Bonn Feel like getting away for the day? Here are a few places you can easily reach from Bonn. A picturesque Dutch town has a castle surrounded by a beautiful garden complex. Leisure cyclists can bike along old railroad tracks in the Bergisches Land and hikers can set out on nature trails in the Sauerland with overnight camping.
An abundance of flowers in the Arcen Castle Gardens
The Arcen Castle Gardens near Venlo in the Dutch province of Limburg opened to visitors in the middle of this week. "Back to nature," is the theme for the new season. The operators of the popular park have invested in clever new safety systems, but also in plenty of flower bulbs. "This spring, 20,000 tulips, 35,000 violets and pansies, and 1,500 mixed spring flowers were planted at our large pond alone," says park manager Rob Rambags. Children can go exploring in the renovated playground at Berggarten.
- Info: Tel. (0031-77) 47 360 10 / Website in English: https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/provinces/limburg/the-arcen-castle-gardens.htm
Nature trails in the Sauerland at the Edersee
This area is expected to open up again on June 1. At that time, overnight stays on the coveted trekking platforms should be possible again in the Trekkingpark Sauerland near Willingen. For those who want to set out on hikes lasting several days on the superb hiking trails of Diemelsteig and Uplandsteig, there are nine camping areas available where visitors sleep under the stars. Those who are more into half-day hikes can go to the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in Hesse. There, visitors will find nearly 20 routes to choose from. You can hike on your own - or take part in a guided tour with a ranger.
Bicycle tours on old railroad tracks in the Bergisches Land region
The topography of a low mountain range need not scare off leisure cyclists. In the Bergisches Land, many bike routes are rather flat, running on former railroad tracks.
The Bergische Panorama bike route (132 km), the Panorama bike route Niederbergbahn (35 km) and the Panorama bike trail Balkantrasse (51 km) connect cities and landscapes between the Sauerland and the southern Ruhr area. Quite famous is also the Wuppertal Nordbahntrasse with spectacular views over the city.
Connections to the cycle paths on the Rhine, Ruhr and Sieg from buses and trains is well-organized. A bicycle bus shuttles between some relevant stations in the Bergisches Land.
- Info: Tel. (0212) 88 16 06 999 / Website in English: https://einfach-bergisch-radeln.de/en/start-en/
Performances on the castle grounds of Genovevaburg
There is hope that the castle festival in Mayen will take place this year with protective measures in place and reduced capacity. It would begin on June 6 on the castle grounds of the Genovevaburg with a showing of "Beauty and the Beast”. Also on the schedule are plays such as "Carmen," "Der Zuckertoni," "Pension Schöller," "Art" and "Beer for Women." Performances take place almost every day. The festival, which usually attracts more than 30,000 visitors, ends on August 28 with a gala evening. The patron is German actor Mario Adorf, who grew up in Mayen.
- Info: Tel. (02651) 49 49 42; www.mayen.de
Soest boast an ancient city wall and an annual pub festival
The nearly 50,000 inhabitants of the Westphalian district town say "Soost" instead of “Soest”. And there are some good reasons to pay the Hanseatic city a visit. This is also the opinion of the municipal marketing company which tries to lure visitors with the motto "You can only find it in Soest”.
600 buildings in the city center are under monument protection orders. The city wall, built in 1180, is still preserved in large parts, and today there is a beautiful 2.5 kilometer walkway along the wall under shady trees. The silhouette of the church and defense towers made of green sandstone make for a lasting impression. 40 information displays show you the way when you make your journey through the city of Soest. Cafés and restaurants are there to welcome you if a stop is needed along the way. Soest is also known for its annual pub festival - and for Europe's largest old town fair on All Saints' Day.
If all goes according to plan, you will be able to book the city tour "Churches, Art and Pubs" for June 13. Or on June 27, the guided tour of proverbs "Von Schlitzohren und Aufschneidern.
- Info: Tel. (02921) 103 60 10; www.wms-soest.de
(Orig. text: Heinz Dietl / Translation: ck)