We have come to the end of our cycling tour of the Romantic Road and have a week left before we have to be back home in Blois. We look at the map to see where we can do some more exploring by bike. The Neckar river starts in Villingen-Schwenningen in the Black Forest and joins the Rhine in Mannheim. We manage to find a Bikeline map of the Neckar Valley and decide that Rottenburg am Neckar looks like a good base for four nights.
The main façade of Ludwigsburg Palace when you first see it
Ludwigsburg which is on the Neckar just north of Stuttgart looks like a good lunch stop. It has one of Germany’s largest Baroque palaces. It started off as a hunting lodge built by Ludwig of Württemberg at the beginning of the 18th century. Over the years it was expanded and improved until it became a royal residential palace.
After parking in the covered carpark in the large shopping centre opposite the palace we have an excellent cappuccino in an Italian osteria where everyone speaks to us in Italian. When we arrive at the palace at about 11.30 am, we learn that we have to join a one-hour guided tour. The next one in English is at 1.30 pm, which is a little annoying. We buy our tickets at 7 euro a piece and decide to have lunch into the very extensive gardens. But the entry is another 8.50 euro each which sounds ludicrous so we go into the little town centre instead. The heat is excruciating by now.
The marktplatz in Ludwigsburg on market day
There is a fresh market in the main square which only seems to have cafés and no restaurants but we eventually find one that serves salads and pasta and settle for that. Its main recommendation is that it is on the shady side of the square. We buy some tomatoes and fruit before we leave. The vendor’s daughter tells us that her cousin is going to Australia for a year.
The other side of marktpltaz showing the modern buildings behind
Our tour begins on time and our guide speaks good English and is very knowledgeable. Considering the time he spends on each room and in answering people’s questions, I don’t see how it can only take an hour. We can’t take photos, as usual, and Jean Michel has a description of the visit in French.
One of the baroque ceilings that still remains on the ground floor
The castle consists of 452 rooms and 18 buildings but we are only visiting the Queen’s rooms and theatre. The main building has a series of rooms that connect up and form an enfilade that is 150 metres long. During the Empire period, the Baroque décor was considered to be outdated and the beautiful ceilings painted over. We find this part very boring although I hear some other people saying how pretty it is.
The best view of the original building from the new wing
However, in the oldest part (the hunting lodge), the original Baroque decoration remains and is much livelier.
We are able to see the formal garden from the terrace of the palace. We learn that the gardens total 30 acres and are very beautiful. Maybe another time!
The formal gardens seen from the first floor of the original palace building
Although the Empire rooms seem very dull after all the Baroque and rococo we have been seeing along the Romantic Road, we still feel the visit is worthwhile.
Bike signs in Rottenburg – we are on a lot of bike routes!
Back in the car, we encounter a lot of road work along the way, something we have often experienced on the motorways in Germany. We get to Rottenburg around 5 pm and are looking forward to 3 days of cycling.
OTHER POSTS ABOUT CYCLING IN GERMANY
Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Kondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany #15 – Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube – The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including Zwiefalten
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
Cycling along the Neckar in Germany #1 – Ludwigsburg
Cycling alnog the Neckar in Germany #2 – Horb – Rottenburg – Türbingen – Bebenhausen
Cycling along the Neckar in Germany #3 – Rottweil to Oberndorf
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #1 – Peiting to Wies
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #2 – Lechbruck to Fussen via Neuschwanstein Castle
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #3 – Peiting to Diessen
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #4 – Augsburg
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #5 – Nordlingen, Wallerstein, Dinkelsbühl and Feuchtwangen
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #6 – Rothenburg am der Tauber and Tauberbishofsheim
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #7 – Würzburg
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #8 – Tauberbishofsheim to Creglingen