Island of Mainau and Taking the Long Way Around

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hans & Diane Rommel's House

Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Monday, June 20, 2011

This day we planned to go to a castle in Meersburg that Diane told us about and an island called Mainau that James' mom and dad had told us to go to. We caught a train just before lunch and then ended up getting a little confused on our transfer as Meersburg isn't actually a town on the train line, you have to get off and get a bus to it. We figured out what we needed to do after being on the next train for a couple minutes from the map available but the train must have been an express one because it didn't make stops at the stations we needed to get off on to catch the bus, oops. We ended up changing our plans to go to Mainau first as now we were on our way the long way around to the island.

Once finally on the island James started to not feel well with a very sore throat and said it was a bit hard to breath, oh great! He did the best he could though and we did manage to walk all around the gradens on this park-like island. The entrance fee to the island was a lot more than we had expected but it came highly recommended from Karen and Bill and we took their word for it. The thing is though that they had described the island as being filled with palm trees and sub tropical plants, like it was picked up out of the carribean and planted right in the middle of Lake Constance in Germany; we looked and looked and all we saw were roses and geraniums and other very common plants, weird. There was a butterfly garden though and that was pretty cool, except for the two hundred people in there crowded around every turn.

When we were almost finished touring the garden island we were still wondering where the palm trees and other exotic plants were; then we went into a very tall greenhouse sort of building and found them! We had to laugh because we've got to be honest, we were expecting a lot more. There were two huge palm trees, a couple orange trees and a bunch of ferns in this very tall but still rather small greenhouse. After a little bit of thinking the conclusion we came to about Karen and Bill's description of the whole island being like this is that they are from the middle of Alberta (where the most tropical plant we see are the random orchids in people's houses) and they haven't travelled much and so of course seeing a few palm trees would be just would have been for us too, had we not just spent half a year in tropical climate with palm trees almost everywhere you look! Haha. We did appreciate their recommendation as the gardens on the island were still very beautiful but yes we had to laugh at how amazed people can be at the unfamiliar and also how quickly that amazement can be worn away.

Once we finished on the island it was after 4pm and James was pretty much spent for the day. For some reason though we still had Meersburg in our heads and so we got in line for the ferry to Meersburg (rather than one to a town which actually had the train running through it, stupid mistake). When we go to Meersburg we walked around a bit and by the castle but there wasn't enough time to actually take it in before it closed and so we went to the info centre to get directions for the bus in order to catch the train. Well our bus ended up getting caught in traffic and we showed up at the train station 3 minutes after our train left and had to wait 50 minutes for the next one, ugggh. We finally made it back to Nonnenhorn though and were very happy to get lasagna for supper that Diane had prepared earlier that day, yum!!
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