.m. departure to Stuttgart. I had a little (lot) of anxiety about accidentally getting on the wrong train or missing my stop in Stuttgart. This did not stop me, however, from promptly falling asleep on the train within five minutes of leaving the Augsburg station. Thankfully, I woke up around 9:30, about 20 minutes before my arrival, and managed to stay awake from then on.
I met my friend in the train station (more like he found me wandering around utterly lost) and we then walked around Stuttgart. He took me to their town center, and the park in the city, and the university that he attended. We then ate lunch and headed over to the Mercedes Museum.
The design of the museum was almost as cool as all of the history and cars tucked inside. It was set up so that you enter the building on the ground floor (obviously) and then ride an elevator up to the top. The museum then spirals down around the outside of the cylindrical building while videos about the brand and its history are projected into the space in the middle of the building so that it can be seen from all floors. It is designed so that as you walked down around the spiral you walk forward in time from the first engine to their most modern sports and performance vehicles.
After leaving the museum we drove to Castle Solitude (pictured below) and then to Motor World. Motor World is a combination of a museum of old and new cars surrounded by dealerships from top auto manufactures like Porsche, Ferrari, and Maserati. After walking through the entirety of the museum and dealerships we drove back to Augsburg on the Autobahn (coolest part of the day).