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Short getaways: Five places worth visiting on the weekend

Short getaways : Five places worth visiting on the weekend

Are you looking for somewhere to go on the weekend? There's a new climbing path on the Müngsten Bridge in Solingen, on the Moselle you can take a tour in a Volkswagen “Bulli” van, and the Ahr Valley shows what's possible there again in terms of tourism.

Bergisches Land: Climbing the Müngsten Bridge

934,456 rivets hold 5,000 tons of steel in place. For 124 years, the Müngsten Bridge has hovered seemingly weightlessly above the Wupper River. But which rivet was the last to be pounded on March 22, 1897? Legend has it that it was made of pure gold, but no treasure hunter has ever found it. In the past three months, 5,000 new thrill seekers have been tallied on the bridge, but these people were not looking for gold, they were looking for action.

The Müngsten Bridge is Germany's highest railroad bridge. At a height of 107 meters, diesel railcars shuttle between Solingen, Remscheid and Wuppertal. Fifteen years ago, a popular recreation area was created beneath the structure. There, in the bridge park, Wuppertal event managers Søren Walla and Gottfried Engendahl had an epiphany while looking up: a bridge walkway modeled on the world-famous Harbour Bridge in Sydney, that would be the thing! "We traveled immediately to Sydney and took a look behind the scenes," says Engendahl.

On August 1, 2021, the Bergische bridgewalk was opened, and Engendahl finds the response to be “overwhelming"so far. A guided tour lasts two and a half hours. Ticket price: 79 euros. Climbing harnesses are put on, then there's a briefing. Concentration is called for as the climb goes over one of the accessible arched stairways to the finale with a group photo at 100 meters. There is a winter break in January and February, and the 125th birthday of the structure will be celebrated in March.

More information: Tel.: 0202 69 520 680; www.brueckensteig.de

Ahrtal: What is possible again in terms of tourism?

Golden autumn at the Ahr? Yes, now more than ever. "Support us with your visit! We need you!", it says on the website of the Ahr tourism association. "Numerous hiking trails are undamaged," says tourism spokeswoman Dorothee Dickmanns. "We check the routes regularly." The red wine hiking trail is also passable, she said. Many vintners have set up their stands along the routes, she said. "Visitors don't have to feel like they're disturbing anyone," Dickmanns adds. Under the heading “Für Sie da” (“There for you”), the association has listed all activities that are currently possible again. Yoga and forest bathing (yes, that is a thing) included.

More information: Tel. 02641 91 710; www.ahrtal.de/fuer-sie-da

Eifel: Guided tour through Mayen

If you want to explore the town of Mayen at your leisure, either take a walk around on your own or book a guided tour of the town, which is led by private individuals and takes place on request. The tour (in German) with the day laborer Layer Jupp is a popular one as he talks about a hard day of work in the quarries. Cost: 2 euros. An outdoor market in the city center takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 am to 3 pm. You will also find many hiking (wandern) and biking (Radfahren) routes in Mayen which can be found here: https://www.mayen.de/kultur-tourismus/aktivurlaub-in-mayen/

More information: Tel. 02651 90 30 04; www.mayenzeit.de

Taunus: Hiking in the Taunus Nature Park

In the densely wooded Taunus, especially around the Großer Feldberg, you can do some good hiking and enjoy a great view. Not every nature lover is aware that you are walking along historical paths. Goethe? No, the Romans! In the Taunus Nature Park is the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes World Heritage Site. The Limes Experience Trail follows 86 kilometers of the former border wall, along the wall there were six forts and 51 watchtowers.

Some fortifications have been almost completely reconstructed, including the Saalburg Roman Fort near Bad Homburg. The site includes a museum, park and research center. Public guided tours of Saalburg Castle are available on November 7 and 21, and on November 14 the tour will be combined with a Roman buffet.

More information: Tel. 06171 50 780; www.taunus.info

Tel. 06175 93 740; www.saalburgmuseum.de

Moselle River: Take a Volkswagen van “Bulli” tour through the vineyards

In Zeltingen-Rachtig on the Moselle, VW vans known as “Bullis” are right at home . Is it because of a vintage car gathering? No, the vehicles live here, they are part of the townscape and even make a contribution to tourism. The “Bulli” tours are a big hit in Zeltingen-Rachtig. "The idea of an adventure tour was born from my love of old vehicles," says hotelier and classic car fan Markus Reis. As manager at the Hotel Zeltinger Hof, Reis organizes various “Bulli” tours. The usual route is a "drive through the vineyards including wine tasting on site and talks on wine and culture.” Price: 55 euros per person. For the "Rock 'n' Roll Bulli Tour" a musician fee is added.

More information: Tel. 06532 93 820; www.zeltinger-hof.de

Orig. text: Heinz Dietl

Translation: ck