That is exactly what we had yesterday: A Sunday of sunny blue skies and the typical early-spring mixture of warmth once you were in the sun and chilliness as soon as you were in the shadow of a building or behind trees.
My original plan had been to go for the same walk described here, but then my sister convinced me that it was a much better idea to have a look at the first flowers in the palace grounds than to walk on the still rather bleak and featureless fields.
We arrived to much beauty, and thankfully, not too many people in the park, since it was lunch time.
The carp living in the fountain of the palace's inner courtyard are very old, and very big - some of them have about the length and width of one of my thighs! Sometimes in the summer, I put my arm in and give them a little stroke. They come up and look at you and you wonder what goes on behind those eyes.
This building (which never really was anything but a ruin, put there on purpose back in the days when it was fashionable for members of the aristrocacy to have a few "ancient ruins" in their landscaped parks) is where my Mum will have her 70th birthday celebration in August. Weather permitting, we'll have champagne out on the lawn in front (not visible here) and a posh dinner inside.
One of my recent posts showed the trailer of an exhibition about the connection between the Royal House of Württemberg and the Russian Tsars. In that post, I said that we did not get to see the exhibition because we would have had to queue about an hour for the tickets alone, and nobody in our group of friends was willing to do that. But my sister went to see the exhibition last week, and told me about it. We talked about some of the people from that time and were not quite sure who was the one who had a monument to his closes friend erected on the old cemetery, so we decided to walk over there and have a look.
I wrote about this monument here in 2010; it was Friedrich, the first king of Württemberg.
We also paid a visit to the tomb of the last king of Württemberg (Wilhelm - not Friedrich; thanks to my sister who pointed out my error) and were amazed at how neglected it looks. Couldn't the state of Württemberg afford to pay a gardener to take care of its last king's last resting place? Not a single flower in sight!
Generally, the Old Cemetery (as opposed to the New Cemetery next door, which is still in use) is a park today. There are the tombs of some locally famous people there, plus monuments to the dead from the two World Wars and the 1870/71 war between France and Germany.
The oldest tomb still identifiable (there must have been some older ones, but their stones and exact locations are lost) is this one from 1768, for a man who was born in 1688. The town itself is not much older, the foundation for the palace having been laid in 1704 (and it took a few decades because anything resembling a town formed around it).
We met this little fellow on the way out and back to the park. He was not in the least bothered by us, and we were really close.
All in all, we walked for about 3 hours. It felt so good being out in the sun!