If some of you haven’t heard already, quite a few Saturdays ago (26th September) we held our one and only Anniversary Fair for the 60th twinning anniversary of Cardiff and our wonderful sister city Stuttgart. It had taken weeks of planning and the hard work paid off. Cardiff Youth Council volunteers were there for the duration of the fair which had started earlier than planned – from 1pm until around 4 o’clock. As Jugendrat Stuttgart and Cardiff Youth Council have been working in collaboration for a key part of this 60 year long so far twinning, we felt it was a sister city’s duty to help promote our fabulous twin.
At the fayre we had a variety of fairground type stalls:
* Name the teddy bear (with German names, of course!)
* Guess the number of sweets in the jar
* Face painting (by a very talented newly recruited member of CYC)
And on top of these very popular mini stalls, we had a German taster session in the corner, a quick fun lesson of the numbers 1-12 in German by a member of our partner organization the Cardiff-Stuttgart Association, Claudia (many thanks!!)
We saw parallels once again in our two wonderful cultures, this time in language, in an exercise that allowed people to see just how easy it is to pick in German, if only just a couple of cool words to whip out as a party trick!
For those of you who don’t know, Stuttgart is an urban city in Germany, a highly eco-friendly and green city, one that is modern and well-developed yet with much historical culture, which 10 members of CYC have been lucky enough to be flying over to see this month, finishing up this special year’s work on the 60th anniversary of twinning!
See you all on Facebook and Twitter, and in our next meeting which will take place on the 18th November!
We’ve passed the halfway point and we are more than halfway through our Stuttgart venture!
Saturday, ’twas the dedicated day of business whilst all others in the city took a day off and rested we powered on, of course with lots of lovely members of Jugendrat Stuttgart!
And so we say hello to this lovely building again! Not to bore you guys with details of the ‘top secret’ discussions that took place that day as there will be a blog with the report of our discussions coming soon – so watch this space! But the morning essentially consisted of various different members of our delegation giving varied styled presentations, whereupon these presentations were broken up by casual (but also highly productive) discussions, where we ventured into the comparisons of our two similar yet so different cities. We ended our ‘work session’ in true politics style and signed a really very symbolic flag which was signed last by the Cardiff delegation that visited Stuttgart many years ago.
After a few needed hours of free time within the city centre, with the entire selection of fabulously lustrous money spending opportunities at our fingertips, we regrouped and went back to the youth hostel to get ready for our final night in Stuttgart!
Let no man say we didn’t get a full view of the city; throughout the past few days we visited so many different ‘youth houses’ and experienced true life for a young German in Stuttgart, and this center was yet another fine example of how well Stuttgart’s ‘youth houses’ are working out. We enjoyed music from some close to home bands and it was a great, relaxing wind-down to the end of another busy-bee schedule!
Must be said, it really was an AWESOME atmosphere!
But from here guys, we check out for one last time in Stuttgart! Our next post shall be the last leg of our highly educational, eye-opening trip and we’ll see you on the other side!
So, it’s time for the third installment of Adventures of CYC in Stuttgart!
We began the day by spending a few hours in Stuttgart’s zoo; where we saw vibrant flamingos, adorably cuddly gorillas, munching fruit bats (who are far from the scary blood sucking stereotypical bat), exotic bird species from tropical areas of the world, and many more.
The zoo was highly enjoyable and even for those who weren’t head-over-heels for animals before, I think it’s safe to say that there’s definitely a new found soft spot for at least some these beautiful and majestic creatures. (ft. Stuttgart’s very own Dory and Nemo – safe and sound)
One of our CYC members, Luke has a new found friendship with this fluffy mammal. Meanwhile, this undying love between Mae and Alaw was rediscovered.
Our mischievous mob did have to bid farewell to the zoo and move onto the next element of the day; the city tour! This was our opportunity to see and view all the great projects that our counterparts are working on currently. And so it starts…
One thing all touring members did notice was the fantastic amount of artwork around the city. Albeit, graffiti, street art, architectural prowess or just the skyline at dusk.
All of our members left this inspiring tour with a fresh view on urban life. We had the opportunity to see one of Stuttgart’s many urban rooftop gardens, which now, of course in the midst of autumn, has been turned to a venue available to hire for those parties or gatherings you may wish to host.
Even this seemingly plain multistory car park holds so much creativity, on the walk up you would just see sneak peaks of each individual artists stamp on their area.
Just along the outskirts of this carpark was one of the projects Jugendrat Stuttgart had been working on for 3 years. Consisting of Dutsch inspired skate ramps which doubled up as a ‘chill zone’, 3G Football pitch and a wall for legal graffiti.
To end our hectically busy, yet highly rewarding day, we wound down and visited a youth centre on the other side of the city and cooked our own meals. After filling up on lots of scrumptious food, games of pool were played while our 2 lovely singer song writers accompanied us with more of their original creations.
We awoke to beautiful early morning views, before setting off, on what would be our first opportunity to explore Stuttgart in the light of day.
The first leg of the journey meant our first experience of the interesting world of the Stuttgart tram service. We don’t have one here, but at first sight they are essentially massive trains which run using tracks in the road, and wires in the sky; much more energy efficient, faster, and greener than the transport services here in Cardiff- will we see this trend appear at home?
As soon as we stepped off the tram and emerged from the tunnel onto the street, we were immediately struck by how clean everything is over there- not a sign of pigeon poop on a single statue where Stuttgart are concerned. The streets are wide, open and modern, the buildings beautiful and unique. It’s safe to say the majority of our group fell in love. Firstly, we wandered along Königstrasse, the main shopping street in Stuttgart’s city centre, appropriately named King Street, as if in parallel to our Queen Street. On the floor, a large circular mural decorated the floor, a commemoration to each of Stuttgart’s ten sister cities, including Cairo in Egypt, Mumbai in India, St.Louis in the US, and Samara in Russia. Obviously we needed a picture break to snap the best one…
We eventually approached the grand steps of the Rathaus, which, despite what the name might suggest, has less to do with rodents and more to do with politicians! As with most of Stuttgart, the Rathaus was impressive due to its size, its modern appearance, and unique qualities.
Distraction number one came in the form of a lift, unlike any other we’d seen before. As opposed to stopping and taking you to your designated floor, it continues to move, forcing you to jump on and off of your own accord… and it isn’t easy! There’ll be videos on Facebook soon.
After an interesting tour with even more gorgeous views and interesting info…
… we head over to an information centre, where we partook in a “City Challenge” run by “tipsntrips”. From being lifted up by a stranger, to finding out information and statistics about Stuttgart by asking its inhabitants, to taking embarrassing photos, this two hour challenge really was a challenge! Putting our German-speaking, teamwork, and walking power to the test!
After freshening up, we had an exciting evening of youth culture. Our two musicians, Niamh and Rhiannon performed amazing music on stage in Stuttgart with another young singer-songwriter from the city itself. The atmosphere was amazing, as we all enjoyed beautiful original content along with covers to sing-along to from our very own Cardiffians, who made fantastic contributions to our trip- thanks guys!
We also got to watch and partake in a “Paint Battle”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a paintball style free for all, but rather something more organised, interesting, and a much better way to utilise the extremely talented artists who joined us on our trip. As opposed to throwing paint on each other, paint was thrown on canvass, as the artists fought to create better pictures than the other country’s team in three rounds. The topics for painting were called out by the audience, who also got the deciding vote on the winners. Go team Cardiff, the unanimous winners! Thanks Cerys and Astrid for taking part in everything we did, and to Lydia, one of our new members for your contribution in the last round of the art battle!