Bonn For those who might enjoy a hike through the Eifel, climbing in the Moselle valley or exploring castles, these excursion tips are just the right thing. A beer safari, a wine weekend and baking courses in a traditional winery are also on the list.
Historical hostel at a castle
Altena Castle has many stories to tell, and not only about knights and banquets. Interestingly, the castle is home to the world's first youth hostel. It was opened in 1914 by teacher Richard Schirrmann and factory owner Wilhelm Münker. The original rooms are now a museum. Visitors are allowed to try out the historic sleeping quarters. Today, it is still possible to stay overnight in the castle and in an Art Nouveau villa, but in family rooms that offer privacy.
Info: Tel.: (02352) 966 70 33; www.burg-altena.de
Five beer tastings in Düsseldorf’s Old Town
Tours with a culinary focus are among the popular touristy things to do in Düsseldorf. And one liquid cultural treasure is the subject of a special tour. For two hours, participants on the Altbier Safari will be guided through the five hometown breweries in the Old Town by experienced guides, learn interesting facts about the brewing trade and acquainting themselves with drinking customs. Price: 27.50 euros. Five glasses of Altbier (a type of beer) per person are included.
Info: Tel. (0211) 17 202 854; www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de
The Eifel’s unique places
The Eifel is promoting its unique places with a special day on April 7. Using the slogan "A visitor in one' s own homeland", around 30 attractions and excursion destinations will be the focus of the day. One example is a family tour in the Eifel National Park near Schleiden-Gemünd. Participants are guided by trained junior rangers. And the Dahlemer Binz airfield offers a glimpse behind the scenes. Gliders, motor planes, ultra-light planes and helicopters take to the skies in suitable weather.
Info: Tel. (02441) 99 45 70; www.nordeifel-tourismus.de
Visit an old blacksmith's shop
The season begins in April at the industrial museum Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels in Engelskirchen, which is about 40 kilometers east of Cologne. The focus is on guided tours, exhibitions, workshops and blacksmith demonstrations. The plant was founded in 1783 at Leppebach. Today the bellows are used in a historic building made of quarry stone. On Sunday, April 14, one can experience the historical blacksmith shop in action from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in and watch the museum blacksmith at work.
Info: Tel. (02263) 92 850; www.industriemuseum.lvr.de
Road of castles
60 castles and palaces line the Burgenstraße (Castle Road), which leads from Mannheim via Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nuremberg and Bamberg to Bayreuth. The route passes the Neckar Valley, the Hohenloher Land and Franconian Switzerland. The region can be explored at your own leisure. Five stretches, each of them between 83 and 178 kilometers are recommended. The new edition of the brochure "Entdeckertouren mit dem Wohnmobil" (Exploring Tours with a Motorhome) contains all the important information about the sights as well as practical information about campsites, restaurants and events.
Info: Tel. (07131) 97 350 10; www.burgenstrasse.de
Wine tasting and hiking
The Wine Hiking Weekend put on by the German Wine Institute will take place for the tenth time on April 27 and 28. On these two days, the German wine-growing regions organize spring guided tours through their vineyards. The wine-growing village of Zell on the Moselle combines hiking with special wine tastings at a wine culture night on April 27. On the following day there is the festival "Zeller Schwarze Katz" with a sporty hike through the location of the same name. The hosts advise that the tour on the Collis -Steilpfad (steep trail) requires sturdy shoes.
(Orig. text: ga.de ; Translation: ck)