Looking back at the road we have just walked up between the vineyards, the start of "our" walk (= my Mum and I walking from the nearest small town with a train station to the place where my parents have their allotment).
The walk itself takes between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, depending on how hot it is, how fast we walk and how many little breaks we take. You've seen it already in previous posts, and therefore I'll only show you a few pictures of the walk this time:
The plan had been to arrive at the allotment in the early afternoon, and we were there at 2.00 pm. My Dad had already arrived in the morning (by car), and he had freshly brewed coffee ready for us and the table was set.
This was the first time I saw his greenhouse. Most of what's inside is tomatoes, but he also has peppers and some basil.
My Mum had arranged for friends to join us later in the afternoon, and we prepared the table for five. As soon as our friend (only one of them could make it) arrived, she made the lovely old-fashioned elderflower pancakes I've showed you here.
It was also the first time I saw the new rose arch; my sister and I bought it as a Christmas present for my Mum, and my Dad put it up for her recently to replace the old one that was crumbling to bits. To bring the old one down and set the new one up, a lot of the climbing rose had to be cut, but it'll grow back nicely, I'm sure!
After the feast of elderflower pancakes, I went for another walk - much shorter this time, I was away for less than an hour. I had not been to this beautiful lookout in years, even though it is not far from the allotment:
The vantage point marks the spot where the ancient castle of Steinheim (literally "stone home") once stood. A plaque on one of the stones informs visitors that the castle was first built around the year 800 and destroyed in 1250; at the same time, the line of aristocrats ruling this part of the kingdom of Wuerttemberg died out. Only in 1973, during the reallocation and consolidation of agricultural land holdings, were the remnants of stone walls rediscovered, and it was decided to turn the place into this mini park above what today is the village of Steinheim. (I'm sure they'd like me to call it town, but it is a village, and there's nothing wrong with calling it that.)
A steep path with stone steps leads from the top down into the valley, but it is so overgrown you can only find it if you know that it is there.
On my way back to the allotment, I took this picture showing the deep ravine that is called Otterbachtal ("otter's creek valley"). Down in the ravine, it is always quiet, shady and green and rather cool, even on the hottest summer days. High above it, a bussard was circling.
Back with my parents, we stayed on for a light evening meal. When we felt the first slight touch of evening chill, we packed up and left, but not before my Mum cut one of the beautiful roses for each of us to take home; mine now floats in a wide glass and looks so perfect, a beautiful reminder of a wonderful day:
This hot air balloon was floating just above us while we were getting ready to leave:
And have a look at the cherries outside my kitchen window - how much they have grown since you last saw them!
They'll soon be ready for picking, and you bet I'll be picking as many as I can :-)