It’s a quiet May morning, the sun barely rising above the horizon, and I find myself totally enamored by the spa town of Bad Bibra. Excuse me, Bad Bibra is actually part of the Verbandsgemeinde An der Finne — a collective municipality of two handfuls of small villages within the Saale-Unstrut-Triasland Nature Park.
Bad Bibra is a spa town that’s fantastic for not only its spa facilities, but also its outstanding natural scenery. And this time of year is perfect to see all the wild orchids that grow within the Nature Park. You don’t need to have a green thumb to appreciate these flowers’ beauty, and guided hikes are available to understand more about them.
Another way to enjoy the great outdoors would be at one of its Kneipp areas. There’s something to be said for walking around in the refreshing water. And if you’ve never done it before just remember to wash your feet before stepping in, OK?
Your feet might need some relief, because you can be on them quite a bit if you want to experience even more around here. I doubt you’ll want to miss seeing the Eckartsburg, a partially ruined castle with walls 2.5 meters thick and a 22-meter high tower.
There are a few other castles around here — like the 15th century Schloss Steinburg that’s been used for everything from a dormitory to a camp. And Schloss Bucha is a pretty Baroque castle with its own Baroque garden.
Castle lover that I am, it was a village church that caught my attention this time. There’s something magical in the weathered Dorfkirche in the village of Altenroda. Maybe it was the low light from an overcast sky, perhaps it’s the old stones?
Don’t know the answer, and that’s not to take anything from the beauty of Golzen’s old church; nor the one in the village of Thalwinkel either.
Wait, can I change my mind about my favorite church? Well, I have the power of the keyboard, so I guess I can. The Mary Magdalene Church (a Stiftskirche) is a medieval marvel of dark stone from the 12th century. Hmm, quite historical and pretty. ;-)
While some of you nice readers might not think old buildings are pretty, so maybe you’ll love one of Bad Bibra’s hiking trails. Each are color-coded — so let me know if you like the Memleben Archaeological Trail or the Finn Hiking Trail, or one of the others that you prefer.
Add in the handful of cycling routes (Saale-Radwanderweg, Unstrut Cycle Route, Finne Cycle Route, and Goethe Radweg), you’ll find yourself wondering which to travel first.
If there’s a question about which one to follow, go see the nice people at the Tourist Office (located at the Haus des Gastes at Bürgerstraße 1). They’ll love to help you learn lots more about their town.
Just as I’m sure they’ll tell you all about Bad Bibra’s cultural events — such as the Finnelauf in May, or the Fairytale Parade that coincides with the annual Christmas Market.
They will also let you in on the Balison, the summer outdoor swimming pool with various facilities (including a 94-meter long waterslide). An entire day of fun for the whole family. :-)
Please, I’m beginning to wonder when the Health Fountain and Bathhouse were constructed. In the 17th century they had an inkling that Bad Bibra was going to be this wonderful. It’s understandable that whirlpools and saunas and other spa activities are needed after seeing and doing all this.
Why do you think I’m up so early this morning, all the more time to enjoy the rest of Bad Bibra.