Germany, Mainau – Flower Island on Bodam Lake
The blooming Mainau island is sitauted on the German part of Bodam lake. There are two possibilities how to get on the island. First ride toward Konstanz and then ride by car to the island across a short concrete bridge. You can get there on a boat which takes you to the port at Mainau. Flower smell which gets miles away from the island makes your destination easily recognizale. It gives the coastline great fresh feeling.
Mainau of 180 inhabitants covers an area of 45 hectares. 150 inhabitants work on the flower island and maintain the island's unmatched character. Over 300 people work on the island. Their diligence and thoroughness is aparent once you get on the island for a huge formation made of flowers welcomes you. I caught myself as I thought that I would shake its hand. Then I realized that I would hardly make this thing shake hands with me.
Originaly the island had "wild looks" Therewere many flowers uncontrolled in their growth. However, the Bernadottes, a Swedish noble family which has owned the island since 1853, recretated the island from wilderness to an island of vision. The family founded Mainau GmbH (Mavno, Ltd.) in order to create a flower island. They did it.
Vast tulip fields, daffodils, orchi ehibitions, rose parks, dahlias lining pathways, rhododendrons at the lower chateau, hortzenzia rock gardens, or perennial plants leaning to meet first morning sun shine. The opening hours are adjusted to the sunrise and sunset. We arrive at the main gate early in the morning. We pay admission (19 euros for adults, 11 euros for students, and 39 euros for families).
An unconventional children playground is situated here. There are wooden puzzles and monkey bars. Larger than life ducks made of clay with flower decoration and peacocks made of flowers stand nearby. The butterfly house is another big attraction. You enter the corridor shaped as butterfly wings. This gets you inside a greenhouse where grow palm trees, banana trees, coffee bushes, and you can breath humid tropic air. Tickling pulls me out from my contemplation. A huge bright-blue butterflay sits on my left shoulder. I am stunned. This wonderful experience lasts only seconds. The butterfly takes off to a green bush.
Beefy tree trunks and over 250 species of woody plants create comfy shadow when it is a hot day. There is also a zoo where oyu can even pet animals. Mostly weddings and concerts (usually jazz music) take place here. The chateau called Deutschordensschloss is a residence of a Swedish noble family. When the family resides on the island a flag is raised. Ocassionally blimps departing from Friedrichshafen appear over the island as scenic flights. Mainau is paradise for photographers, people who love nature, flowers and relax.
Text and photos: Šárka Vacková
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