Day trips Five things to do during the winter months

Bonn/Region · Looking for some winter activities? Hike up to a castle ruins overlooking the Moselle, take a winter torchlight tour followed by a crackling campfire, or go to a climbing garden in an old coke bunker. “Lady Di” fans might want to see where parts of the movie “Spencer” was filmed - with tours also available in English.

Day trips: Five things to do during the winter months
Foto: Dominik Ketz

Fascinating evening atmosphere in Traben-Trarbach

Winter on the Moselle, there is peace and quiet on the river. Perhaps just the right time for a visit to Traben-Trarbach. First impression: lots of big art nouveau villas, not a town without wealth. "Traben-Trarbach was once one of the most important wine trading centers in Europe," says Christiane Heinen of Moselland Tourism.  "The enormous prosperity led to a lot of building activity in the upper middle-class style." And one of these magnificent buildings, the Julius Kayser winery, today houses a remarkable collection of Buddha figures on 4,000 square meters.

When looking at the steep wine terraces, one sees a castle ruins, that's where you want to go. The Grevenburg (photo), once the seat of the Counts of Sponheim, can be reached on a hiking trail. The story of Loretta of Sponheim (1300-1346), who took on the powerful Elector Balduin of Luxembourg, plays an important role in the tales of the town.

The Grevenburg is a popular viewpoint and also quite popular for taking photos. In this photo, renowned landscape and tourism photographer Dominik Ketz (47) from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler wanted to capture the mood at dusk. "It's a fascinating moment when a city turns on the lights," says the native of Bonn. One can also see this in in his video "Fascinating Cities on the Moselle" on Youtube.

Info in English:

1,000 puppets in the museum

Pippi Longstocking, Käpt'n Blaubär, Bernd the Bread: Some of the puppets sit on the blue sofa in the Museum for Puppet Theater Culture in Bad Kreuznach, others hang from the ceiling on strings. More than 1,000 puppets, dolls and marionettes make up the collection, which is housed "species-appropriately" in an old farm estate. The 1,850 square meter complex includes a theater for puppet shows. A special exhibition focuses on Swedish children's literature in puppet theater. The museum is open daily (except Mon).

Info: Tel. (0671) 845 91 85;

Filming location for parts of “Spencer”: Lady Di in Münsterland

Ms. Beisch knows her way around this honorable house, which is also known as "the Westphalian Versailles". Dr. Birgit Beisch has been organizing guided tours of Nordkirchen Castle near Münster for 14 years.

The 18th-century complex has housed the NRW University of Finance with 1,400 students since 1950, and the baroque building occasionally serves as a film set. The current movie "Spencer" was also shot here, Hollywood star Kristen Stewart plays Lady Diana, and Nordkirchen is portrayed as the country estate Sandringham in Norfolk.

Birgit Beisch now offers the film tour called "Spencer". "Almost half of the film is set in Nordkirchen," she says. Beisch has done a lot of research; she wants to make her tour interesting with facts and anecdotes - but don’t expect her to slip into the role of Lady Di. "Spencer" is not a costume tour, she says. Tours are also available in English. 

Info in English:

Winter Hikes in the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park

If you like hiking in the Hunsrück, you will not be deterred by winter. Whether there is snow or not. Certified hiking guide Michael Brzoska regularly takes his guests on torchlight tours - with a crackling campfire as the finale. The next torchlight tours follow the traces of the Celts and Romans in the forest near Niederweiler (February 12 and 18, 19 euros).

On February 26 and 27, he crosses the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park with a group in two stages (21.5 and 13.3, km). The overnight stay is in a country house in Allenbach. The cost is 159 euro, including overnight accommodation, food and transfer. For March, Brzoska is planning a hiking week.

Climbing adventure in the old coke bunker

A disused iron and steel mill in Duisburg-Meiderich is now regarded - according to the city - as "Germany's most beautiful metropolitan oasis". The Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park offers plenty of recreational opportunities on 180 hectares, including a climbing garden set up by the Duisburg section of the German Alpine Club (DAV) in 1990. Sport climbers find their challenges on the towers and walls of a bunker where coke and iron ore were once stored. And there is a 530-meter-long climb called "Via Ferrata Monte Thysso". Registration is required. Cost: 10 euros, children (up to 14 yrs) 3 euros.

Info in English:

(Orig. text: GA / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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