Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Revisiting Romance in Schwetzingen

When we met, AdventureMan and I, we didn’t date for very long. We knew, almost as soon as we met, that we were going to be married.

We met in Heidelberg, one of the most romantic cities in the entire world. My sister was getting married in the Heidelberg castle. It was a grand wedding, and AdventureMan and I were both supporting characters.

00HeidelbergCastle

One of our first dates was going to the castle in nearby Schwetzingen. Schwetzingen has a beautiful castle, but it is not as famous for the castle as it is for its white asparagus, called spargel. It may sound funny to you, but this is a great delicacy, only served from mid-April to early June.

Schwetzingen really celebrates their white asparagus; this is a statue in the city square of an older woman teaching younger ones how to sort spargel:

00SortingSpargel

Spargel is served a hundred different ways, in soups, in salads, and in big bunches, with vinaigrette sauce, hollandaise sauce, bernaise sauce, or sometimes with just butter. You can have it with schnitzle, with ham, or just with new spring potatoes. Who would believe asparagus could taste SO good?

So here is the story. We were so young, and had so little money. AdventureMan had taken me to the Schwetzingen Castle to walk, and as we walked and talked, I could tell he was really talking about getting married. He had planned on having enough money that we could sit afterwards, in a little cafe, and have a glass of wine, but we were both hungry. We dug into our wallets, and between the two of us, we came up with just enough for two glasses of wine, one bunch of spargel and one tiny little schnitzle. It was enough. We were in love.

That night, he asked me to marry him.

We go back to Schwetzingen and eat spargel every chance we get – and we have been blessed, through the years, to have lived nearby, or not so far away, and the thrill of our memories there never wears off.

OK Ok, enough of the mush gush stuff. On with the spargel!

This is my spargel with hollandaise. I just had it with potatoes, because I knew I also wanted dessert. πŸ˜‰
00SpargelHollandaise

AdventureMan had his with schnitzle. He had spargel with hollandaise and potatoes for lunch, too, and he didn’t plan to have any dessert.

00SpargelSchnitzle

While we were waiting for our spargel, we had a little sunshine, and watched the brides as they came out, every thirty minutes, from their weddings at the Schwetzingen castle:

00PreDinnerSchwetzingen

Here comes the bride:

0030MinuteBride

And here is my dessert, called Heiss Und Eis. As soon as I saw it on the menu, I had to make a decision – whether to start with the spargel or to start with the Heiss und Eis. The Eis part is the vanilla ice cream, and the Heiss part (hot) is a hot raspberry sauce poured over the cold vanilla ice cream. Oh YUMMMMMM.

00HeissUndEis

We stayed at the ErbPrinzen, where we stayed before once when we were going to a ball in Heidelberg. It was wonderful. We were right across from the Schwetzingen castle, they have a fabulous restaurant and we ate all our meals right at the hotel, sometimes outside, sometimes in.

00ErbPrinzen

I had tried, unsuccessfully, to make reservations online. Good thing AdventureMan said “just run in and ask! What have we got to lose?” They had a room, it was a wonderful room, and parking was FREE! That’s our room, at the top right corner. We were on the no-smoking floor, which meant hauling our bags up two long floors. I guess the put the non-smokers on top because they don’t worry so much about us having a heart attack.

Here is one view from our corner room:
00ChurchOutsideWindow

And here is another view, towards sunset, with some weather drama going on in the background:

SchwetingenCastleDrama

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May 12, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Germany, Living Conditions

13 Comments »

  1. First, what a LOVELY love story!

    You bring back such wonderful memories. My first business trip, and my first trip outside of the continental US, was to Germany in the Frankfurt/Zweibrucken/Kaiserslautern area. I LOVED Germany – it is a place I could have moved to and spent the rest of my life in without complaint.

    I had never had asparagus before, much less the spargel. My host country sponsor explained it is white because it is grown underground to prevent exposure to sunlight (which prevents photosynthesis).

    Everything was a treat! Enjoy and savour!

    bj

    Comment by BitJockey | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. Ahhhh, spargel! Ahhh, Schwetzingen Castle (were the lilacs blooming? Rhoadies?)! Ahhh, Heidelberg! Great memories abound. And thanks for sharing such a sweet “wine, schnitzel & spargle” vignette from days past. What could be more perfect? (And Sprudelwasser in the bottle, yes? Ahhh….) Happy travels!

    Comment by sparkleplenty | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. never seen white asparagus before, plus it’s huge πŸ˜‰ would love to try it out

    Comment by pearls | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  4. Oh, man! You made me hungry and nostalgic at the same time!

    Comment by momcat | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  5. That is such a beautiful story! πŸ˜€

    And the place looks so beautiful!!

    ps. i just read that you’re packing and leaving?

    nooooooooooooooooooooo 😦 i’m sincerely heartbroken! don’t stop blogging!

    Comment by cixousianpanic | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thanks, BitJockey! I think you need a quick trip to Germany!

    Yes! Yes! Sparkle, the lilacs were in full bloom! It smelled divine!

    Pearls, it is also very surprisingly SWEET in taste.

    Momcat – glad to oblige! πŸ˜‰

    Cixousianpanic – YOU are a fine one to talk. You had one of the finest blogs in the blogosphere, and you disappeared! You had one of the most intelligent blogs, and you stopped blogging! I miss you!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  7. Ahh. The memories.

    I lived in Weinheim for three years.

    One of my pastimes was a Saturady morning run from Heidelberg castle up to the Konigsthul.

    Comment by None | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  8. Adventure Man ; what were you thinking when you took an impressionable young lady Intlxpatr to the castle and you bought her a glass of wine , You’d better think proposing right away Mistah or the shot gun will be waiting for yah buddy

    Comment by daggero | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  9. None – What a wonderful run, early on a Saturday morning. Did you live in the city?

    LLOOLL, Daggero, he proposed right away! And it’s been 36 years, so whatever the magic was, it stuck. πŸ™‚

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  10. yummmm food looks good! Never tried white asparagus! Do they taste the same as the “conventional” ones?
    I thought they were palmitos!

    Comment by Ansam | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  11. such lovely pictures, so romantic, so quaint, so europish! πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing; the breakfast too πŸ˜‰

    Comment by onlooker | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  12. No.. I’d wake around 6:00 a.m and make the 15-20 minute drive to Heidelberg then do the run. Back then 7:00 a.m. was early to me!

    The last time I was in Heidelberg (about two years ago) I drove up to the Konigsthul:)

    Comment by None | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  13. You got it exactly right, onlooker, it was very Europish. πŸ™‚

    LLOOLL – only 15 – 20 minutes from Weinheim to Heidelburg!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 13, 2009 | Reply


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