On Sunday, the 7th of June, we chose a hike from a book my sister had given O.K. as a present two years or so ago. The book contains suggestions for beautiful tours around my area, but nearly all of them involve a car journey to get to the starting point.
Most of the weekends that we spend at my place, I try to avoid us using O.K.'s car, as he already drives 300 km altogether to get here and back. But I longed for a nice walk/hike, and between two suggestions relatively close to home, we chose one that would take us through the Stromberg, an area of woodland and hills about half an hour's drive from Ludwigsburg.
With vineyards, woods and fields, the area looks similar to O.K.'s, but this is not the Black Forest, and the hills in the distance are not France - we are too far East to see our neighbouring country from here.
A "geological window" with information boards tells the visitor about the various layers of rock this area is formed of. It is not a former quarry but a landslide that happened naturally, a long time ago:
This small structure is called "Altertum". It was built of natural field stones, deliberately made to look rustic, in the early 1800s when the then King of Württemberg came to this area in the summer for hunting. He would sit inside this shelter, gun ready, while his servants would chase deer and other game in his direction - all he had to do was shoot. What a great sport hunting is, especially when it is done that way... :-(
Can you spot the church on the hill? This is Michaelsberg (Michael's Mount), the main attraction of the tour from the book:
A little closer:
Steep steps leading up to it - I had to catch my breath at the top before we could walk the rest of the way to the church:
Views from Michaelsberg across the town of Cleebronn and the area called Zabergäu:
There were peregrine falcons in the tower window to the left; I couldn't get a decent picture of them, but we observed them for a while.
Back home, the view from my kitchen window (note the branches of the cherry tree!) was rather spectacular with the evening light against the grey backdrop:
The description in the book was a little unclear at times, and the signposts not always where we would have needed them. After two wrong turns - eventually ending up on the originally intended path - we clocked up 22 km instead of the 15 described in the book! Not that the extra kilometers mattered; we always roughly knew where we were and how to get back to the car, but it certainly was more adventurous than expected :-)