My train arrived in Lake Constance around midday and with only an afternoon to spare, I quickly scanned the list of options for places to visit. There were a myriad of things to do, including a spa called Bodensee-Therme; a boat trip on the lake to see the Old Castle of Meersburg and the Museum of Lake Dwellings; or an iTour of Constance with stories told through headphones.
What really peaked my interest, however, was a magical-sounding place called ‘Flower Island’ (Insel Mainau).
I had no idea what to expect from this island, but I know this; I like flowers, and I like gardens.
After a delicious lunch at Eugens Bio Cafe, my friend Adam and I caught the No.4 bus from right outside the station and made our way to Mainau.
The island certainly didn’t disappoint- there were flowers everywhere. We’re talking big sculpted bushes in the shapes of peacocks and ducks, plus huge flower beds with all the colours of the rainbow. Established by a Swedish Prince called Count Lennart Bernadotte in 1932, Mainau is now managed by his children and it really is a floral paradise.
It’s not all about flowers on Mainau Island though- there’s also a butterfly house where you can see all sorts of butterflies fluttering around. (On a side note I love the German word for butterfly- ‘schmetterling’. What a great word that one is.)
The butterfly house sounded cool but I soon turned into a big scaredy-cat when there were butterflies fluttering at me from every angle. I have a feeling that butterflies don’t really have a great sense of direction because they seem to bump into things a lot. I was worried I might accidentally kill one, swallow one, or end up with a butterfly tangled in my hair.
As I was admiring some pretty blue butterflies feeding off some fruit in a terracotta dish, I heard Adam say; “Victoria, is there a butterfly on my head?”
Why yes Adam, there is. The butterfly sat on his head like it was a park bench. I took a few photos of it before Adam got a bit tired of having a butterfly on his head and decided to brush it off.
We saw ponies, we saw goats, and then we wandered a little more until we found a tree full of ‘Dreams’; pink ribbons that you can write your wishes on and hang from the branches.
The best and strangest thing I saw on Flower Island, however, was a bed suspended in a tree. I have no idea why it is there, who put it there, or what on earth it is in aid of. Some strange art installation perhaps?
Actually I lied. The best thing I saw on Flower Island, was this cute doggie!