Insel Mainau

Trip Start Apr 05, 2006
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Trip End Apr 17, 2006


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Friday, April 14, 2006

The weather continued to clear as we reached Insel Mainau, a small island that once was a royal residence, but now a public botanical garden. The afternoon was sunny and clear, the best weather we've had so far. Although not all the flowers had bloomed, the island is lovely - a huge variety of plants without being overwhelming. The island even had a few sequoia trees, although according to Craig small by the standard of ones in California.

Because of the holiday weekend, the island was fairly crowded. Near the entrance are several small playgrounds and a large train set, where many families lingered. All the times we've been away from Zurich, however, we have yet to encounter any Americans. We are far off the tourist path.

We toured the grounds as well as the butterfly house and the orchid greenhouse. (Rhonda took most of the flower photos in the orchid greenhouse.) On the way out we passed some small enclosures with ponies, sheep, and goats.

Late afternoon, we decided to stay in Germany and visit a public bath further away from the border. We drove down a winding road - the German countryside has rolling hills like Switzerland, but lower. This area was not at the foothills of mountains. Bad (bath) Salgau was even farther from the tourist track, only Germans. It didn't accept credit cards, so an ATM trip was necessary because the only cash we had was Swiss francs.

We visited the "textilfrei" zone (yes, a cognate, use your imagination), where I only lasted about seven minutes in the Finnish saunas. I also opted not to jump in the icy cold bath afterwards - I stayed in the lukewarm bath after Oliver, Rhonda, and Craig had the icy dip and then walked outside. We lingered by a fireplace until the bath closed at 10pm, then returned to Zurich late, where we tumbled into bed.
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