Sunday, 14 August 2011

An Afternoon in the Park

After an evening with friends, I welcomed the possibility to spend an afternoon in the park all on my own on the next day.
The weather was fantastic, and since some of you liked to "join" me on my walk up the hill and around the castle walls to the restaurant on Friday night, why not join me again for a walk - this time, through the centre of my home town, across the palace grounds and to the park where I love to spend time, no matter the season or the weather. 
This beautiful borders of flowers greets the visitor shortly after entering the palace grounds by the main gates.
Once you manage to lift your gaze from the abundance of colours and shapes in the flower bed, you have this rather grand view of the South front of Ludwigsburg palace in front of you.
Along the way behind the hedges, some more modest, but not less beautiful gardens lay quietly in the early afternoon sun on that sunny Saturday.
The palace is not where I am headed today, instead I walk past it, along more beautiful flower beds.
A view across the "Valley of Birdsong"; the Palace is right behind me from where I took this picture.
See the small palace in the back? This is where I'm going.
A closer view of the small palace. It belonged to the same man (the Duke of Wuerttemberg) who lived in the big palace; this small one was never inhabited but used for festivities such as balls and dinners after a day out hunting. Today, like the big palace, it is open to visitors, but only by guided tour.
Again, I am walking past it, to the right, to find the wide open space behind it - this is where I have spent many a sunny afternoon on my own last year in the summer, and had precious little occasion to do so this summer (mainly because of the weather not being in favour).
I get out my blanket, my magazines, sandwiches, bottle of water, fruit and mobile - that's all I need (ok, I do not absolutely NEED the mobile, but it is good to have one at hand when I am out on my own; you never know - I could trip up on the path and hurt my ankle and have to call someone to pick me up, for instance. Besides, I am a communication junkie and feel incomplete without my mobile - even though I very rarely use it to actually make phone calls.).
Before I left from home, I put my bikini on underneath the dress, because I want to make as much use as possible of this rare occasion when I can actually sunbathe this summer!
High above, I hear the cries of a buzzard. It is difficult to capture him in-flight, but the camera zoom works rather well.
Someone joins me on my blanket - or, rather, on one of the magazines I've brought.
Hello! Nice weather today, isn't it!
The view from my blanket, away from the palace. As you can see, nobody but me seems to be in the park, which is exactly how I like it.
One of the big old trees. These are the reason why visitors to the park are not allowed off the paths - except for the lawn where I am on.
My little companion has, apparently, tired of looking at me and has brought a friend.
You can't hear it, but maybe you can tell from the way he (? or she?) positions the back legs that he is making that grasshopper sound that, to me, is part of the sound of summer itself.

Only when the clouds became too threatening towards the end of the afternoon did I pack my things and walked home; right on the last half mile or so before reaching my house, the first raindrops began to fall.
I am glad I did not let other things I could have done get into the way but enjoyed this quiet and peaceful afternoon on my own in the park.

Next week, I will be away to work at a fair, so this is the last post for at least one week - I hope my dashboard here on blogger will be filled to the brim with interesting, touching, entertaining and beautiful posts from all of you!

13 comments:

  1. How very enjoyable. I can't imagine being in a park in the UK with so few people. I hope you remembered your suncream! I hope you have an enjoyable and successful week.

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  2. Once again, you have taken me on a walk with you that I truly enjoyed. What a beautiful spot! It amazes me that the "little" castle was just used for balls and hunting dinners. But then again, I am from working class people and great wealth is beyond my comprehension.
    Enjoy your time away (even working, hope you enjoy.)
    Kay

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  3. Just a thought... do you have the expression "Just a walk in the park" to denote something that is easy? Am I the only one who still uses this expression? Since I have read a lot in my lifetime, I sometimes use phrases that hardly anyone else uses!

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  4. What a great walk! While I appreciate the grandeur of the large castle the small one is so very charming! Love the pics of the grasshoppers, too!

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  5. What a great place to have on your doorstep. I am glad you managed to get some sunbathing in too. It hasn't been that easy lately here, either! I always get troubled by bugs when sunbathing on grass, although grasshoppers are more interseting than most, at least they do something interesting and don't just creep inside your shirt and itch! :)

    Enjoy your trip.

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  6. GB, no sun cream - I don't need it, I never get sunburnt, I just turn brown (if given the chance!).

    Kay, I know the expression "a piece of cake" to describe something easy, but "a walk in the park" fits it, too.

    Sonia, the small castle really is charming, also the inside is done very nicely, largely original, some bits had to be restored.

    Jenny, I have never had a grasshopper trying to creep inside my shirt, and I was glad there weren't any ants pestering me - I did have food there, after all!

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  7. What a delightful time you portrayed. May you have many more sunny days you can take advantage of and share with us.

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  8. That's what I hope for, too - but I'm afraid there won't be many left this year; September is just round the corner...

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  9. How wonderful! We don't have many castles here, though I've been to one or two. Not at all as impressive as the "little" and larger one, though! The flowers were beautiful, and I can't even remember the last time I saw a grasshopper! It gets so hot and sticky here, the last thing I want to do is lay out on the grass. The bugs here in the south are not at all like they are up north. They are pretty.....nasty. LOL Enjoy your time away. I assume this is the Sims fair?

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  10. What a gorgeous garden, do you know who designed it?
    That park all to yourself? what riches you have there.
    xx
    julie

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  11. Mel, how lovely to "hear" from you! I hope you and your family are fine. Yes, that's the GamesCom where I work at EA's booth to promote The Sims 3 Pets. There will be photos of that soon - when I get round to it and the weather turns bad again, so that I do not want to spend all my spare time outdoors!

    Julie, the original design from 1704 was modified over and over again, as the dukes (and later kings) of Baden-Wuerttemberg who resided in the castle and their tastes and needs changed over the centuries. What we see today was largely designed in the early 1950s to resemble a Baroque garden. Get me started on the history of my home town, the castle and the parks - and I won't stop :-)

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  12. What a great spot to have a little picnic & relax. Looks like you are the only person in the whole park, amazing!

    hope you had a good weekend.

    e

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  13. Elizabeth, I was - for most of the afternoon anyway - really almost the only person in the whole park. There were a few people walking quietly past, but I was far away from the path and I dare say hardly anyone even noticed me, since the ground forms a very slight slope there.

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