Bonn/Region · The region around Bonn has a lot to offer: In Koblenz, two Christmas markets grant their visitors plenty of space, in Kommern, a forester explains the forest, fresh water bubbles up for cyclists at the Ruhr, and in the Eifel, an "escape route" leads to the juniper.
Festive Koblenz: More distance in the city and at the fortress
It's Christmas time in the Moselle estuary. Koblenz's Christmas market has been reconfigured: stalls and booths keep much more distance than in normal times - and allow visitors more freedom of movement. The Christmas market in the city centre (2G) lasts until January 9. The Jesuitenplatz, which is also known in a different way, looks like a film set. On quite a few evenings last winter, the square was similarly illuminated, but deserted. Lockdown, that's what it is. Koblenz has a second Christmas market: the "Christmas Garden" is best reached by cable car. Visitors from Bonn might get a different idea on the ride up to Ehrenbreitsein Fortress: this is what the future could look like on Venusberg. The market organisers, who are now staging their relatively new project with local partners in eight German cities, are literally stretching out their Christmas markets: the Christmas Garden (until 9 January, 2G) sees itself as a two-kilometre-long circular route through exposed places. In Cologne it is the zoo, in Frankfurt the Deutsche Bank Park at the Waldstadion and in Koblenz the fortress. Illuminated installations set accents, such as the large-scale sea of lights "Field of Lights" or the "Polar Express", which you can actually get on. A visit to the Koblenz Christmas Garden costs from 15 Euro, including the cable car from 24 Euro.
Circus at the Zoo
A colourful tent palace has been standing on Cologne's Zoobrücke bridge for a few days now: clowns and artists are in town. The Cologne Christmas Circus presents a pre-Christmas mix of fun and acrobatics for the sixth time. Around 40 shows are planned (until January 2). Among those responsible for breathtaking acrobatics are the vertical cloth acrobat Olga Moreva and the multi-award-winning Pellegrini Brothers. The clowns Barto and Bobylev will provide fun. Sittah Koene, the first world champion illusionist, will also show her skills. 2G applies to all events.
Open all day: The "Bergheidenweg" dream trail
The trail on the Bergheidenweg in the Eastern Eifel can be walked all year round and is therefore ideal for short escapes in between. The starting point at Arft is a few kilometres west of Lake Laach. The circular trail (10.3 km, 289 metres in altitude, three hours) curves smoothly through the volcanic landscape, passing the mixed forests along the Nette, the summit of the Heidbüchel, the gorges of the Selbach valley and the juniper heaths typical of the region in the Heinrich-Menke Park. The circular trail can also be combined with the "Wacholderweg" dream trail and the "Langscheider Wacholderblick" dream trail.
Info: Tel. (0261) 108 419; www.traumpfade.info
First tap-water-friendly long-distance cycle route
It is a classic medium-distance route. The Ruhr Valley Cycle Route connects the source of the Ruhr near Winterberg with the mouth of the Rhine near Duisburg over a length of 240 kilometres. The cycle path was opened in 2006. And it is not only the target group, but also the project itself that is always on the move: for example, the Ruhr Tourismus GmbH, which is responsible for the project, has set the goal of developing the route into "Germany's first piped-water-friendly long-distance cycle route" by February 2022. Background: There are already eleven public drinking fountains along the route with the possibility to fill up your water bottle with tap water free of charge. The goal is 50 participating towns. It looks good: 38 potential partners have signalled interest and want to set up standpipes. Water March!
Info: Tel. (01806) 181 620; www.ruhr-tourismus.de
Winter in the open-air museum
The open-air museum in Kommern is open (2G). Visitors can visit the exhibitions "We Rhinelanders" and "Our Daily Water" or march across the extensive grounds to the historical assemblies. On the way, you will meet the museum's animals. Two Ardennes cold-blooded horses are used when Ingo Esser takes his carriage rides to the museum forest. There, the chief forester explains the role of trees in customs. Next dates: Wednesday, December 8, 10 am and 2 pm.
Info: Tel. (02443) 99 800; www.kommern.lvr.de