This time, while I was in Germany, I decided to visit lake Konstanz over one of the autumn weekends when the sun was still shining bright. The weather forecast was that of showers but since I had already made up my mind, so just went ahead and bought an umbrella on Saturday and proceeded with my plans for Sunday.
Everything else was fine except for one small thing – to catch the train at 4 a.m. on Sunday! Now come on, how many of us can fight off the pleasant early morning slumber? But I managed to wake up and even got ready in time!
Then all was easy. The toughest challenge was overcome.
So off I went on my way to Konstanz. The first break was at Karlsruhe, where I had to change the train. And from there, there was a direct train right upto the city of Konstanz.
Konstanz or Constance is the largest lake in Germany, with the shorelines shared by Switzerland and Austria as well.
By the time I reached the city of Konstanz, I had already had glimpses of the lake which looked more like a sea than a lake. While still in the train, I had seen yacht clubs, I had seen water birds – ducks, swans and others that I don’t know the names of.
It was an inviting sight and looked to me just like the trailer of some grand movie, which I was yet to see.
I reached the city at about 9:00 a.m. and there was still an hour to kill before I could find the doors of the tourist information office open. So I decided to fortify myself with a breakfast that would see me through the day. There was this nice eatery just next to the tourist office where I ordered one sandwich but what came infront of me was enough for a meal. It was delicious and by the time I could say I was done, it was time for the tourist office to open.
The lady at the information desk was very helpful and she quickly gave me the various options that I could explore while I was in Konstanz.
I decided to take up the bus to the Isle of Mainau. It was at about a frequency of every half an hour and as soon as I stepped out of the office, I found one waiting.
I boarded it and reached the island in about ten minutes.
Isle of Mainau is a private island which is famous for its botanical garden with trees brought in from various parts of the world – from as far as the Himalayas in the east to the United States in the west.
Above all, it is famous for the its seasonal floral gardens.
And it did not disappoint me.
Walking in those gardens under the shady, huge and more than hundreds of years old trees, I was transported into a whole new world. It was such a peaceful feeling which I am unable to describe in words. The sun was shining brightly and making everything shine in their true colors. The birds were chirping, the children playing, old couples walking hand in hand reminiscing their youth, and the young couples soaking up the sight to make beautiful memories to be taken into their old age.
Everything around me was so freshly green that for a while I had the longing to stay there forever.
There was the lake beside me with so many birds on it, that till the time my eyes were wide enough to understand what it was, it appeared to be something continuous floating over the lake.
The trees had branches hanging out over the lake with swans floating close to the shore.
I walked ahead and found three beautiful shapes made out of flowers – a smiling flower, a clown and a peacock.
There was a herb garden in between with patches for each herb and information on each of them.
So walking, I reached the place called Dahlia Hill. Till then I had not seen any flowers for which the place is famous, but upon reaching there, my eyes were wide with wonder.
There were so many different kinds of Dahlias that I had never seen before.
It was a beautiful sight and I feasted my eyes on that.
The colors were vibrant, the hues unmatched and the butterflies were having a feast. Though interestingly, it was not all of them that the butterflies were hovering over. There were a few varieties only, on which I could see them.
After having completed my tour of the dahlia hill, I decided to proceed further to the other points marked on the map of the island. I reached a rose garden and that was after quite a tiring uphill path.
From the top of that hill (where the rose garden and a castle were there), I saw a boat approaching towards the island.
Seeing that, I decided to end my journey of the Isle of Mainau (having seen the most of the island as per the map), by taking the boat-tour back to the city of Konstanz. So I rushed downhill and reached just in time to buy the ticket and board the ship.
But then it was informed that there would be another boat which would be going to Konstanz and not the one which I had seen coming towards the island. So there was a waiting time of about half an hour, which I spent nibbling some chips that I had with me.
But I was quite tired having been awake since about 3 a.m. So I was very happy to board the boat and sit lazily on one of the chairs in the open area with sun shining bright. There was so much happening around me – kids making excited noises, old couples holding hands and showing each other when they saw lovely things around, some people having coffee and in spite of all this hubbub, I could listen to the lovely sound of water splashing beneath the boat.
This boat journey took about an hour (remember- the bus journey to the island was a 10 minutes journey!!).
Upon reaching city of Konstaz, I was not too sure of what I should be doing next (having rested my feet on the boat, I was ready for some more sightseeing).What I did in the remaining part of the day would be in the next post.