To the northwest of the cities of Kreuztal and Siegen, in a neighboring area called Sauerland, there is one of the natural pearls of these places - Lake Bigesee.
German sketches. Part I
Part II Biggesee Lake and its surroundings
To the north-west of the cities of Kreuztal and Siegen (I talked about them in the first part of the report), in a neighboring area called Sauerland, there is one of the natural pearls of these places - Lake Bigesee.
In essence, Bigeseee, in my opinion, is more of a reservoir than a lake, since it is located in several-dammed dams with a very long intermontane valley stretching from north to south. The banks of the Bigesee are a favorite vacation spot not only for the local population. In summer, a lot of tourists from neighboring Holland come here.
At the southern end of the lake is the city of Olpe. On its outskirts, right on the shore of the lake, a recreational aquacomplex was built, where many different pools and saunas await vacationers. For lovers of thrills there is a water slide ("black pipe").
Bigesee Lake near Olpe
Near the aquacomplex there is a mini-golf course.
Mini golf course near Bigesee lake
and something like a small park.
Bigesee Lake Park
One day, having arrived in Olpe and fully enjoying all the delights of relaxation in the aquacomplex, we went with the whole company for a walk along the banks of the Bigesee.
At its southern end, the lake is not impressive in width and scope.
The southern tip of Lake Bigesee
Here, next to the aquacomplex, a whole flock of ducks and two swans live on the lake. Seeing people approaching the shore, the entire feathered community rushes towards in the hope of refreshments.
Duck Feeding on Bigesee Lake
As a rule, birds are not disappointed.
Feeding swans on bigese lake
Swans look especially well-fed. Their appearance makes us recall scenes from old movie tales in which such swans, skillfully prepared by court chefs, were served, as if alive, in large dishes to the royal table. Probably, swans in those ancient times in nature were found in an amount not comparable to the present. Fortunately, in our time, these truly royal birds are an adornment of nature, and not banquet tables.
Hiking trails are laid along the shore of the lake and on the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Vacationers can not only walk here, but also go in for sports on simulators installed in separate places.
For those who walk with dogs, along the walking trails there are boxes with hygienic bags for animals.
Do not litter the nature!
We have seen such a thing in the Czech Republic. But there we watched it in the center of the capital city - Prague - in front of the entrance to every city square or park. And here it extends to the countryside. With bitterness, one has to realize that our Russian level of everyday culture is still very far from the European one.
Repeating the shape of the valley that the lake fills, the Bigesee shores converge, then diverge. In several of the narrowest places, the lake is enclosed by dams that divide it into separate reservoirs.
Dam on Bigesee Lake
In some places, bridges were thrown from coast to coast.
Dam and bridge over Lake Bigesee
In some places the lake spreads quite widely.
Bigesee lake. Sauerland. North Rhine-Westphalia
In the widest place of the lake in the summer on two pleasure boats ride tourists.
Here and there, some pretty houses are visible here and there.
House on the shore of Lake Bigesee
and picturesque villages.
A village on the shore of Lake Bigesee
There are also campsites with hotels, parking lots and all the necessary tourist infrastructure.
One day, free from long trips, the female half of our company enthusiastically indulged in shopping in Siegen, and Erich and I went on a tour of other attractions located in the vicinity of Bigesee.
Attendorn is located near the northern tip of the lake. It is famous for the fact that on its outskirts is one of the largest and most visited stalactite cave in Germany Atta. Near the city on a high mountain stands the medieval Schnellenberg castle.
I’ll make a reservation right away - all the photos of the cave and the castle were taken by me from the Internet. The fact is that on this trip I forgot to take a camera with me. And, by the way, photography inside the cave is prohibited.
The stalactite cave Atta was discovered relatively recently - in 1907. The total length of its moves is 6670 meters, but only 800 meters are available for inspection. All year round, a constant temperature is kept in the cave - 9 degrees above zero. The following photo shows a small waterfall near the entrance to the cave.
Waterfall near Atta Cave
Entrance to the cave is allowed only accompanied by a guide. Tours are conducted as groups are formed. Their start time is arbitrary. Despite the fact that the day was a weekday and there were few visitors, our group formed quite quickly, and we went into the bowels of the mountain.
Stalactite cave Atta
Stalactite cave Atta
Stalactite cave Atta
Stalactite cave Atta
Impressions from the visit are the most positive. In addition to the pleasure received from the inspection of the cave, the guide's benevolence was very moved. Noting that in some cases, Erich briefly in an undertone translates certain phrases to me, he asked where I came from. Then, at the end of the tour, when visitors thanked him and said goodbye, he personally said goodbye to me in Russian. As the saying goes, a trifle, but nice.
In the hall where they sell entrance tickets to the cave, you can buy various souvenirs - crystal fragments, postcards, magnets, etc. Locally produced cheese is sold there, which is matured until ready in one of the cave's premises. I purchased one piece for testing. The cheese is tasty, but ... Those who want to buy it should remember that the cheese from Atta Cave has a very strong and very specific smell. This is detected only by opening the vacuum packaging in which it is located. Therefore, those who cannot stand the odors that are not inherent in our Russian cheeses are not recommended to buy this cheese. We brought it home, to Russia, and safely ate it. Because it is really very fresh and very tasty.
After exploring the cave, Erich drove me to another interesting place. Near Attendorn stands a tall, completely forested mountain, and on this mountain stands the majestic medieval castle of Schnellenberg.
Externally, this castle has not changed since the mid-16th century, when it was last renovated. But inside ... Inside there is now a chic 4 * hotel with 42 rooms with a bar, restaurant and wellness center. In the premises of the former stables, instead of horses, there are now "steel horses" of hotel guests.
A very picturesque castle amid picturesque surroundings. On the outside of the castle there is a cascade of several small ponds, where various waterfowl live.
Throughout its history, the castle belonged to different owners, and the counts von Berg erected it in the first half of the 12th century. This feudal family was one of the most noble and powerful in Westphalia. It was Count Adolf von Berg at the Battle of Vorringen in 1288 who commanded the peasant infantry and the burgher militia of Cologne, who turned the tide of the battle in favor of the coalition opposing the archbishop of Cologne. Among the many consequences of this rather well-known battle in German history were the fact that Cologne gained independence from its archbishop (Cologne de facto became a free imperial city) and gained the city’s rights to the previously unknown settlement of Düsseldorf. But this, as they say, the aria is already from a completely different opera.
This concludes the story about the surroundings of Lake Bigesee. But I do not close the topic of the German outback. In the next part of the report I will tell you about a visit to the small and very cozy spa town of Bad Berleburg.
German sketches. Part III
German sketches. Part iv
German sketches. Part v
German sketches. Part VI
German sketches. Part VII
German sketches. Part VIII
German sketches. Part IX
German sketches. Part x
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