Mini breaks Five tips for day trips during the holidays
Bonn/Region · In the Ahr valley, hikers get their money's worth even in winter, and in the Ruhr region, bright "contours" shine through the night. These and more tips for excursions are given again in our series "Kurz mal weg".
Winter Hikes in the Ahr Valley
Hiking is always possible. On festive days or between Christmas and New Year’s, excursions in the surrounding area are a good way to ventilate body and soul. The Ahr Valley has always been the first choice for such short trips, and it continues to be. After the flood disaster in July, the region has come through in many areas, and most of the hiking trails, especially in the hills (photo), are passable.
But which routes are particularly suitable at the moment? Barbara Knieps, spokeswoman at the Ahrtal Tourism Association, recommends the Panoramaweg Bad Bodendorf. "Hikers can expect a wonderful mix of forest passages and views of the Ahr, Rhine and Eifel," says the expert. The 7.8 kilometres can be completed in two hours. Also beautiful: On the hiking tour Wald und Flur rund um Lind (6 km, just under 2 hours), the radio telescope in Effelsberg, the Wensburg ruins and the Siebengebirge appear on the horizon. The Traubenpfad No. 4 in Heppingen (7.9 km, 2.5 hrs.) in turn leads through many vineyards, but there is also an airfield along the way.
On the Iron Trail (11.3 km, 3.5 hrs.) near Ramersbach, nature meets industrial culture: wall remains and information boards recall a Roman iron smelter.
The Ahrsteig should not be missing from any recommendation list: The second stage, for example, leads from Freilingen to Aremberg (11.6 km, approx. 3 hours). And here, too, the view is particularly impressive: "When you look south, you can make out the Nürburg and the Hohe Acht," says Ahrtal spokeswoman Knieps.
Info: Tel. (02641) 91 710; www.ahrtal.de/touren
Merry Christmas - and Alaaf!
Christmas interrupts the silly season unnecessarily every year, criticise the Bonn carnival gangs Fritz & Hermann - and counter with an annual Christmas programme. A Rhenish solution. Music bands like Brings and Cat Ballou have a similar attitude. There is also a close alliance between the disciplines: the word artist Volker Weininger from Waldbröl is touring the Rhenish provinces these days with his character "Der Sitzungspräsident". You can meet him at festive evenings with the band Paveier, for example in Mendig (Laacher-See-Halle, 18.12., 8 p.m.) and Cologne (Flora, 19.12, 5 p.m.) or with J.P. Weber in Zülpich (19.12., Forum, 5 p.m.).
Info: Tel. (0221) 13 20 11; www.dersitzungspraesident.de
New "contours" on the winding tower of the old colliery
The Foundation for the Preservation of Industrial Monuments in Dortmund keeps the industrial heritage alive at 13 locations in NRW. Its tools include exhibitions, guided tours and festivals. A "noble light landmark" can recently be admired in the town of Herten. Between nightfall and sunrise, LED light bands visible from afar set the 64-metre-high winding tower of the Schlägel und Eisen colliery in scene every day (photo). The Berlin light artist Gunda Förster calls her installation "Contours". The former production facilities were previously extensively renovated. In summer, the "Café am Schacht" opened as a new meeting place for visitors.
Info: Tel. (0231) 93 11 22 33; www.industriedenkmal-stiftung.de
1700 Years of Monastic Culture and "The Last Supper“
In the 15th century, Dalheim Monastery in Lichtenau, East Westphalia, was considered the spiritual and economic centre of the southern Paderborn region. In 1979, the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association) acquired the Augustinian canons' monastery, which was then renovated. The cultural core of the neat complex is the State Museum of Monastic Culture with the permanent exhibition "Eingetreten! 1700 Years of Monastic Culture" (photo). On 3000 square metres, 200 exhibits from all over Europe are presented, including paintings, vestments and writings. In a special show, "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci can be seen as a reproduction in original size (until 2 January). Next guided tours (2G): 26 Dec, 1 and 2 Jan). A walk through the complex with its Gothic cloister and the well-tended monastery gardens is worthwhile.
Info: Tel. (05292) 93 19 225; www.lwl-kultur.de
On the crib trail through the city centre
During a pre-Christmas stroll through Diez an der Lahn, visitors inevitably come across the town's Nativity Scene Trail. 40 nativity scenes from all over the world are on display in shop windows, in the town hall and in churches. The exhibits come from the collection of pastor Dieter Lippert, who has built up his own crib museum in Hadamar, 15 kilometres away, with around 1000 objects. For the 18th time, he is making a selection available to the Diezer Krippenweg. The museum in Hadamar is currently closed. "Corona-related," says Lippert, adding, "Only temporarily."
Info: Tel. (06432) 954 32 11; www.urlaub-in-diez.de; www.krippenausstellung-hadamar.de
Original text: Heinz Dietl. Translation: Mareike Graepel