Baden-Württemberg is a beautiful, diverse state and definitely worth a few days of your next visit to Germany. Here are four places to visit in the state whose motto is perhaps the best one:
"We can do anything. Except speak High German."
In Baden they speak Badisch and in Württemberg they speak Swabian. Swabian has its own variants, in particular on the Schwäbische Alp. To get a feel for the Swabian dialect, start off in Stuttgart, an easy connection through Delta anyway.
The capitol of Baden-Württemberg is Stuttgart. You can visit art museums, eat fantastic Swabian food (like the amazing noodle dish Spätzle), visit rock and classical concerts, like with the Internationale Bach-Akademie Stuttgart (full disclosure: I used to sing with them; die Akademie liegt mir am Herzen). Pick up a Butter-Brezel, known in Swabian as a “Butter-Brezle.” It's a fresh pretzel where the thickest part is cut open and smeared with butter. Just trust me on this one. You’ll never regret it.
It’s beautiful and has a natural spectacle called the Blautopf, literally the "blue pot." It's the spring for the river Blau and its striking blue color is due to the minerals in the water. There is also a cloister you can visit and if it's still there, a great Chinese restaurant.
Plan ahead and book a tour guide in Ulm; they are great. My family and I did a 1 ½-hour walking tour and the tour guide’s English was great and he even joked about doing a gastronomic tour of Ulm for us on our next visit. Be sure to see the crooked house and walk through the Fisherman’s Quarter. There is also the restaurant “Spatz,” or “Sparrow,” their Käsespätzle ist wunderbar! Wear good shoes and if you can stand being up that high, climb all the way to the top of the Münster. You’ll never regret it.
The Münster is at the top of the main shopping street, and if you’re going to do any shopping, Ulm is the place to do it. Meine Güte is shopping awesome in Ulm. The Swabian don’t like cheap crap and it shows!
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