Wish You Were Here Wednesday ~ June 21, 2017

Today is the official first day of Summer, the longest day of the year. And it’s been pizza oven hot. So…it made me think I’d like to revisit a place that had a ‘cool vibe’ to it and one that I happened to have visited before.


Excuse the hair-humidity does me in.

Let’s hop on our magic carpet ride to the fabulous 111-acre botanical park known as Insel Mainau on the Bodensee, the largest lake in the German-speaking world, (aka Lake Constance), located on the border where Germany, Switzerland and Austria meet. Insel Mainau is known as the “Island of Flowers.” It was a lovely day with perfect conditions for taking in all the incredible sights on the island still owned by the Lennart Bernadotte family. The more than 150 year old Arboretum with its giant Sequoias welcomes you to relax and enjoy an amazing place. Mainau contains around a million tulips, Rhododendrons, roses, perennials and dahlias that bloom in clever beds throughout the gardens. Palms and citrus plants also lend a Mediterranean flair to the island in summer. 


We hung out for a short time prior to boarding our ferry in Meersburg checking out some of the sights, one of which looms high over this Baroque town. Poetess Annette von Droste-Hülshoff used the Old Castle in Meersburg from 1841 until her death in 1848. More than 30 rooms are available to tour year round but we came for the spectacular gardens and did not go through the castle.

Ferry dock at Meersburg
Bird’s eye view – Courtesy: BodenSee.de website

Accessing Mainau is done either by bridge from the town of Lindau on the southern side or by ferry from Meersburg on the northern side. My previous trip I drove through Lindau but this time we took the ferry from Meersburg. But before we begin our tour, here’s a bit of historical background. Born a Swedish prince, Lennart Bernadotte designed the former summer residence of his great-grandfather, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden, as a flower and plant paradise and made it accessible to the public. Siblings Bettina Gräfin Bernadotte and Björn Graf Bernadotte now run the foundation which manages the island and promotes conservation and protection of the environment. Rare plants, more than a million tulips, hyacinths and narcissi, a stunning collection of dahlias and 250 species of roses, highlight the gardens. The diverse collection contains over 800 varieties making this landscape interesting in all seasons. One of my favorite parts of the gardens are the massive topiaries which offer a whimsical look around the grounds.

Humans on the far left provide scale.






A gaggle of flowers!





That’s some rose tree!













With beautiful and astounding specimens of roses together with restful spots and secret places to linger, you’re sure to find something that impresses and appeals to your senses.

These cascading walkways take my breath away with their beautiful design. Every. time. I. visit.

I could have stayed here for days and even though I’ve been there twice now, I know I haven’t seen it all. Guess I just need to take another trip! Darn…twist my arm…please?

Lovely Meersburg with the Old Castle on upper left.

Come back again for another “Wish You Were Here Wednesday.” Have you ever been to Insel Mainau?

Live, love, bark! ❤︎


49 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here Wednesday ~ June 21, 2017

  1. I have not. I’m quite jealous of a co-worker though…tonight he leaves for Italy and Switzerland. Obvs, he is starting in one place, and going on to the other. 🙂

  2. Wow, would love to go there! Never heard of it before. Another place for the travel list! Those gardens are just amazing. Reminds me of a thing we went to in Montreal once – it was this huge outdoor display where they’d … I don’t even know what the word is… grown… “sculpted”… plants like that. (Can you sculpt a plant?) Some of them were HUGE. So cool.

  3. Wow, it was truly gorgeous there! I follow the European big bike races in the summer, and they always show scenes like the ones you showed.

    I had to go down 3000′ today to town and it truly was “pizza oven hot”. I hear it’s going to cool a little soon. Up here, it is in the high 70’s – and we still wilt (we’re not adapted).

  4. Beautiful pictures. When I was in Europe I was traveling Renaissance and Reformation history. So no pretty gardens for us. Unless it was a site where someone preached a sermon or executed someone. I guess I need to go back just for fun, eh?

  5. A flower and plant paradise indeed! Thank you for the lovely getaway. We’re in the midst of Tropical Storm Cindy rain bands (nothing serious, but pretty gloomy), so my human mommy really enjoyed pretending she was there with you . . . and I enjoyed thinking of what my little sister Tallulah would do if she saw those animal topiaries. I think they’d give her a little start. 🙂

    1. So happy you joined our tour! Yes, seeing such lovely landscaping is especially wondrous on a gloomy day. Stay safe and dry and let Tallulah know we’d protect her around animal topiaries. 😉

  6. WOW..how beautiful. i think i could spend a week there and it wouldn’t be enough.

    shorter days ugh!

  7. What a beautiful place for sure!! I can almost feel the spray from the water. Oh right. No it wasn’t the spray from the water. It’s still raining outside! Snorts with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon

  8. Mainau! Now that is AGES ago, when I was there. I must have been 6 or 7, when I vivited the Mainau with my parents.

  9. Lovely location and lovely photographs. It’s – conversely – the shortest day of the year here. My “Wish you were here” would be last summer when the boys and I traveled the Great Ocean Road to attend the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne. Lovely trip, lovely weather.

    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. The ebb and flow of daylight begins for both of us, and before you know it, the positions will be reversed. Here’s wishing more favorite trips are in the offing for us both!

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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