Sunday, 25 September 2016

Düsseldorf ~ Benrath Palace

This summer we flew to Düsseldorf from Birmingham Airport for a lovely short trip for my birthday.

On arrival at Düsseldorf Airport we bought a day's Düsseldorf Card from the ticket machine on the top floor by the SkyTrain and went downstairs to get an S-Bahn. 

The Düsseldorf Card includes use of second class public transport within zone A of Düsseldorf transport network and free entry to selected museums and tourist attractions and discounts on various others. 

You can buy the card online before you travel or at the airport in the SkyTrain terminal. I had worked out that for what we wanted to do that day we'd be saving money by buying this ticket instead of individual tickets at each place. When we arrived in Düsseldorf, we crossed the road to the Tourist Information and asked for a free copy of the Düsseldorf Card brochure.

After dropping our bags at our hotel we headed out of the centre on the 701 tram to Benrath Palace (Schloss Benrath).

When we arrived a bride and groom were having photos taken. I soon noticed they weren't the only ones. Apparently the palace charges photographers to use the grounds and because it's such a pretty place throughout the afternoon we saw a few brides and grooms having their wedding pictures taken. 

We popped into the shop to show our Düsseldorf cards and get our discount on our entry tickets and I took the opportunity to find myself a birthday card! 

We chose to go on the English tour. Find times for these here.

As with many German museums and attractions they don't open on Mondays.

If you want to go inside the palace, you need to book on a tour as you need a guide to take you round. 

The steps in front of the palace were really busy and our guide told us because it's a PokeStop! 

We entered the palace through a seemingly hidden door, which used to be a servants' entrance and put our bags into lockers and were shown through some underground rooms. 

The floors in the building are beautiful and so to keep them this way we were asked to put on Hausschuhe (slippers). These came in many sizes and fitted over our own shoes. It was very entertaining walking - I mean sliding - around the palace in them! 

I found this palace particularly interesting as the servants had a secret floor hidden from the occupants of the house so they could move around the house without disturbing them. The palace does do a hidden rooms tour where you get to see behind lots of the closed doors but you have to book this well in advance as it gets booked up weeks ahead. 

The house was really well presented and our guide was very knowledgeable with great English. 

I won't spoil the tour for you but there was a bit of a twist at the end of it in terms of some information that they give you. 

After the palace tour, we headed into the two wings on either side of the main building. One houses the Museum of European Garden Art and the other houses the Museum of Natural History. They both were empty of visitors. 

We then headed down past the gardens along a pathway towards the Rhine. The trees were so tall!

We stopped for a drink at a cafe near the river and then made our way back to the palace.
Such a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

Have you any suggestions for things to do in Düsseldorf?

Watch out for my other posts about Düsseldorf coming soon.

Rebecca x

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The flowers in our garden 2016

Wow! It's been a year to the day that we moved into our new house. I can't believe it, time has seemed to go so fast but so much has been packed into this year.

Here's a little about our not-so-new garden. 

 Adam got me a plastic greenhouse from Wilko's when we first moved into our new house back in September 2015.

I got it out of the box in the early part of 2016, assembled it, though I wasn't impressed with the cover as it ripped immediately when trying to fit it around the plastic poles. Grrr. I had to then tape it up.

In the Spring I planted giant sunflower, lavender, sweet peas, butternut squash and a few other flowers too into little pots that went in the greenhouse for months.
I can't say I particularly enjoyed going out in the cold to water them but I think in the end it was worth it.

Around about May my sweet pea shoots started to go yellow, which looking on the internet meant they had root rot. I threw a few away but couldn't bear to part from the rest as I'd spent so long looking after them by this point, so I cut off the yellow shoots as some had one yellow shoot and one green shoot. I have absolutely no idea why this happened but they grew strong. Next year, I'll put them by a frame sooner so they have more of a chance to grow taller quicker.

Here's one of my favourite flowers from the garden this year:

How have you gotten on in the garden this year?

Rebecca x