I took up my friend Katrina’s invitation to go to Mannheim yesterday to see a balloon festival because I figured I need to squeeze in as much as I can into the little time I have left! Well, that AND our group of friends all tried to go to a balloon festival last weekend only to find out that we had the dates wrong. (who knew that dates could be part of the language barrier as well?!)

We started out our adventure with a little Starbucks trip. It’s funny, because I wasn’t ever a huge Starbucks fan. I grew up going to all the ma and pop coffee shops around my hometown so why would I ever get excited about starbucks? It’s different here. There are not really coffee shops but rather bakeries and cafes and sometimes I just miss the coffee shop atmosphere.

We parked in a garage close to the Starbucks and just walked all over Mannheim. After our frappuccinos, we were on a mission to find the balloon festival. We knew the direction we needed to walk in but we got very easily distracted by this huge fountain and gorgeous park with a great big building that was fun to take pictures of. I tried googling it and although it looks like it’s something important..I found out it’s only the water tower. Go figure.

We had a great time there and I made the mistake of saying “If we don’t get to see balloons this was still totally worth the trip”. We walked all the way through the park, not even sure if we were in the right place. There were people around the whole thing but no one seemed too excited about hot air balloons. It was easy to get distracted in this park though. There were several restaurants, pretty fountains, gorgeous plants and trees everywhere, a river where they gave boat rides, and a zoo!

We definitely high-fived each other when we FINALLY found the festival. After grabbing some festival grub, we set ourselves up in a perfect place to see the balloons. There was an area all roped off and inside were the trailers which I assume the balloons were packed into. We waited and waited but nothing was ever unpacked! Granted it was windy, and cloudy….and then started to rain, but still! We got this far and were really looking forward to it!

After a while of hiding under the towel Katrina brought, we decided to give up on the fest and walk around the park some more.

and then….

I found owls. <3

I couldn’t help but be in LOVE! 

We explored Mannheim some more and stopped to have a glass of wine. Then we went back to the park with the fountain and practiced our night photography skills for a little while! It was a spectacular day and such a fun way to spend one of my last days here!

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