|Subject: Re: Germany in June; 2002 Greetings &Thanks|
For me Berlin is the place to go if you want to visit war memorials and gre= at museums. You will find more information at http://www.berlin.de/home/Engl= ish/ . Berlin is not, to my opinion, a beautiful city, but it is very exciti= ng. It will make you feel how much jewish and other german citiziens were su= ffering during the decades from 1930 to 1990. That's what I felt when I was = in Berlin for a weekend in last November. Berlin is a monument of how much t= he American people has done for freedom and democracy in our country. In Ber= lin and Potsdam you will find a lot of water and it should be easy to make= some visits in the surroundings by bycicle, which I have not tried yet.
German cities I really love (I don't know all of them) are Luebeck http://w= ww.luebeck.de at the Ostsee and Bremen http://www.bremen-tourism.de/englis= h/intro.htm at the North Sea. Both cities have a beautiful historical center= with old houses, churches and so on. Luebeck is my favourite. It is the cit= y of the famous writer Thomas Mann, who survived the Nazi regime in the USA.= Luebeck is famous for its almond paste (Marzipan), which tastes great and= is the best in the world. InBremen and Luebeck you can visit the harbor by = ship, this could be interesting for your children.
Another favourite is Muenster: http://www.infobike.de/touren/radwege.html http://www.welcome-ml.de/rad/index.htm http://publikom.muenster.de/tourismus/index.html the capital city of the bycicle in Germany. I am living about 30 miles from= Muenster and always love to visit the marketplace on Saturday mornings. It = is the greatest and most colorful market of ecologically produced vegetables= , meat and fruit I know about. Muenster has an old historic center and beaut= iful historic restaurants. You will find a hotels in Muenster and surroundin= gs in several of the 100 castles in the Muensterland.
If you are interested in industrial culture of the 20th century you might b= e interested in Zeche Zollverein in Essen and the Gasometer in Oberhause= n. They are former industrial plants and are now run as museums or as exhibi= tion and concert halls. Try these links, if you are interested: http://www.zollverein.de (needs macromedia flash 4) http://www.route-industriekultur.de/index_e.htm http://www.landschaftspark.de/html/nav/mainfr.htm (Duisburg)
Another interesting landscape not far from there is the so called Niederrh= ein (lower rhine area). It is perfect for biking. Its an old cultural area = where the romans already stayed. Visit Xanten http://www.xanten.de/indexg.ht= m before you visit Rome. The old roman city of Xanten was excavated and part= ially rebuilt. In Kalkar you will find two very different things: an old chu= rch (St. Nikolai) with tremendous wood carved altars from 16th century, and = few kilometers away, a very special park in a former nuclear power plant! ht= tp://http://www.kernwasser-wunderland.de/de/index.html . Germany spent more than 3 = billion $ for this plant until it was decided, that the special technology o= f this plant should not be operated and they stopped it. The park is run by = a dutch enterprise.
If you like half-timbered houses, you may be interested to visit Goslar htt= p://http://www.goslarinfo.de/en/praesentation/default.html where you find more than= 800 of them, or Hannoversch-MÅnden http://www.hann-muenden.net/spontan/albu= m_bu.htm . Well the pictures of Hann.-Muenden website are not great, but the= city is. A nice trip could be: from Hameln http://www.hameln.de/english/in= fo/restoration.htm to Hildesheim http://www.hildesheim.de and then to Goslar= , where you could stay over night.
This was all in northern Germany. Southern Germany with Heidelberg, Freibur= g, Rothenburg, Wuerzburg, Nuernberg, Ulm, Augsburg and Munich is much more f= amous and maybe a little bit more beautiful, and the weather might be a litt= le better in the south. As a child I visited the Chiemsee between Munich and= Salzburg. I don't know if the water is warm enough for swimming in June, bu= t I remeber a terrific time over there with lazy days at the lake Chiemsee= and very beautiful walks in the mountains. If the weather is fine this is a= great place to stay.
I know that many of these suggestions are very personal. But this is what w= e are looking for in this group, isn't it?
Best Regards Johannes Klein Haltern, Germany