In the middle of a city like Stuttgart with more than 600,000 inhabitants, would you expect a vineyard? Well, you would, if you knew my home county's capital!
Stuttgart is not my favourite place; it is noisy, dirty and has road works and other construction sites left, right and centre. But it also has some surprisingly quiet corners and interesting places to offer, such as the church I showed you not long ago here.
Last Wednesday, my colleague and I attended a conference held by the Chamber of Commerce. This annual event is all about IT security, and since you can not have data/privacy protection (my line of work) without that, we try to keep abreast with latest developments in that area, too.
The Chamber of Commerce in Stuttgart has their building close to Stuttgart's central station. Stuttgart itself is set in a valley; on its slopes, you find a mix of well-to-do living quarters, vineyards and woods. Still, it is unusual to have a vineyard right at the back and to the side of a building so close to the city centre as here:
The vineyard is owned by the Chamber of Commerce. Its drystone walls are listed, as is the little building at the top. Also, nature protection regulations apply. About 7,000 bottles are produced from its grapes ever year; enough wine to be given as presents to the speakers at this conference (and probably many other events), and it is served at the annual New Year's reception and similar events.
In any case, it makes for a wonderful place, and during lunch break last Wednesday, many visitors (including my colleague and I) enjoy the view, some even climbing up to the house. We did not do that - it was close to 30 C that day, and we were in business outfits not meant for climbing steep drystone steps!
Now for the sunflowers. The same evening, I went for a walk on the fields with my friend. Usually, we go for a run together once a week, but it was still very warm, and my friend is expecting a baby, so we took things deliberately slowly. We came across this field of sunflowers:
And earlier this week, I went for another evening walk with another friend, on fields on the other side of town. While I was waiting for my friend to get ready, I had a look at her balcony. It is small, but full of flowers and herbs; she even grows her own cucumbers in a pot. This flower is new this year; it looks great (but needs a lot of water). I have my friend's permission to show the pictures.
Our walk took us past this flower field:
The light is not good - it was around 7:00 pm, and the sun at an angle not ideal for this view, but I hope you can still make out the sunflowers.