Just so you know, there’s crazy. And then there’s crazy. I ain’t judgin’, by no stretch of the imagination — but the people who can jump into frozen water, like they do in the town of Barby, are plain old nuts. ;-)
Actually, they’re not crazy — I’m only playing around. Anyone willing to take a Polar Bear Swim gets my respect.
If you’re willing to do it, it takes place in January at the Seepark Barby. The rest of the winter this warterpark is closed, but during the summer it’s jam packed with people looking to take a (warmer) plunge or get in on a game of beach volleyball.
Barby — Top Areas Of Interest
Water seems to be a recurring theme here in Barby. The Blaues Band (Blue Ribbon) that Barby is proud member of in Saxony-Anhalt was designed to promote Water Tourism (do you believe these dollar-fifty words?) on the Elbe and Saale rivers (and tributaries).
Whatever you wanna call it, it doesn’t change the fact that you can rent a boat, all in the name of enjoying the Saale, the Elbe, or Taube Rivers.
Well, sort of the Saale, since Barby is where it empties into the Elbe.
Don’t want to captain your own vessel? No worries, there are two ferry sightseeing boats that’ll take you around.
That’s not even mentioning the two scenic routes that run along the way, like the Elberadweg and the Saale Cycle Route.
Barby also lies within the UNESCO Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve, filled with all sorts of local wildlife — including birds of prey in a picturesque river landscape.
Barby is more than just its natural landscape. It has a historical side, too. By visiting the St. John’s Church (a former Franciscan Monastery Church from the 1260s), the Chapel of St. Georgii, or the 14th century St. Mary’s Church (it’s Gothic, BTW) can attest to that.
Who knew what was to become of Otto I’s town of Barby that he created in 961 A.D.? I don’t really think he gave a thought to swimming with the icicles — but I’d like to think he’d give it a shot. Even if the idea is crazy. ;-)