Sat in the caravan, no plans today until The Boss looked up from his iPad and asked “What day is it?” We genuinely have lost track, and, “What time is it?” upon establishing it was Wednesday lunchtime he replied “Quick, let’s get some food down us now, we need to be somewhere by 2.30pm.”
It turns out that Kassel, only 30 minutes from our Naumburg caravan park, has an outstanding Hill-Park (Bergpark) of epic proportions. We parked at the top car park nearest to the Herkules statue at the very top of the hill. €7 paid for parking and access to the shuttle-bus back up the hill for two people. It was money well spent on both counts. Access to the park is totally free.
Still not knowing what to expect we rounded the Octagon/Herkules Monument to be both mesmerised and gutted at the same time. The view of the park and the City of Kassel beyond is staggering from this lofty position 350 metres above the Wilhelmshöhe Palace in the park below. Gutted? It seems the first part of the incredible show to follow is still under considerable maintenance and is postponed until mid June 2017.
From May to early October, every Wednesday, Sunday and Public Holiday at 2.30pm 750,000 Litres of water are released from the Octagon/Herkules Monument to cascade down a long series of ornate platforms before continuing down through eight miles of watercourse that includes a further four spectacular water features, which today are open for us to enjoy. You walk from feature to feature just in time as the water reaches each one at a specified time culminating in a 50 metre Geyser/Fountain at the bottom.
Steinhöfer Waterfall : 3.05pm
Devil’s Bridge : 3.20pm
Aquaduct : 3.30pm
Grand Fountain : 3.45pm
The whole park was designated a World Heritage Site in 2013. From the late 17th Century it was the summer residence of The Landgraves and later The Kings of Prussia and German Emperors. In effect, the whole park is a grand ‘Folly’ and a spectacular, beautiful one at that.
Be aware that this park involves a 350 metre walking descent so you do need to be good on your feet, didn’t seem an issue for the hundreds of 60/70+ year old people around us today. Once we reached the bottom we followed the masses further downhill hoping they would lead us to a bus stop, that we hoped would be free, we really need to improve our German. We were in luck, a big ‘H’ bus stop loomed into view and some attempted German conversation with a local confirmed we would not be walking all the way back. The Boss sighed in relief, as did his ears.