An Auto-Otaku in Stuttgart 2021: Sunrise in Esslingen Am Neckar

Back when I was researching for things to do or places to go (other than shopping) for my short stay in Stuttgart, I came across a couple of blogs and vlogs about a little wine-making medieval town not too far from the city centre by the name of Esslingen Am Neckar.

With archaeological evidence that what is now the city of Esslingen was settled since the Neolithic, with traces of human settlements found at the site of the city church dating back to around 1000 B.C., Esslingen Am Neckar is not only interesting for me because of its ancient beginnings but also because most of the town escaped allied bombing during WW2, making some of the half-timbered houses in Esslingen some of Germany’s oldest, going back to the 1260s. A fact that still astounds me (someone from a country that just celebrated its 56th birthday) to this day.

I had initially planned to visit Esslingen Am Neckar the day before right after my trip to Porscheplatz with hopes to catch the sunset but had underestimated the time I’d spend at the Porsche museum. Coupled with an evening drizzle, I decided to instead have an early-ish night in order to grab an early train into the ancient city. Hopefully in time to catch the sun rising.

Though I had planned my train timings rather meticulously, it turns out Google’s information on train schedules in Stuttgart are not entirely accurate as it does not account for the reduced frequency of trains on Sundays. I did manage to catch the sunrise on the train though so it wasn’t a total failure.

Esslingen, though, did not disappoint and was as picturesque as you’d imagine it to be. As it was an early Sunday morning in Germany, all the shops were of course closed (sadly, no Esslingen Sekt for me) but it didn’t matter.

The autumn air was crisp, the weather was beautiful and I was in an ancient German city looking at buildings and houses that dated back to an era I cannot even fathom. In other words, it was the perfect setting for an early morning stroll.

Please excuse me for staring at old buildings.

Sometimes it feels as if I’m walking through a movie set or even a theme park. But no, these are actual buildings with actual people living inside them, obviously to this silly tourist bumbling around.

According to the sign, this establishment dates back to 1671. Which surprisingly isn’t that old considering where I was.

Oh, the stories these stone walls must hold within.

These old houses just fill me with so much wonder.

Whilst looking at these old buildings is fun, one thing I had to do since I was in Esslingen Am Neckar, climb up the steps towards Esslingen Castle.

The thought of doing so was definitely much more appealing than the actual process. Nonetheless, since I’m already here, let’s go!

The view up on top was totally worth the climb as the early morning sun bathed Esslingen with a warm glow.

Whilst it might be called Esslingen castle, it isn’t actually a castle and is instead a fortification built to keep armies and raiders out. Imagine Attack of Titan but fought for and against real people.

Hard to imagine given how peaceful and serene everything was even within the fortification’s compound.

With the views taken in and sights happily set to memory, it was time to make the trek back down into town. A slightly easier process. With how things were (and still is) with the Covid-stricken World, I was probably the only tourist in town.

Back down I admired even more old buildings.

Public floggings, executions, the Bubonic plague, the Spanish flu, World War 1, World War 2, and now Covid-19, these walls have seen them all (I think). Thinking about it, probably not the best idea to be touching it.

Also, probably not the best idea to be grabbing a Schokolade croissant right after. I’m still alive though.

With my morning detour into the town of Esslingen coming to a close, it was time to say, “Thank you” to Esslingen for showing me its pretty sights and for me to head back to the train station. Next stop, Neckarpark and the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It’s a real dozy.

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