We went with the Phairs and Sisters Romney and Stevens, whose husband were in Germany for the week on a gov't assignment.
On the grounds which are many, many acres there are a Japanese Temple and a Chinese Pagoda, which we toured.
The first picture is a monument that is at the end of a huge parking lot which faces the palace.
The grounds and the gardens are beautiful.
These shots are all from the Chinese Pagoda. The inside was several stories high and filled with beautiful statues, pottery, vases, carvings, pictures, etc. It is a lovely museum. I was able to take a few pictures inside until they told us not to use flash. So I have no pictures of the inside of the Japanese Temple (same rule).
A lovely gazebo outside the Pagoda.
Just like in China, there are lions guarding the entance to the Pagoda.
Part of our group.
This is the monument from the entrance to the parking lot, which extends (does a hairpin turn to the right )(the one pictured at the beginning of the blog.)
There are 2 identical lions at the gate to the palace.
I did not realize at first, but the gardens are all indoors in a huge, glass conservatorium. We had to walk a long ways to get to it and then we entered through one doorway about midway in. What we did not know was that once you were in, you had to continue with the entire tour which went up and down many flights of stairs, went in and out of many curving walkways, went out and toured some of the grounds, re-entered the glass house and walked and walked and walked for about 3 hours. It was huge and very beautiful. The floors between the flower beds were all grated and heated. Can you imagine how much it costs to heat this huge hothouse all winter long? Towards the end, I didn't think I would even make it. I was so tired of all that walking. I didn't know if I could take one more step. Elder Phair actually waited outside for the rest of us. He did not tour the gardens. It was too much for him.
One section reminded me of the fern forests of Hawaii. So lovely.
We saw several large lakes on the grounds. Just beautiful!
There were sections of geraniums of every kind. Other sections were filled with azaleas, begonias, snapdragons, and fuschias. One section had a large pool that had dancing flowers. These blue flowers were on sticks and waving back and forth to music. There were so many peoole that we never actually came close to them, so I don't know if they were real or artificial flowers. There was an orchid section and a pansy section. Many, many gorgeous flowers of many varieties, immaculately placed and cared for were growing in this garden.