Palace Pictures


This blog entry about the events of Monday, July 26, 2004 was originally posted on August 07, 2004.

DAY 282:  There is a saying that goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  With that adage in mind, I often shoot quick photos of ordinary things with my little digital camera in lieu of jotting down notes when I’m lazy, so my memory is jogged when writing Blog entries — particularly when I’m a week behind. 

“You’re taking a picture of the sign?” my cousin Hans-Georg questioned when I took a picture of the sign to the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. 

“Yeah, so I don’t have to write the name down,” I replied. 

Hans-Georg had taken the day off from work to show me the nearby palaces and castles in and around Stuttgart.  His retired parents, Tony and Ursula, tagged along.  It was a nice sunny day for a stroll anyway.

STUTTGART’S SCHLOSSPLATZ, OR “PALACE PLAZA” lies two palaces, appropriately named “Old Palace” (picture above) and “New Palace.”  En route to seeing both, we saw the Musichaus, the Staatsgalerie, the Stadthaus and Schillerplatz.  I took a picture of the signs of most all of them to remember what they were.  Although discreetly, I was the only one doing it.  There weren’t many tourists around — one doesn’t exactly rave about Stuttgart — as it barely in my guidebook, which is why I don’t have much to say about its past.  One interesting fact about Stuttgart’s present though, is that it is one of the first European cities to have integrated Fuel Cell buses, powered by water instead of gas, into their public mass transit system.

WHEN THE KING OF THE STUTTGART REGION got bored of life in the palace in the city, he went out to the countryside to the Schloss Solitude, a fortress of solitude much like Superman’s.  Unlike the Man of Steel, the king used the place as a base for hunting.  Instead of shooting animals, Hans-Georg and I shot ourselves and used the palace as a base to shoot a photo of me and the Basilios of Filderstadt (minus Anton who was in training for the day).

“That’s three castles so far,” Hans-Georg said.

“Three already?” I said, counting with my fingers.  I had taken pictures of so many things by that time instead of taking notes, it was hard to keep track.

After trying the regional dish maultaschen — which (in the way it was prepared) was a fried meat and vegetable egg roll sliced into thin pieces and put into an omelet — we went to Palace #4, the Schloss Monrepos on the backdrop of a lake and a hill that my cousin Tony referred to as the “highest hill in Germany,” which was the site of a prison.  “It takes ten minutes to go up but five years to come down,” he joked.

As fun as it was to ride one of Schloss Monrepos’ guardian lion statues, we moved onto the town of Esslingen, stopping briefly at Palace #5, the Schloss Ludwigsburg, one that I remembered visiting before in 1991 — we stopped again for a photo anyway. 

ESSLINGEN, HOME OF THE UPCOMING ZWEIBELFEST, an “onionfest” where people celebrated the onion with onion cakes and beer, was our final stop of the day of castles and palaces with Palace #6, the Esslinger Berg, built strategically atop a hill overlooking the townHans-Georg and I wandered around the compound as workers set up chairs for an upcoming summer performance.  Down the hill in the town of Esslingen, I took pictures of more buildings of note — and their signs thereof — including the Kesslerhaus, where the regional sparkling wine was made, and the Münster St. Paul.  At the town’s Rathaus (city hall), there was a fountain in front where water poured from a center structure to the pool below.  A cute little German girl, perhaps five or six, ran up to me and spoke a barrage of enthusiastic German words too fast for me to comprehend.

“Um, I don’t know what you’re saying,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“She wants to get something in the fountain,” Hans-Georg translated.

All of a sudden the little girl, who was with her older sister (by only a couple of years), stripped down to nothing but a pair of panties, jumping up and down to be lifted over the fountain wall and into the water.  Hans-Georg did the honors.  As questionably sanitary the fountain water was, the little topless girl, shivering and yelping from the cold temperatures, swam around in it, all apparently at the dare of her mean older sister to get the coins on the bottom.  It wasn’t much of a score — there were only about ten cents — but at least it gave me a moment memorable enough that I didn’t need to take a photo.

“You’re not going to take a pictures?” Hans-Georg asked me.

“No, I think it’s illegal for me to put it on the internet.”

Hans-Georg lifted the little girl out of the fountain.  She shivered in the open air without a towel and sat out in the sun on a bench in the pedestrian mall to dry out — while her older sister went off somewhere as if the whole dare was a big sister-to-little sister prank.

IT WAS A NICE DAY OUT with my cousins, but it, and my visit to Filderstadt — and my journey around Germany 2004 for that matter — had come to a close.  That night, Hans-Georg dropped me off at the Stuttgart train station for my overnight train to Prague in the Czech Republic.  Hans-Georg’s brother, my cousin Anton ran down the platform after work to meet us and wish me farewell — and for a final photo.  Some photos may say a thousand words, but some just say, “Goodbye, keep in touch and see you again soon.”

Next entry: Bohemian Rhapsody

Previous entry: Searching For Einstein

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Comments for “Palace Pictures”

  • Yippee!! First.
    Wow - architecture. I love quaint buildings.  Europe is going to be awesome when I get there!

    Posted by Liz  on  08/07  at  02:57 PM

  • Liz….you beat me!  I am going to read all the new entries slowly to enjoy after the wait!  No rushing through these ones….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/07  at  04:49 PM

  • I didn’t rush!  It took me two hours to read them smile  I just have time zone advantage wink

    Posted by Liz  on  08/07  at  04:56 PM

  • the architecture is cool…just not big on palaces…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/07  at  07:11 PM

  • in the words of Mase, “Welcome Back” ... btw, good idea on not taking those pics ... would be a shame to see you go down like R.Kelly, I mean what would happen to our blog?!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/08  at  04:13 PM

  • The photo of “in the town of Esslingen” is really cool - what’s that building that has the high bridge connecting two towers? Any clue?

    It looks so quaint - thanks for all the pictures, and for not taking that one. I echo Sim - what would happen to our blog? smile
    Thanks for eventually coming back to feed our addiction.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/08  at  05:16 PM

  • Hey Erik, you hand Hans-George have matching frames!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/08  at  08:14 PM

  • The pic of “SCHLOSSPLATZ” looks like the fountain in the opening credits of “Married with Children”. Great pics, seems to me that Stuttgart should be in the guidebooks—it looks beautiful.

    Glad you’re back! I’ll have to catch up later.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/08  at  08:55 PM

  • NOELLE:  Haven’t got a clue…  (It’s not in the guidebooks).

    MARKYT:  Me too, but the palaces were there…

    CHRISTY:  Married W/ Children, yes… my intent exactly…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/09  at  10:05 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Bohemian Rhapsody

Previous entry:
Searching For Einstein


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