Without fail on a Sunday, you'll hear me ask A if we can go to the Luisenpark, a beautiful park in Mannheim with plenty to do at any time of the year. This Sunday was no different. With the sun shining and at nearly 8 degrees, there was no reason to stay inside. So why is this park so special that I'm prepared to PAY to get inside?
Just look at it!
The park itself is always in some kind of bloom; there's art EVERY WHERE and plenty of animals. This poor sleeping pig is probably one of the safest in Germany. The amount of people who ignored this porky beast in favour of staring at cows or goats, was outstanding. Apparently people just see walking schnitzel...I'm not so sure.
But it's not just your common farmyard or domestic beast here. Oh no.....where else can you see nesting storks, penguins, owls, monkeys, reptiles, butterflies AND the weirdest fish you've ever seen outside of a zoo?
And let's NOT forget the flamingos - I love these guys.
There's a Chinese tea house, healing garden, play parks galore AND a great big boating lake with some ginormous pelicans to freak people out who end up a bit too close.
It's also remarkably clean (if you discount the bird poo). Some guerrilla crafters had obviously decided to make the seats a bit warmer by knitting this handy bench cover and making some hats for the roots on some trees. You also have to applaud a park which displays the cute little chicks that you then see littering the floor of the owl cage.
But the cutest thing was this little music man and the couples doing their paired dancing. I particularly liked his version of Stevie Wonder's 'I just called..' which started with the lesser known lyrics:
"No nudist day (sic).....to celebrate....."
Needless to say folks, THAT was worth the entire 6 euro entrance fee. Absolutely priceless. Unfortunately I couldn't persuade the boyfriend to go down and showcase the supermarket dance with me, but I have been assured that ONE DAY when we are old it will perfectly acceptable to waltz around the park.
Until that day I will be happy with duck stalking, apple waffles and hot chocolate.
What makes your perfect park?