Hello dear reader, and welcome back. I’m going to start off by being completely honest and saying, there is no narrative or particular angle to this post. This is just going to be a collection of images, facts and thoughts about my recent trip to the Edersee. It’s a beautiful place and far too charming not to share, but I didn’t think a “we got there and did x,y,z” would really work for this one. If you’re sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin…
Germany doesn’t have a whole lot of coastline, but the canny Germans have more than compensated for this by making great use of the many lakes and reservoirs. Which brings me to the topic in hand, the Edersee. Located just below the historic hillside town of Waldeck on the edge of the Kellarwald forest, the Edersee is naturally beautiful, steeped in history and has blossomed into a vibrant lake resort. Winner.
A little bit of background…I’ll keep it brief, but if you’ve been around here for a while you will know I love a bit of history. Between 1908 and 1914 the Eder dam was built across the river Eder and so the Edersee was created. In WW2, the dam was bombed as part of Operation Chastise as chronicled by the 1954 film The Dambusters. The dam was rebuilt and the area is now a major centre for all manner of sports and relaxation, both in the water, on the water and out of it.
Activity on the water’s edge is centred around the shore promenade. The road is lined with holiday accommodation, snack bars, play areas, outdoor exercise equipment and, of course, the sailing club. There is also an area sectioned off for swimming, and wild swimming being something I love I was sad that I never thought to pack swim wear (and am not brave enough to go au natural, although this is acceptable in some parts of Germany) We settled instead for a bit of paddling in the surprisingly warm shallows and some stone skimming. We did move away from the swimming area to throw stones though, that would have certainly been verboten. And dangerous, given my terrible aim.
A short walk from the end of the shore promenade is the Waldeck Bergbahn, or cable car. This really is a well-kept secret. Judging by the style of the cars and the machinery pulling them up and down the hillside, it is quite an age…and a bit rickety, but that’s part of the charm. Now run and maintained as a heritage enterprise by a group of incredibly friendly and enthusiastic German chaps , it transports people, dogs and cycles between the shore and the historic town of Waldeck.
The main attraction at the top is the historic Schloss Waldeck. Dating from the 1300s , the castle is now a hotel and museum ( a stay at the hotel is on my Germany bucket list). We didn’t venture in as we preferred to explore the town with its timbered buildings and narrow lanes. I’m sure we will return to see the castle and museum though. Any excuse to ride the cable car again.
Wandering the streets we stumbled upon a tiny building that housed the old town well. The 52m deep well was once the main source of water for the townspeople. The set of cogs and wheels that operated it have been restored and must have been quite a feat of engineering at the time. Slightly ironic that the town now sits just above Germany’s third largest reservoir. Guess that would have made life easier, way back when.
We only scratched the surface of what this area has to offer but I am positive we’ll return soon. When you visit a place that is only an hours drive away and come back feeling like you’ve had a mini holiday, its worth a re-visit.
Edit to add… After visiting the Waldecker Bergbahn, I realised that it wasn’t yet listed on Trip Advisor. I applied to have it listed and, to my delight, the listing has been accepted. Find my review here.