Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bluer than blue at Blautopf...





Breathtakingly blue...

Sometime a couple of months ago, a person in our local Facebook group asked where to find a certain "blue lake" near Stuttgart.  A German member of the group supplied the answer to her query.  She was looking for Blautopf (Blue Pot), a beautiful spring in the town of Blaubeuren that feeds into the River Blau and eventually the Danube.  I was curious about Blautopf; I had never heard of it until it was mentioned on Facebook.  Once I saw pictures, I decided Bill and I needed to visit.  

Going to Blautopf from Unterjettingen was a bit of a hard sell, though.  The town of Blaubeuren is a somewhat stout drive from where we live.  It's somewhat close to Ulm.  Since we didn't plan to bring our dogs, Zane and Arran, with us, it would mean they'd spend several hours home alone.  We had such pretty weather this weekend, though, that I finally wore down Bill's resolve and off we went.  The drive took about 80 minutes on B28.  Alternatively, we could have gotten there by way of A8.  We also could have brought our dogs with us.  Blautopf is very dog friendly.

On the way to Blautopf, we passed through Pfäffingen, the town where Bill and I lived the first time we were in the Stuttgart area.  As we drove through, I noticed a very large man standing on the side of the road with his thumb up.  He was looking at us hopefully.  Alas, even if we were in the habit of picking up hitchhikers, we were in my Mini Cooper, which really accommodates only two adults, despite the presence of a backseat.  I was thinking to myself, "Dude, we're in a Mini.  Even if we wanted to give you a lift, where would you sit?"


My first view of the town of Blaubeuren, which is very tourist friendly.  There's lots of parking, although even in late March the town was full of people visiting the spring.  I imagine it gets packed there in the summer.


We stopped by the public WC, where I spotted this cute little poem...


Then we followed the crowd and the blue arrows pointing to the point of interest...


The spring feeds into a mill, which fuels a hammermill.  There is a museum where visitors can see horseshoes being made, among other things.  We stopped in after we gazed at the beautiful water.


The water gets to be about 69 feet deep in the middle.


Here they show how deep the water is at any given time.
















The inside of the hammersmith.  We basically just observed all that was going on in there because it was pretty loud and the whole thing was in German anyway.  But we were able to see how the water fueled the machinery and it was well worth the visit.  It was also a cheap attraction.  An adult ticket is 2,50 euros.



It costs nothing to visit Blautopf, probably because it only takes a few minutes to see it.  Those who are feeling energetic can hike up the mountain to get some great views of the charming town.  There are also several museums and a monastery.  If we hadn't been worried about leaving the dogs for too long, we might have stayed a little bit longer and taken in more of the sights.  Instead, we decided to stop by Gasthof Blautopf- La Locanda for lunch.  That was a good choice.  The food was outstanding. 


Bill enjoys the sunshine as we wait for beer.



I love a good Franziskaner.

This particular restaurant has an advantage of being located very close to the spring.  I also noticed that there was a lovely aroma coming from the terrace.  When we sat down, I noticed a guy sitting near us who had ordered pasta.  The tomato sauce smelled so good that I decided I had to have that for lunch.  


Bill ordered Spaghetti Principessa, which was spaghetti with olive oil, algae (which sounds weirder than it is), cherry tomatoes, capers, rucola, pine nuts, and very fresh shrimp.  It was delicious!  I wished I'd ordered it.  But I went with the more pedestrian Spaghetti Mediterana.


This was also an excellent dish.  The sauce was made of very fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.  It was topped with Parmesan cheese.  


Service was friendly and the prices were very fair.  Our lunch was under 30 euros before the tip.


The monastery.



A map of the town.

Here are a few more shots I took with my new camera...







A pair of mallards were enjoying the pristine water.

I would definitely recommend Blautopf for a fun day trip from the Stuttgart area.  Although we didn't do anything more than see the spring and the hammersmith museum, we could have taken the whole day to see other places along the way.  Our route took us past Bad Urach, where there are waterfalls and ruins, Reutlingen, and Tuebingen... all places where one can have lunch and fill up the day with activities.  If you visit during the summer months, you can also stop in nearby Laichingen and see the Tiefenhoehle, which is part of the cave system that forms Blautopf.

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