Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Adventures on Karlshöhe

So on Monday I set out to find the Lapidarium in Stuttgart (a little collection of old Roman ruins and statuary), which is located near the park on Karlshöhe. I didn't have the strongest sense of direction yet, so I took what I now understand is a rather circuitous route to the park. I knew you had to climb a set of stairs (Stäffel) to get to the park, but I didn't know which ones precisely. And besides, the idea was to use up the day and look around, so I didn't stress too much about getting to the Lapidarium right away. Once inside the park, I spent a long time wandering around. It's quite lovely, with fabulous views of Stuttgart, lots of trees, and benches everywhere to relax on.

Karlshöhe Park

Bridge in Karlshöhe Park

Karlshöhe Park

I have a hard time getting over how GREEN everything is here! In California, the landscape is green in the winter and brown in the summer, when everything dries up. And in San Francisco, the landscape is just perpetual fog. But there was lush grass, blooming wildflowers, and lots of busy bugs everywhere I looked here. I passed other people strolling, and found a little Biergarten near the top of the hill. There were quite a few folks walking around in business attire on their lunch breaks. But no Lapidarium. I passed another woman, who greeted me in German, and after I stammered out that I don't speak much German, she easily switched to English. Turns out she was looking for the Lapidarium, too! I told her I hadn't been able to find it either, so we laughed, shrugged our shoulders, and went on our separate ways. I walked around a bit more, then decided to take a break, as it was pretty muggy. I found a nice bench and read a little of my book. The sky started to look threatening after about half an hour of reading, and I didn't have my umbrella so I decided I should try and find my way back to the apartment. As I walked down these steps (picture taken earlier in the morning)

Willy-Reichert Stäffel from the top

I passed a high wall on my left. I peeked over, and found the Lapidarium. Dang! While deciphering the signs at the gate, I started to feel the first drops. By the time I got out to the street, it was really pouring: fat, wet drops of rain threatened to ruin my book and camera. I tucked my bag under my arm as much as possible. I found the entrance to a small alleyway that happened to be covered by some thick vines growing overhead, and managed to stay mostly dry while I got my bearings. Looking to my right down the street, I was immediately greeted with this sight:

Rain, View towards Marienplatz

At the end of the street stood Marienplatz, one of the few locations in Stuttgart I know quite well, as we can see it from the living room window. If you look at the sidewalk in that photo, you can get a sense of how much rain came down during the few minutes I spent in the alley. Once the rain let up a bit, I made a dash for the platz and got home, quite worn out for the day. On my way down the street, I passed the set of stairs I'd originally used to get to Karlshöhe. If I'd gone about 50 meters up the street, I would have seen the Lapidarium first thing.

Turns out it wasn't open on Mondays anyway, so I'll have to go back. Next time I'll bring an umbrella.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are truly your mother's daughter!!! I remember venturing out timidly in Munich and getting lost, but enjoying everything along my route, and then being exhausted when I finally returned to the hotel. What an adventure! Mom