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September 20 & 21, 2022

We spent a leisurely day cruising Lake Konstanz (Constance) on a ferry. The air was cool and fresh. Our object today was to visit an island on Lake Konstanz, known as the “Flower Island”—Mainau. For those who have visited Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada, Mainau is just as beautiful. Surrounded by the lake, the 144 acre garden is known for its 200 species of trees, many of which are not native, such as sequouia and redwood and palms of various kinds. The giant sequouia was planted in 1875 and is already over 146 feet tall. Because of the nearby Alps and the water surround, Mainau is a microclimate that does not freeze, thus the plantings flourish year round. The numerous walk paths meander through plantings of various kinds—all beautiful!  Throughout the year, various plants are the stars of the show. While we were here, over 12,000 dahlias in a multitude of colors were in full bloom—astounding! I specifically appreciated the groupings of various plants of the same color or bloom. There was an inventive use of grasses from around the world throughout the island. Fountains splashed around every corner. Kathy’s bucket list is gardens, and today she believed she was very blessed. 

In the evening, we ate at a great Lindau restaurant near our hotel. Truly, all ten of us raved over our meals—r.a.v.e.d! The potato salad with thinly sliced cucumber was a standout. We decided that every restaurant to follow has a very high standard to match. 

Interestingly, the Paluch’s and our hotel room lights on the second floor were not working when we returned. It was late in the night and the attendant could do nothing to alleviate the issue. The hotel was full, and no extra rooms were available. We decided it was night and with flashlights we would survive. The water in the room worked just fine, thankfully. By morning, the lights returned and the hotel compted our breakfasts (for all five rooms), which, by the way, were excellent. Bottom line, we were not really inconvenienced. 

We continued our journey to Innsbruck, Austria, via the Arlsburg train line. This particular train journey is considered the most beautiful in Austria as it goes through the heart of the Tyrollean Alps. We relished the beautiful sights of snow-capped mountains and deep green valleys . Church steeples sometimes stood out on high hills.

Innsbruck, with high snow-covered peaks all around, is an awesome place. The baroque architectural style predominates and it is quite pleasing. We enjoyed our day sightseeing. The court chapel of Emperor Maximillian I (of the Hapsburg dynasty) was wonderful. It is considered the most beautiful burial site in Europe. It took artisans a century to complete the intricate work. Surrounding the cenotaph of the Emperor are 28 huge cast bronze statues of the forefathers of the emperor, which include many famous names in history. Next, we went to a baroque hospital chapel dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Not only was the church beautiful, so was the pipe organ music that began to play while we were there. It was another glorious day!