As I said at the end of my previous post, we left Solitude palace after a short rest with sandwiches and water and went on, into a different part of the woods, towards a lake and yet another (tiny) palace where we know they serve coffee and cake.
Don't worry, I am not going to bore you to death with even more pictures of trees and leaves and paths, just this one because I found it so impressive:
After another hour or so of walking, we arrived at the "Bärenschlössle", "Bear Palace". It does not really have anything to do with bears, but takes its name from "bear creek", a small river that used to flow nearby. In 1768 - 200 years before I was born - the then Duke of Wuerttemberg wanted yet another special place for his beloved hunting parties, dances and other festivities. He loved Venice and had an artificial lake created where original Venetian gondolas carried him and his guests across the water. The lake is still there, called Bärensee (bear lake), but the original building was demolished some years after his death.
In 1817, the King of Wuerttemberg had a new building erected. It was badly damaged in WWII, re-erected, and burned down completely in 1994. Since then, it has been rebuilt close to what it looked like in 1817.
Today, it serves as a restaurant and can be rented as a location for private and corporate events.
It is very popular with walkers and cyclists who come to this part of the woods and stop here for a meal. We were lucky to find a table on the gallery, with a good view of the lake. Coffee and cake were most welcome!
Afterwards, we walked on, crossed the Bärensee on this dam and walked along it until our route led us across a busy road and into another bit of woodland adjacent to Stuttgart's university area.
Wildflowers along the way. The camera does not do justice to the brilliancy of their colours.
Last bit of wood - I promise!
Between the students' dorms and university buildings, the whole campus area is rather green. We spotted a heron on the roof of one of the dorms (overlooking a pond with huge carp in it), and this bird circling above. I know it was not a buzzard, but I am not sure what it really was. It was very difficult to take a decent picture, I wished Graham was there with his camera!
The campus train station was where we were headed. It had been a very good walk and the perfect route for a day like this.