Sunday, August 28, 2011

National Park "Kellerwald" and at Lake Edersee in Waldeck-Frankenberg

Castle Waldeck overlooking lake Eder, south of Kassel, Germany

This year,  tourists have more than one reason to visit  the region around lake Edersee in the most northern part of Germany`s state of Hesse.  The first reason has always been the beautiful picture book landscape around the lake:  mountains, a castle overlooking the lake (photo above) and a number of small cities like Frankenberg, Korbach, Arolsen, Bad Wildungen and Fritzlar with  many sights of great cultural and historic value.  From this year on, the second reason to go there is spectacular: a large, green beech forest, called Kellerwald, has been nominated a World natural heritage site by the UNESCO.
There are some very nice lanes for biking and hiking around the lake.  We did one which took us from the peninsula Scheidt to the lake`s dam built in 1914 as a water reservoir for regulating the river Weser and for producing electricity.

A cable car, which has been in operation for over 25 years, appeals to cyclists to have their bikes put on board for little money.  The trip goes up hill to the castle of Waldeck,  centuries ago  the residence of the count of Waldeck.  Today it hosts a four star hotel and attracts large crowds of tourists who enjoy a wonderful view across the lake and over the mountains.  

Up to the mountain of  Waldeck Castle by cable car.
There is a small footpath downhill and back to the cable car station
near the lake front.  We partly rode the bikes and partly walked, for the enjoyment of the kids who were led from one fairy tale station to the next.  At each station a scene from Grimm`s fairy tales is recalled by a picture and short text summarizing the corresponding story.

Back down at the lake front, there is still another entertaining walk
from station to station.  This time the visitor`s four senses and talents are challenged by installations and play ground like equip-ment:  they teach about sound, vision, body control, music and smell.  

Low Water Level
As I was born in the town of Korbach, only a car ride of half an hour away, I have visited the lake many times in my life.  But this time it was different.  Never before had I seen the lake`s water level so low.  The locals said that a very dry spring season had yielded little water, and what is more,  that the lake had to spend water for the river Weser as usual..  "It does a lot of damage to the tourist industry around the lake",  said Mr.Nordmeier from Niederwerbe, a man who loves his home village and country.

Vintage hand grinder; above a poem stitched  on linen: 

"Von der Hütte bis zum Throne, lebe hoch, die Kaffeebohne"
"From the cottage to the throne,
three cheers
to the coffee bean"

An old cast iron pan for making wafers at Mr. Nordmeier`s museum in Niederwerbe

 How our ancestors weaved cloth and cooked waffles
Mr. Nordmeier also invited us to a small museum of a typical household of his grandparents` generation.  There the children can learn how our ancestors used to make cloth from sheep wool, how they broke flax and wove the homespun material.  They can also learn about food and cooking.

The cast iron pan in the picture above has a recipe of egg waffles written on its top.  These waffles are easy to cook and  delicious for any bicycle friend`s coffee  break after a long ride.  Here is the translation:

 "125 gr of butter, egs, 250 gr. of flour, milk, salt, sugar, baking powder."
The recipe is from the first quarter of the past century.  Obviously, housewives then did not need any more detailed information as to the exact amounts of milk and flour or to the way of preparing the cake. 
His museum has also posters with historic photos of the Eder valley before the building of the lake`s dam from 1908 to1914, photos of the building of the dam, and of its destruction by British bombers in 1943 during World War II.

Unusual view of Eder landscape thanks to low water level
The photos of the Eder valley of the time before the dam was built impressed me most.  While some people may find it deplorable that there is not much water in the lake this year, I enjoyed the sight of a partly green valley without water because it suggested to conceive of a view that must have been typical for centuries before the lake was created.  In a way, it helped to make the landscape of a historical past come alive, especially since we could walk on and beetween some ruins that are leftovers from the former village of Berich which had to be abandoned when the lake was built almost hundred years ago.

                                On the ruins of the former village of Berich

                               Low  water level of  lake Edersee
                                           in August 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment.