Wiesloch made history in 1888, when Bertha Benz was out driving her newly invented car for the first time and stopped for a petrol fill up at the city pharmacy… which became the first gas station in the world. Though the pharmacist was initially skeptical about selling gas to such a loud machine, he filled her up and sent up on her way.
A signpost marks the spot in front of the still-standing pharmacy, which now serves as the starting point for the Bertha Benz Classic Car rally, held bi-annually on the first weekend in August.
Loud shiny cars aren’t the only draw in Wiesloch, although the machines that show up for the Classic Car rally are impressively maintained.
The town also boasts a large pedestrian zone (some people just don’t like cars!) where you can relax and walk around the historic zone. The old stone walls of the town are still standing, and the cobble streets and cafes make for a good afternoon’s adventure exploring and eating.
And drinking. Don’t forget to support Wiesloch’s local vineyards. Many locals have a small vineyard of their own, and the local vintages are fruity and rich in flavor. Ask for recommendations and get a bottle or two before heading over to the Wiesloch bookshelf to pick up something to read while you picnic and enjoy your wine.
The bookshelf is just opposite the town hall, and was set up as a free take or swap community shelf where citizens could share books they’d enjoyed with each other and visitors.
You’ll be spoiled for choice both for books and for a good picnic spot here to sit and read it. There are five streams that flow through the area, and each on has a trail and park zone associated with it.
Settle out in the sun and enjoy your wine, and then be thankful that there is such a large no-cars zone in Wiesloch to save you as you stumble back for a nice evening people watching at the town square.