There are a ton of different castles and palaces spread all over Europe. I've gone to some in Spain (like the Alhambra), in France (like Mont Sant-Michel and Carcassone), and there are a bunch in Germany too. I really want to go see those castles you've seen in pictures that are perched up on some precarious cliff-side mountain but those will have to wait. For now, something a bit closer to the city and easy to get to will have to do! One of the palaces that's close to Stuttgart is the Schloss Ludwigsberg, which is just north of the center of the city:
The palace, built in the 1800s in a Baroque style, has been used over the years by the Baden Württemburg royalty. Today it is mostly a museum where you can walk through and see what life was like for its residents. You can't take any photos inside so these two outside ones will have to do. Anyway, it was interesting to see...but...photos of old furniture aren't that spectacular anyway...
So, why write about it? Funny you should ask... Well, it still ended up a fun day and there were four things that were unusual. For one, the day we went there was an antique car show that was super cool. People were dressed in period costumes and the cars were amazing. Check out this guy in costume working on his car:
Another thing that was special was that we went with my friend Kijung, who's from South Korea and takes German with me. We ended up with a bunch of photos of Diana and me instead of just our normal photos of each other or one of those "self portraits" that we love.
It was fun to see the day from another perspective. This one's nice too:
Next, I got to see a car up close that I've only ever seen in photos. I've always been a huge fan of the old, air-cooled Volkswagen Beetles. I've owned three of them including one convertible (for 20 years) that I just sold a few years ago. Most of VW's convertibles were built by the better-known Karmann (remember the Karmann Ghia?) but there were some that VW had built by Hebmüller.
The car below is a 1950 Hebmüller convertible. In both cases, VW shipped just the mechanicals and each company built their own version of the car. Although you'd be able to identify a Karmann-built convertible, the Hebmüllers are incredibly rare - less than 700 were ever built - and this one was in really good condition. I just love the shape of the trunk on this A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. car:
Finally, we got to see a Benz Patent Wagon in action. According to Mercedes, it was the first automobile ever made and I had seen a museum-quality one at the Mercedes Classic Center, but a guy was driving this one around. They still make them and you can get one for about 50,000 Euros (~$61,000 U.S.) if you're interested. Here's Diana on the living museum:
But wait, it gets better, SHE GOT TO GO FOR A RIDE!!! This is like getting to see a dinousar live or perhaps eating with Julia Child or maybe hanging with Picasso while he painted Guernica... Enjoy:
Pretty cool, huh? So, all in all, a fun day checking out the local sights. Thanks to Kijung for being a very cool guy to hang out with and making a good day even better! Come to think of it, I've met some great people from South Korea in the last year and it really makes me want to go. I'll have to add that to my to-do travel list. Oh yeah, another in the mandatory self-portrait series...this time with three!