Instead, I started by going to the gym (early enough before it would get too warm in there). Lunch was at my Mum's, with a refreshing salad straight from the garden and some cold sparkling wine to go with it. In the afternoon, I first returned to my place for a bit and thought about what I'd like to do next.
There was a pair of shoes I had seen in town the other day which I wanted to look at again, and so I set off again. Having reached the shopping centre, I found I really wasn't at all in the mood to buy anything; maybe the rather too cold air conditioning in the building had something to do with it.
So I just went out again, and started to walk, with no precise place in mind.
A very good place to be on a hot sunny afternoon is somewhere with lots of trees - the park seemed a natural choice.
Since I did not think I was going to go on a proper walk, I had left my camera at home. Therefore, all the pictures in this post were taken with the low quality camera of my mobile phone. I hope they still give you an idea of the 3+ hours I spent walking.
|A part of the palace grounds I like very much. Those roses not only look beautiful, they smell very nice, too.|
I don't think I've ever shown pictures of the large aviary in the palace grounds. The upper part of it is supposed to look like a tiny piece of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, with plants and rocks and a straw-covered building typical for that area. (It is where my sister and I spotted the love-sick stork earlier this year. The nest is still there on the roof, but empty.)
The aviary has a set of metal cage doors at the upper end but is left via a tunnel at the lower end. The tunnel is as old as the palace (early 1700s). In the late 1980s or early 1990s, I am not sure when, it was transformed into this lit-up place with orchids and rocks, plus a tiny stream running the length of it, and harp music playing softly in the back.
Leaving the aviary by the tunnel, you reach a deep valley with many shrubs and trees and winding paths through the greenery. There was hardly anybody about, I had the place nearly to myself.
Walking to the end of the palace grounds and crossing a major road via a foot bridge, the deer park that has featured several times before on my blog was the next part of my walk. Again, few people were out and about.
Every time I look at these signs, I can't help but think how very German they are.
The signs are put up at regular intervals along the road through the deer park. They forbid people to leave the path (except for a designated area near the palace, where I have spent many an afternoon sunbathing and reading) on the grounds of it being dangerous because of the large old trees. Those trees are mostly left completely untended, and after strong winds, their largest and oldest branches tend to break off. Of course I understand the City of Ludwigsburg does not want to be hold responsible for anyone being hit by a falling branch. But did the sign have to be like this, even referring to the legal paragraph? Wouldn't it have been a lot nicer to simply ask people "Please do not leave the path"?
At both ends of the park, there are maps of the park and descriptions of the animals one is likely to see. Why not put a brief explanation there, saying that it is not allowed to leave the paths for two reasons: So that the animals can retreat safely (there are two or three signs across the park where that is stated), and to avoid injury.
I wonder if anyone is more inclined to stick to the rules when a paragraph is mentioned. Generally, the majority of people walking or jogging in the park are well behaved, and stick to the path anyway.
The last part of my walk, before starting the long way home, lead me to the third of Ludwigsburg's three palaces, Monrepos ("My Rest") by the lake.
There, I met this heron. He did not seem the least bothered by me.
I thought his left foot looks a bit strange. After I had already observed him for about 15 minutes, he limped closer, looking at me and really dragging his poor left foot behind. I felt very sorry for the beautiful bird. He may still be able to fish with the use of just one leg, but it makes wading along the banks impossible.
The small bird you can see at the bottom of one of the pictures is a baby coot. Mummy and Daddy Coot were nearby.
Three hours and 10 minutes after I had set off, I was back home, ready for a drink of water and a rest. It had been a lovely walk, although seeing the injured heron made me a bit sad.
It's going to be another hot day today, I think, but first, I need to do the washing and cleaning. Enjoy the weekend, whatever you'll be doing!