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Polluting pit mines become Germany's lake paradise


An area of East Germany long-known for open-pit mining of soft lignite coal and the pollution it produced has become Europe's largest artificial lake district and a new magnet for vacationers.

The area, about 50 miles long in the states of Saxony and Brandenburg, is only 55 miles from Dresden and an hour-and-a-half by train from Berlin. The Lusatian Lakeland, as it's being called, has 26 lakes, half of which are open to the public, with the rest to follow in the next year or so.

Each lake has a plan of its own; some will be for active water sports, others are designated for fishing, wilderness camping and other activities, including some floating rental apartments. There will be a 300 km network of bicycle paths.

The reclamation idea began under the old East German government, when one of the open pits was flooded in 1973 for recreation. After German reunification the plan picked up speed.

For a more complete report, in the Guardian (UK), click HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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