Big update on week three in Stuttgart: I had made a friend! She is another OBW exchange student from McMaster who turned out to be living in the same dormitory as me. It had been too long since I had a full, fluent conversation with anyone in person and I was so grateful to finally be able to communicate fully and expressively.
We met up to go do some exploring and found our way to a small city just north of Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg. Ludwigsburg is known for being home to the “Versailles” of Swabia, the largest baroque style palace in all of Germany.
Though not quite as large as Versailles in France, it is nonetheless impressively grand. The palace overlooks the stunning sprawling gardens which included a French garden, an English garden and a Baroque garden. We wandered the grounds and gardens, admiring the artfully designed mazes of hedges leading past sparkling fountains and rows of blooming flowers, and into sprawling meadows.
We stumbled upon a fairy tale land. Through giant toad stools and over a small winding stream, we passed by Rapunzel’s tower and called for her to let down her hair. We made new friends with the gnomes and trolls as they followed us along and we were drawn into a gingerbread house, but ran away at the eerie chants from Hansel and Gretal.
Finally, we emerged from the enchanted forest and meandered over to the bird sanctuary. With both of us being bird nerds, we stayed a while to watch and admire the many colorful parrots flitting about, the cranes stretching their arching necks and the ducks sunbathing under the warm sun.
Our trip in Ludwigsburg came to a close as we headed back into the city centre of Ludwigsburg, grabbing a delicious Eis along the way and sitting ourselves in the Marktplatz to people watch. It was a beautiful day and I was so glad to have someone to share it with.