Yesterday, Sunday the 24th of February, was similarly springlike, although a few degrees cooler; another day of uninterrupted sunshine and blue skies.
O.K. and I were at my place this past weekend, and there was no question about what we wanted to do on such a beautiful day - hiking! - the only question was, where.
One or two years ago, my sister (who shares our love for walking and hiking) gave us a conveniently pocket-sized book with suggestions for hikes in the Stuttgart region. You'd be surprised how many nice places this highly industrialised area has, from woodland and vineyards to river valleys cut deeply into stone walls and hills.
We chose one that started just under 30 km away from Ludwigsburg, in Grunbach, a small town in the Rems Valley. The river Rems meanders along its valley on a length of about 70 km east of Stuttgart. It begins in the historical market town of Esslingen and ends near the eastern outskirts of Ludwigsburg in Neckarrems, where (surprise, surprise) the Rems joins the river Neckar.
The slopes of the valley are covered in vineyards and orchards and topped with woodland. The region is renowned for its wines, and in the spring, it is especially beautiful when the many orchards are in bloom.
I've been in the area a few times before; you can see how it looked in May 2017 in this post.
We did think about setting off by train, but it would have taken us a bit more than an hour (provided all would have gone smoothly, which is less often the case than we'd like it to be), so instead O.K. drove, which took us half the time.
From the parking lot near the railway station in Grunbach, we walked through part of the village and then along a small stream before the path rose through woodland. There are no leaves yet on the trees, so it was still sunny in the woods, with birds flitting about everywhere. We met other walkers, some people on bikes and some on horses, but it was mostly quiet.
The ascent was rather tough on me - something I had not expected - and I had to stop for breath once or twice before we reached the top. I can walk without tiring for hours on flat ground or gentle slopes, but somehow this knocked me out. I only took a few minutes to recover, though, and the rest of the hike was no problem.
The viewing point described in our booklet (Hörnleskopf) was also the spot we chose for a break, drinking the water and eating the treats we had brought, taking pictures and resting in the sun for a little.
|Panoramic view from Hörnleskopf, picture courtesy of O.K. Click to enlarge.|
Our circular route then lead us mostly along the top of the ridge to the small town/village of Buoch. We would have liked to stop there for coffee, but as it was 3:00 pm on a sunny Sunday, we reasoned any place would be packed, and so did not bother looking for a café. Instead, we descended the rather steep path (a bit of a challenge for knees and feet, but thankfully, neither of us is very heavy) back down into Grunbach.
|Abandoned allotment near Grunbach, the ground covered in snowdrops.|
|Church in Grunbach|
Back home at almost precisely 5:00 pm, it was soon time to start making dinner. O.K. drove home at around 9:00 pm and texted me an hour and 20 minutes later to let me know he'd arrived.
It had been another lovely weekend, with a good run on Saturday morning, a spot of shopping in town in the afternoon and visiting my parents in the evening.
|Sunset on Saturday evening, as seen from my bedroom.|
Now I am getting ready for a rather busy working week - only 3 1/2 of them left before my holiday!
|Full moon preparing for the show last Tuesday, as seen from my kitchen.|
|Enjoying an after-work drink with my colleagues on Thursday.|