Daisy Bateman

Ludwigsburg, Part 3

The second castle in Ludwigsburg, Shloss Favorite, was built as a vacation home for the main castle. It’s about fifty yards away, across a main street. I guess in Germany, vacation must be more of a state of mind. It was set in a large parkland, which seemed to be somewhere locals liked to go to jog, though it looked to me more like somewhere you would be eaten by wolves.

The vacation castle, though attractively detailed and colorfully painted, was smallish, and when I peered in appeared to be set up as some sort of sad nightclub. So I did one short circuit around it and set off to look for somewhere to eat lunch.

The place I found was in the city Rathouse, which fortunately appeared to be entirely devoid of rats. Instead, it had a nice café, where the food was generously portioned and the menu was entirely in German. Of the two items I ordered (soup, sandwich), I probably could have gotten by with one. Though, by the time I had been there an hour and a half and was running late to meet Cameron, what I really needed was a bill. They aren’t big on bringing you your bill in Germany, but this place had it down to an art form. At the time when I was looking around hopefully, long since finished eating, putting on my coat and looking around some more, my waiter was engaged in cheerful conversation with the rest of the waitstaff, his back to me, on the other side of a pillar. After a few minutes, when it became clear that none of the other waiters were going to notify him to my position, and it became clear that I was going to be late getting back, I had to actually get up and go over to get him. In that case, contrary to my American inclinations, I did not leave a tip.

The conference ended in the mid-afternoon, so we had a little time afterwards to do some touristing by car. Guidebook in hand, I suggested the Mecedes-Benz museum, seeing as Stuttgart seems to be the center and origin of the German auto industry, and neglecting the fact that neither of us are car people.

Take away lesson: Two tired people, touring a museum on a subject in which they have not much more than a passing interest, will soon start skipping through the exhibits.

We made it back to the hotel through rush hour traffic without too much trouble, but once there succumbed to the insidious appeal of napping, waking up only in time to stagger downstairs and get some completely non-authentic food from the hotel bar. But that’s fine because this is only the start of the trip. Tomorrow, tomorrow is France.

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