Ludwigsburg was one of the most fun days that I had while living in Germany. It was day trip that I took on the recommendations of my German Colleagues, and it turned out better than any expectations that I had. Why? Read on.
The Ludwigsburg Palace
When I arrived in Ludwigsburg, I didn’t know what else was to see in the town other than the palace. So, I picked up a local map and made my way to it thinking that this would be a short visit. At the entrance of the Ludwigsburg Palace, the lady at the ticket office told me to make sure that I stayed late to enjoy the fireworks and music. I wasn’t too sure was she was talking about initially but as I walked into the palace’s grounds, I couldn’t help but notice the festive decorations.
As it turned out, I had arrived on the day of the famous Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival! To be honest, the Ludwigsburg Palace didn’t even turn out to be the best attraction. And because it was such a beautiful sunny day, I skipped taking a tour of the palace and instead focused on the palace grounds and the activities that were taking place on the palace grounds.
RC Boats In The Ludwigsburg Palace Pond
As I was exploring the palace grounds, I noticed a fairly large crowd gathered around the palace’s pond (water body, not sure what to call it). As I approached the area, I saw that it was some sort of a meeting of a RC boat club. RC boat enthusiasts were sailing their boats in the pond, showing off their creations. It was a really fun sight to watch – miniature boats with figurines (lot’s of Barbie and Ken dolls) sitting on them.
It was also a good opportunity for me to work on my camera skills. Mind you, this was within the first month of me owning my first DSLR. I pulled up a chair, made myself comfortable and watched the boats, with their tiny motors, whir away.
After admiring all types of RC boats, I decided to make my way to the Fairytale Garden. After all, I did come all the way from Stuttgart to see it.
Fairytale Garden, Ludwigsburg Palace
The Fairytale Garden is exactly what it sounds like, a mini-theme park dedicated to some of the most famous fairytales from Germany. There were mazes, rides, and mock-ups of fairytales. Funnily enough, I saw more grown-ups than kids at the garden.
The Fairytale Garden is relatively small and I managed to cover it in no time. After this, it was time for me to move on down to the Pumpkin Festival and get my brew on!
Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, 2011
Every year, Ludwigsburg puts up a spectacular display of pumpkins in the palace’s ground. In the year that I attended the festival, the theme was dinosaurs. There were dinosaurs made of pumpkins all over the palace grounds.
A couple of hundred-thousand pumpkins are brought in from all over for the occasion. And of course, keeping with the theme there were pumpkin snacks and souvenirs everywhere to be found. I’m not a big fan of pumpkiny-food-stuff, so I just stuck to eating wieners and drinking beer. When in Germany…
As the sun began to set on the day, volunteers came around to light the tea-light candles placed on the grounds. But their efforts were to soon go in vain as moments later it began to rain. Fortunately, the rain didn’t ruin anybody’s mood as it only last 5 minutes. And as it ended and the clouds cleared up, a perfect rainbow graced the occasion. The volunteers came back around, lit the candles and the show carried on.
A rock band took to the stage and suddenly it felt like a concert more than a pumpkin festival. The music continued into the evening and only paused for the fireworks display, which lasted a while and was synchronized to the tune of Moby’s James Bond theme.
By the end of the day, I didn’t want to leave Ludwigsburg. I came here to visit a palace and a fairytale garden (which is no fairytale castle like this one), and ended up having one of the most fun days while living in Germany!