SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
With temperatures climbing in the Eifel Region, people are looking for places to cool off near the base, like a swimming pool or a fresh-water lake near the base.
With over 20 public pools, numerous lakes and natural outdoor swimming pools, the Eifel is a real bathing paradise.
Below find only a few "cooling-off" options, that are available to Sabers and their families within 30-40 minutes driving time from the base.
For those, who prefer swimming in clear-water lakes, look for the sign,"Schwimmen erlaubt." This means that the lake is safe, and swimming is allowed.
Below find a listing of some local public pools and the Eifel's multitude of volcanic crater lakes.
Here are a few tips on what to expect at a German pool complex:
Most public pools are open now for the summer and will close again the end of September for the 2013 season.
Opening times and entry prices vary for each pool. Admission is possible up to one hour prior to official closing time, but visitors are asked to leave the water about 30 minutes prior to closing hour. German pool facilities all have showers and separate changing rooms. Some outdoor pools are closed during bad weather conditions, especially during heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.
It is okay for people to bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets into the pool complex area. Almost pools have a mid-size to larger size grassy area, winding around the pools. There are usually also some trees that one can hide under if looking for shade.. In any case, it is advisable to bring sun lotion and bottled water on hot days. A variety of refreshment beverages and food snacks, such as like French fries and Bratwurst are typically available for purchase, as well as ice cream and some sweets.
It is not a requirement to wear swim glasses or caps at German pools, but still recommended for lap swimming. It is also recommended to wear bathing shoes. Personal items should be stored in special lockers inside the building. Each visitor will have their own numbered locker with key. Sometimes it requires small Euro change to operate the locker. Pool complexes have their own parking lots for people,free of charge.
The two closest outdoor pools to the base are located in the towns of Wittlich and Bitburg.
The Wittlich Vitellius pool complex includes a swimmer's pool with eight 50-meter lanes for lap swimming, two one-meter diving boards, one three-meter diving board, one three-meter diving platform and one five- meter diving board. There is a lap swimming and non-swimmer's pool that has a 64-meter water slide, a waterfall and other water activities. The toddlers' pool has its own waterfall with cave.
Opening times at the Vitellius pool are 10 a.m-8 p.m. Mondays, 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Entry is 3,50 Euros for adults and 2 Euros for children, up to age 18.
Children, younger than age three, enter for free. Discount books with 10 and 50 tickets are available. Entry is reduced during "Happy Hour," which is 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., daily. Tennis tables and other game amusement equipment are also available, as well as an Imbiss stand for purchasing snacks and refreshments.
The address for the Wittlich pool is Himmeroderstrasse (Im Sportzentrum), 54516 Wittlich, and the telephone number is 06571-6088.
The complex can be easily reached via "the high road" to Wittlich, which is the B-50 that runs through Landscheid, Burg and Hupperath- then Wittlich. The pool is located on the left hand side before entering the town of Wittlich. Near the pool complex building, people can also find a mini golf course, a German soccer field and a running track.
Bitburg CASCADE offers both an indoor and outdoor swimming and entertainment pool complex, consisting of a 50-meter long and 25-meter wide swimmers' pool that have a 1.3 and a four-meter high diving board, a 25-meter long and 18-meter wide non-swimmer's pool and a six meter children's pool that is an extension of the indoor children's entertainment pool. The pool also has an eight-person whirlpool section.
During the summer, the indoor and outdoor pools of Bitburg CASCADE are open simultaneously. Opening times for the indoor pool are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. The outdoor pool is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Due to upcoming renovation works, the opening times will slightly change as of Aug. 22 and can be viewed via the CASCADE'S website at www.cascade-bitburg.de.
The pool is open for early morning swimming 7 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Entry is 3,10 Euros per hour for adults and 2,10 Euros for children and students up to age 18; 4,80 Euros for two hours for adults and 2,90 for children and students up to age 18; 5,90 Euros for three hours for adults and 3,50 for children and students up to age 18. Note that hourly usage of the pool is relatively expensive comparing to the all-day price.
An all-day price is 8 Euros for adults and 5,10 Euros for children and students up to age 18. Small children get in for free. The CASCADE pool has various price reductions for groups. The complex also has a sauna and offers messages. Also inquire about swim lessons and other services provided by CASCADE.
Other public swimming pools, located less than 30 minutes from the base, are in Schweich, Manderscheid and Kyllburg.
Schweich Erlebnisbad - a modern swimming and entertainment pool complex
The Schweich pool was completely renovated and just reopened July 26 this year. The complex has a swimmer's and non-swimmer's pool, several diving boards and two water slides. One of the slides is six meters long and the other one is a surface slide, allowingmore than one person to slide alongside each other. The Schweich adventure pool has an integrated whirlpool with massage nozzles, several waterfalls and a toddlers' pool. There is a large, grassy area where people can sit under the trees or enjoy the sun.
The Schweich pool is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and holidays. The pool stays open until 8 p.m. on hot summer days. Entry is three Euros for adults and 1,70 for students. The Schweich pool offers price reductions for groups and families. Just ask at the door or visit the pool's website at www.schweich.de. Look for "Schwimmbad," which stands for "Swimming Pool," and you will find information in the German language.
Manderscheid outdoor family pool
Manderscheid's touts itself as a very family- friendly pool. The pool complex offers a wide water slide, swimmers' and non-swimmers' sections, a one-meter diving board, a three-meter diving tower, a toddler's pool, a whirlpool with air massage nozzles and wellness showers. Furthermore, the Manderscheid pool complex has a volleyball play field. It's worth mentioning that this pool is heated with solar energy. The pool complex is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Entry to the pool is three Euros for adults and two Euros for children, age 4-16. To get to the Manderscheid pool, exit the main gate, turn right and follow the signs to Manderscheid. Coming from Grosslittgen, take the first right onto Cusanus Strasse as you get into town. From there, follow the signs Hauptschule and Freibad. More information can be obtained from the Manderscheid tourist information office at 06572-932665 or the area administration at 06572-921540. The Manderscheid pool complex is located on Grafenstrasse 23, 54531 Manderscheid.
The smallest out of the three mentioned pools is the Kyllburg complex. However, it is embedded into quite beautiful natural surroundings. The facility has a 57-meter long slide and three different pools, as well as a baby's pool. A terrace, sports fields and a ping-pong table are also available for pool visitors.
The Kyllburg pool is open daily 10 a.m.-7 p.m. It is located outside the town and in the forest. The address is Annenberg 2, 54655 Kyllburg. This pool will be closed during bad weather.
Admission is 3,50 Euros for adults and 1,80 Euros for children, up to age 18. Ticket books and family and season cards are available at the pool. The swim complex holds about 3,000 people.
To get to the pool, turn right at the main gate when leaving the base and follow the signs to Oberkail. From Oberkail, follow the signs to Kyllburg. Coming from Oberkail the road turns down a hill and over a bridge. Stay on this road and continue up a hill to the intersection. There will be a Kreissparkasse bank on the right. Turn left at the bank and follow the Freibad sign. Additional information can be obtained at 06563-931179.
Trier-North and Trier-South baths
Trier has two pools, the Nord and Sued pools.
Freibad Nord, located on the right-hand side on Zurmaiener Strasse leading into Trier coming from the Autobahn, is open seven days a week, 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m., depending on weather conditions. The pool is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Adults pay 3,50 Euros while children and students pay two Euros. Children up to age six get in free. Ticket books and family cards are available. Freibad Nord holds 2,000 to 3,000 people. The address is Zurmaiener Strasse 122, 54292 Trier.
Freibad Sued is the largest pool in the area, holding up to 10,000 visitors and featuring a 10-meter diving board.
It's open Monday through Friday, noon-8 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., depending on the weather. During hot summer days, the pool stays open later.
Entry fees are 3,50 Euros for adults two Euros for children and students. The pool is located in Trier-South, Feyen, which is a suburb of Trier, on the way to Konz. The address is An der Haerenwies 10, 54294 Trier.
On a hill, overseeing the Mosel River lays the Leiwen "Roman Wine Street Panorama" swimming pool. This fairly modern pool is an attraction in the area because of its unique panorama location. It's a bathing paradise for the entire family, offering a 76- meter giant slide, a children's wide slide, a water fountain and and more. The facility also has a cafe and a snack booth. Lawn chairs can be rented by visitors who wish to sit in the grassy area around the pool and enjoy the beautiful view of the Mosel valley. Admission to the Leiwen Panorama pool is three Euros for adults and 1,70 Euros for children and students. Leiwen is a small but idyllic wine town,, with small taverns that offer wine tastings and traditional Mosel food specialties.
Lakes and natural outdoor pools for swimming and enjoying
Bounded by the four rivers of Mosel, Rhein, Ahr and Sauer and located deep down in the valley, one can find the Maare or volcanic crater lakes - called the "eyes of the Eifel" by the local poet, Clara Viebig.
According to scientists, volcanic gas explosions of several hundred volcanoes pierced the Eifel Mountains for millions of years. These explosions hurled vast quantities of sand and stone out of the interior of the earth. What remained were more than 50 craters.
After the volcanic activity ceased, about 9,000 B.C., the craters filled with rain water.
Today the most beautiful lakes, located around the towns of Daun, Manderscheid and Ulmen, still contain water. They were turned into recreational areas and natural swimming pools.
For those people who are looking for the very special experience to cool off in a former volcanic crater, here is a listing:
Meerfeld Maar crater lake
In the larger crater area of Manderscheid lies the Meerfeld Maar lake, which is family-friendly families with children. At Meerfeld Maar it is possible to either swim in a sectioned off natural bathing area, enjoy boat ride or relax in the sun. Bathing season is now through September and entry is 1.50 Euro for adults or 80 Euro cents for children, up to age 16. Meerfeld Maar is located on Grafenstrasse 23 in 54531 Manderscheid.
Pulvermaar crater lake
The Pulvermaar crater, located near the town of Gillenfeld, is the largest crater of the entire Volcanic Eifel area. It is 72 meters deep and it isthe deepest natural lake in Germany, besides some of the front Alp seas and Lake Constance.
Pulvermaar offers a swimming pool in crystal clear water, with a three-meter diving board. Organizers claim you can see the bottom of the lake when it's calm. There is also a section for boating. Snacks and refreshments are available at the Maar Patio.
A few renovationsare ongoing at Putvermaar to build a slide and create more room for people to relax. However, he Pulvermaar natural swimming bath is open now between 10 a.m. and 6 or 8 p.m. daily, depending on weather conditions. Admission is three Euros for adults and 1,50 Euros for children. For more information, people can call 06573-333.
Schalkenmehrener Maar crater lake
A popular crater lake, located in the Daun volcanic crater area, is the Schalkenmehrener Maar. This lake has the size of about 21 soccer fields and attracts visitors from far and near because of its beautiful scenery. Besides swimming, it is possible for people to surf or sail ont this lake. Some visitors may walk around the lake and admire the rare flora and fauna.
Gemunendener Maar crater lake
Surrounded by dense beech-tree forested area lies the smallest of three volcaniclakes, the Gemuendener Maar.. For brave swimmers, this natural pool area allows for people to jump of a 7.5 meter high diving board into the nice cool water. The lake has a sectioned off non-swimmers area and invites for relaxing in a beach chair. Bathing cost is three Euros for adults and 1.50 Euros for children, up to age 16.
For people who are interested in the volcanic craters and volcanic activity in the Eifel area, there are several museums in the Daun and Manderscheid areas that nicely describe it all.
Have fun, be safe and stay cool!