Bonio's trip to Hanau
We had spotted a bierbörse taking place here and seemed a great opportunity to try some local beers. Not disappointed!
OK keen eyed ones will notice Mrs B with an Augustiner beer from Munich, they were there too and she insisited on an Edelstoff, who am I to argue.
2 Hanauer Bierbörse 2006 is August 18 - 20.
The Park of Wilhelmsbad
On the second day, we woke up early and watched the planes flying into and out of Frankfurt airport. They were flying really low over the city. When the birds fly low this usually means bad weather and we prepared for rain. Nevertheless it stayed sunny.
"The Caste Ruin"
After breakfast we bought a day ticket and hopped on the next bus to Wilhelmsbad to see the park. A Prince of Hesse had a palace built as his summer home in the late 18th century. The surrounding park is one of those landscape gardens in English style that contain a number of fancy little buildings.
Wilhelmsbad is much smaller than Schwetzingen, which I visited a year ago. Anyway, it is interesting to see.
Arriving by bus or train, you enter the park on a foot and bike path from its southern end. The first building you see is a castle in ruins. But no, this is not the Prince's summer palace. It is simply a park building that was created with the purpose of adding some 'romantic' atmosphere to the park.
The "ruin" has never been ruined by anyone. It was planned and built as an artificial ruin from the beginning. Humans do strange things. Which wombat would dig a tunnel and make it collapse on purpose?
The castle is standing on a little island in the middle of the little lake (read: duck pond) and makes a really romantic setting indeed, even more so if you succeed in ignoring all those duck droppings on the ground.
A bit further down the lake widens and there is another, even smaller island in the middle. This island cannot be accessed on foot, only by wading the muddy water or flying.
The island has a really morbid flair. Among the trees there is a pyramid on it. The pyramid is, or is supposed to be, a memorial grave monument to some antique poet or philosopher.
"The Snail Mountain"
The Snail Mountain (Schneckenberg) is an artificial hill. A path leads to its top in a spiral line around the hill, that's why it got this name, not because of the snails that live there.
I had expected more of the view. You see mostly trees and a bit of the pond. The only sight in sight (pun intended) is the pyramid on the island.
In winter when the trees are bare you will probably also see the palace. In summer it is hidden behind all that green.
Those pretty golden flowers grow on the slopes of the hill. In the sunlight they were especially pretty.
"The Creek and Bridge"
The creek is a natural, or more or less natural, waterflow that runs through the park. It is however part of the design and has been widened to form the lake (aka duck pond).
An old stone bridge leads across the creek to the palace.
I am sitting on the stone railing of the bridge. From here we had the first view of the palace. More in the next travelogue!