Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Schwetzingen Palace 

One of the weekends we were in Mannheim, we made a visit to Schwetzingen. It is home to a "summer palace" used by German royals many years ago. The highlight of the palace is the extensive garden that extends from the rear of the palace. There is much walking to do there, in order to explore all the areas of the grounds. There are elegant, formal gardens as well as areas hidden away in the far corners that are more natural and secluded. We saw some fearless swans, that did not seem amused that there were people wandering around their streams. We walked around most of the perimeter, as well as through some of the interior gardens. You can also tour the palace, we decided to save that for another time. The gardens became quite crowded as the day went on, probably because it was such a beautiful sunny day. We also walked around the downtown of Schwetzingen as well, it was market day and the asparagus dominated the vegetable stalls.

Asparagus is a spring/summer vegetable that takes over German cuisine for those months. It seems even more prevalent in the Mannheim area, probably due to the abundance of asparagus farms in the area. It is white, not green, because it grows under a mound of dirt. It is very mild and tasty, I've had it a few different ways. I am willing to try it in some other ways as well, so far I have not been disappointed. This day in Schwetzingen we say a mexican restaurant that we were considering for lunch. Mexican restaurants in Germany are usually pretty dismal, coming from what we usually enjoy in the U.S. The food is usually pretty bland, not nearly as spicy/flavorful as even Taco Bell. I always try to avoid them, but sometimes Kenny is more hopeful. (We did have some yummy mexican food in Leiden, Holland over Easter!) We were looking at the menu posted outside on a chalkboard, when we saw an item that made the decision for us to move on and find something else for lunch. There is no possible way a mexican restaurant could have this and also have other authentic mexican dishes. IT was a spargel (asparagus) burrito!

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