Located in the State of Hessen, in central Germany, was our destination for weekend travel during late September 2020:
We explored the northern region of Stausee (Dam reservoir) 'Edersee' on day 1 (featured in this blogpost) and the gorgeous forests of Kellerwald that lace its southern region on day 2.
If you are a biker, this place is definitely for you with its many winding forest roads. Mid-September to November is a wonderful time to visit the Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee, to enjoy the colors of Autumn. With Car is the recommended mode of travel.
Well, no one I know here in Germany seemed to know about the existence of this destination. When I returned to Germany few weeks ago, I happened to glimpse at an impressive range of mountains full of dense forest from my ICE (inter-city-express) window. On reaching my home in Braunschweig city, I checked on Google Maps what it was and asked my friends if they were interested in a weekend-trip in nature. They said a whooping ''Yes!'' :)
Researching for this trip was tough, with very scattered sources offering tit-bits of information. But I managed to form an unique itinerary that we all enjoyed. The destination being about 2.5 hours of a car-ride away from my city, our first stop would be lunch at a Restaurant offering original Thai cuisine.
1. Thai Restaurant 'Watchara's Werber Eck'
This Restaurant has a fantastic location: placed directly at the northernmost branch of lake Edersee, where the inflows ''Werbe'' and ''Reiherbach'' confluence.
Here, you are a hundred meters away from the local tourist attraction: 'Kirchturm' (church tower) at Nieder Werbe (a part of the city of Waldeck), that protrudes from the lake. It was constructed in memory of a church that was demolished in 1912, to make space for the reservoir of Edersee dam. So, our trip started with an al fresco dining experience, in lush green surroundings, accompanied by a huge portion of yummy rice noodles with prawns and some generous amounts of sunshine :)
2. Maize Labyrinth
We love to play games and are mostly up for any activity. The Maize Labyrinth, was just a 5 minute drive away from Watchara's restaurant. They have a huge play-park for kids. A friendly competition about who finds the maze exit first, turned to be a fun activity for the hot noon even for us adults :)
Our next stop was close by, at the beach on half island 'Scheid'. On reaching we were disappointed to find the the lake there bone dry :(
The Edersee Dam has a capacity to hold 200 million cubic meters of water. If you look at the map below, the left half had zero water in it.
A tad little distraught, we thought of exploring the region at the foothills of the Castle of Waldeck, 20 minutes of a drive away. Maybe there would be a beach?
On our first day, we only wanted to checkout the northern region of lake Edersee. It's southern region is laced with the forests of Kellerwald. Which would be visited on the second day (For Blogpost click here). Here is our itinerary for day 1:
3. Beach at Foothills of Waldeck Castle
It was a long walk from the parking place to the water, as there was over a 30 meter drop in the level of water of the Edersee dam. In fact, google maps was showing us underwater ;) But we were quite glad to experience the bed of the lake without scuba gear :) :)
4. Schloss Waldeck (Castle of Waldeck)
Is an 11th century fortress, that belonged to the counts of Waldeck. So, if you are used to visiting palaces belonging to kings and queens, expect something way more sleek and minimalist, in terms of what a Castle-Tour is concerned. The castle's vast terrace offers a beautiful view over the valley of lake Edersee and the mountain ranges of Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee. There is also a ropeway (operates till little past 6pm), if it appeals to you, that will take you to the castle.
And yes, if 'Castle' is your thing, you will surely enjoy my exploration of the Castle of Wernigerode, located in the Harz Mountains, in the state of lower Saxony. It is a huge one :)
Burg-Blick (Castle-View) Platform
Before you wonder, I am only numbering the different locations (not activities), so that you can easily refer them on the map above.
We had some time to kill, before returning to the Castle-terrace to watch the sunset over the mountains. So, we decided on an alternative plan.
A 5 minute walk away from the castle is this much recommendable Viewing-Platform, with beautiful views of the Waldeck Castle and the valley of lake Edersee.
At Eiscafe San Remo
Walking through the city of of Waldeck seemed like the plausible next step. Just as we reached the city crossing, we (the foodie buddies;)) longed for a late afternoon indulgence. So we walked into the next possible Eiscafe (Ice-cream Parlor/Cafe) and were positively surprised at the super tasty, huge portions of delicacies and that too at great price-value.
Sunset from Waldeck Castle
Now, what better way to experience a gorgeous sunset, than from top of a mountain?
5. Edersee Staumauer (Dam Wall)
Our day was gorgeous. But the night was an absolute highlight. Just as we walked to the dam wall from the car-parking, it felt like there was something in the air. We were here specially after sunset to see the wall lit up and it was an utmost splendid sight. The wall also changes colors. The lights stay on till almost 1.30 am!!! Walking on the wall to the other end will stay a memorable experience, amidst the bluish lit valley and starry skies at the Edersee dam.
We would now head to Wolfhagen (to our hotel), a beautiful little city about a 40 minute drive from the dam wall. That was the nearest possible last minute accommodation available for our group.
Day 2 of our Weekend Travel would be spent hiking in the southern region of the Lake Edersee, in Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee. Little did we know, that it would out to be a 'photographer's paradise' with a mesmerizing autumn landscape and locations much more beautiful and interesting than we expected.
To know more about the hows and wows of our remaining trip, please wait for about a week or two till my next Blogpost :) In footer below, you can click to add RSS feed or like my FB page to receive immediate notifications, of new posts and travel pics.