Although I’m a girl who loves coffee shops, department stores and the bustle of a good size town or city, I also need an outdoor fix sometimes. There is just something about being in the forests and mountains that appeals to me, soothes me. So, I consider myself very lucky indeed to live just a hop away from beautiful Winterberg.
Winterberg isn’t a place I’d heard of, prior to our move to Germany. Located in the Sauerland region and nestled in the Rothaar mountains, the area is a major winter sports resort. The Germans and Dutch have caught on to what a gem of a place this is, the Brits not so much. Maybe that’s part of its appeal (says the British girl, tongue firmly in cheek.) The geography makes this area brilliant for winter sports, hiking, mountain biking and has also lent itself brilliantly to one of my favourite family attractions, Panorama Erlebnis Brucke or the panorama bridge.
At twenty metres high and around four hundred in length, the bridge invites you to experience, Sport und Action aus der Vogelperspektive, the bird’s eye view. Looking out from the bridge you’ll certainly get some amazing views, even on a dull or rainy day. And it’s not just the scenery, lovely as that is. From the bridge you’ll have a great view of the bike park and the mountain bikers hurtling down the biketrack at devil-may-care speeds. Our five-year old was equally as fascinated watching them come back up on a ski lift adapted to carry both bikes and bikers.
The bridge also makes a great vantage point to look down onto the forest, and from above its fairly easy to spot deer. There’s something charming about catching sight of one…..but if you do spot one, look twice. There are many – convincing-wooden cut outs dotted about the trees. If it moves, you know you’ve spotted the real deal!
Along the length of the bridge you’ll encounter obstacles to test your strength and nerve. I guess these are primarily aimed at younger visitors, but also for the young at heart. My husband gave them his best effort encouraged by our youngest to, ‘get yourself in there, Dad!’.
Given that these obstacles include a net bridge over the top of the walk, a line of swinging steps and a metal tunnel that runs across and under the bridge, they take more nerve (and flexibility) than you might initially think…..all good fun though, and you can skip them and just enjoy an elevated stroll if you’d rather.
What goes up, must come down. The quickest and dare I say most fun route off a twenty metre high bridge? Giant tube slide, of course. The bridge ends with a forty metre long, twisting tube. There are stairs as well if the slide doesn’t appeal. If you have the energy you can re-climb the aforementioned stairs and slide down again….and again….and again.
If all the fresh air, view admiring, obstacle tackling, climbing and sliding leaves you in need of refreshment ( or if, like me, you just think it’s always a good time for coffee and cake) you will find a charming café at the entrance to the bridge, filled with wooden furniture and charming Alpine touches like the carved boots and bag that meet you at the door. It makes for a lovely way to round off a visit to the bridge. Or venture into Winterberg itself, where you’ll find no shortage of places to eat and drink.
We plan to return to Winterberg soon when the ski season is upon us, I look forward to bringing you a blog post about that. It’s a place that has so much to offer.
Until next time,