May 14, 2019 Mainau GE

Woke to blue skies, so morale is up for the day.  We decided to spend another day here to further explore the area.  As we walked into town we decided to head over to Mainau Island to explore what is called the Flower Island.  

We had not done any research, but knew we had to take a ferry there.  The ferry was a little expensive, but the shock was the lady who sold us the tickets said there was a €20 charge to get onto the island once we landed that we should buy on the boat ride over.  At this point we were committed so on the ride we were feeling a little guilty about the cost, questioning our decision, and vowing to do more research next time.

Meersburg from the ferry as we were leaving.  The castle is in the upper left.

When we began the walk it became clear that the decision was a good one.  The island which is 110 acres is a giant botanical garden that is really well done.  The island is owned by a Duke and Duchess and was originally a Grand Dukes residence.  There is a strong Swedish royal connection, and the Swedish flag flies conspicuously on the residence.  

A really cute topiary that greets you when you enter the island celebrating the flower island theme.

During different times of the year they feature different flowers and for April and early May it was Tulips.  The flower gardens featured over a thousand varieties of Tulips interspersed with other flowers.  

Some of the tulips on display with other flowers mixed in, really well done.
Another beautiful flower patch with the Swedish tower in the background.

In addition they had a petting zoo full of cute animals, and a butterfly building with thousands of butterflies flying around that we got to walk thru. 

A Shetland Pony pony that Ton thought was really cute.
Ton’s favorite butterfly amongst the thousands in the butterfly building.
This lady was kind enough to pose for a couple of minutes while Ton and several other people took pictures of the butterfly in her hair.

Their Arboretum was full of very interesting trees most of which we could not identify, but interestingly they had about 15 or 20 Sequoias from California.  Beside the tulips there were other flower gardens including poppies, and rhododendrons.

A giant sequoia that had been moved from California at some point.
Ton loves poppies.

While we may not have known what we were getting into when we got on the ferry there was no doubt that it was a great decision.  Mainau is by far the best botanical garden we have visited in the world. What we thought would be a quick couple of hour visit turned into a whole day on the island.

The Alps towering over Lake Constance.

We ended the day by visiting the most famous winery in Meersburg Staatsweingut.  We tried a couple of their whites, a red and a rose that was labeled Spätburgunder we liked the rose and asked what grape it was made from.  After some asking around amongst the staff it turns out that Spätburgunder is German for Pinot Noir.  

Heart shaped vines outside the tasting room at Staatsweingut.

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