While I was content with lounging around sipping fine scotch and enjoying myself, our hosts had other plans and those plans included sightseeing. After a nice breakfast, over which the days excursion was explained, we were bundled into L's SUV and sped off. Our destination was the city of of Darmstadt. A city that our host J knew very well since he was born there.
The trip there was made at a moderate speed (one hundred and sixty or so) since J was at the helm. When we got to Darmstadt we played the ever popular “where to find a parking spot” game but in the end J managed. Out on foot the world was ours to gawk at.
|St. Mary Magdalene Chapel|
|Exploring the grounds|
One of the places we visited was the the Mathildenhöhe also known as the wedding tower because, well, they do a lot of weddings there. The area was very pretty even if it was an overcast day. We walked around the grounds for a while and looked at the St. Mary Magdalene Chapel. The Chapel was named in honor of the patron saint of Tsar Nicholas' mother and was built of Russian stone on Russian soil brought to Darmstadt by train. It was used by the Russian imperial family and court during regular visits to the Tsarina's brother and family in Darmstadt. Of course after walking around the grounds our hosts wanted to take us inside the tower.
|So many views, so little time|
Once inside the wedding tower we waited for the elevator and J calmly announced that he wass going to walk up the seven stories. Then he asked me if I wanted to join him. Before I could tactfully phrase a reply, the stupid seventeen year old part of my brain says “Sure, lets go!” As I slugged my way up those seven long stories I silently, and very eloquently, cussed out that seventeen year old brain part. The view of the city from the top of the tower was great and it only took five minutes or so for my lungs to stop heaving, but I made it. After sightseeing from the tower We went back to the SUV where J piloted us over to a spot nearer to the Ducal Palace.
|The view from the top of the tower|
|On the grounds at the Ducal Palas|
We wandered through the Schlossplatz (a market square) where we stopped and had a coffee to warm up. It was there that I surprised my wife by having a bowel of Kürbis suppe (pumpkin soup) to warm up.
Then it was over to the Ducal Palace where J showed us around the grounds. Before we left he insisted we wander over to another part of the palace grounds and look at “the tree.” The tree was located in the central courtyard and when I first saw it I thought it would be right at home in the Hobbit shire of middle earth. He was right, the tree was way too cool.
By this time the light was fading and it was time for dinner so L&J treated us to a nice little dinner at another Italian restaurant.
|One never knows what goes through the mind|
of a person like J :^)
Dinner done we wandered around a bit then headed for the barn. All warn out (thank you seventeen year old hind brain) I went to bed early.
That's about all for now, until tomorrow bye-bye.