Walking the Way of the Cross in Kevelaer

There are many more walks in the Lower Rhine Plains between Krefeld and the Dutch-German border other than the two that we introduced here over the past two weeks.

The European Long Distance Trail GR8, for example, will take you from Nijmegen to Kalkar or Xanten and beyond, while an extensive network of picturesque foot paths connects the rivers Niers and Kleine Niers.

On the plus side, there are many other

Walking the Way of the Cross in Kevelaer

Hiking the Voltaire Trail in the Lower Rhine Valley

Last week, we enjoyed the baroque splendour of the landscaped gardens around the Prinz Moritz trail.

Today, we stay in the same area and (roughly) the same period of German history, moving only a few kilometres up the Lower Rhine Valley and a few decades down the line to the time of the friendship between Prussia’s most flamboyant monarch, Frederick the Great, and the French philosopher Voltaire.

Voltaire

Hiking the Voltaire Trail in the Lower Rhine Valley

Lower Rhine Valley Hiking Routes in Germany

Germany is Europe’s premier hiking country: nowhere else on the “old continent” will you be able to find a similarly large number and variety of well-designed and diligently maintained trails.

Few hikers outside of Germany, however, will be able to name a trail that does not run either through the Black Forest or along the central section of the Rhine (the one with all the castles and vineyards).

Fewer people still

Lower Rhine Valley Hiking Routes in Germany

They Drown Witches Don’t They?

As the saying goes, the past is never dead. It is not even past.

Passing through almost any town or village in Europe, you can – with a little skill and effort – still spot the stains of dried blood that have been left behind by the crimes and misdemeanours of past centuries. Perhaps you can even manage to hear the wailing of tortured souls: there are many ghosts in the streets of

They Drown Witches Don’t They?

Potsdam Fast and Slow: A Daytrip Destination from Berlin

The city of Potsdam is the number one daytrip destination from Berlin.

And for good reasons, too: it is surrounded by parks and forests, contains several picturesque bodies of water and provides paths for hiking and biking.

Above all, however, it is full of history: old history – as the former residence of Prussia’s most famous monarch – and contemporary history – as the home of the world-famous

Potsdam Fast and Slow: A Daytrip Destination from Berlin

Our Short Sweet Walk to Chase Away Festive Stupor

There is, as the Book of Ecclesiastes says, a time and a season for everything: a season for exhausting hikes through mountainous territory (spring, let’s say), a season for coastal walks with swimming wear in the backpack (that would be summer, of course), and a season for themed town walks in two halves with a boozy lunch in the middle (those lazy, hazy days of autumn).

But what about winter, specifically

Our Short Sweet Walk to Chase Away Festive Stupor

Here’s How We Experienced Plagwitz in Leipzig

There are not many things that East Germany (that most joyless country in the annals of the world) and Italy have in common, but here is one: a conservation policy that closely mirrors the principles of “triage”. In analogy to the requirements of battlefield medicine, both Italy and East Germany divided their cities or cultural sites into the lightly injured, the seriously ravaged that would benefit from further treatment and the downright

Here’s How We Experienced Plagwitz in Leipzig

To Passau for the Second Movement of the Blue Danube

In the initial post about our trip along the Danube, I said that the Rhine landscape featured a large number of castles While this is undeniably true, it may have been misconstrued to imply that the landscape of the Danube did not.

So let me clearly state once and for all that this would be a totally false impression. Of course the Donau has castles, too. And just to prove the point, today

To Passau for the Second Movement of the Blue Danube

Regensburg, Why Have You Got a Heart of Stone?

Considering we have sung the praises of Regensburg in our last post, it seems all the more unforgivable that we failed to mention the city’s key asset on the central European tourism market: the fact that its entire (and fairly substantial) Old Town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You are forgiven to ask, how come, that a medium-sized city in provincial Germany of which until now you had heard little, was found

Regensburg, Why Have You Got a Heart of Stone?

Prelude to a Blue Danube Dream

Alone among European countries, Germany can claim sections of both the Rhine and the Danube, Europe’s most storied rivers. Most of you will have been aware of that, of course, but here is something that may surprise you: the German sections of both rivers are of a roughly similar length (865 km for the Rhine, 687 km for the Danube), and of the 10 countries that the Danube passes through on her

Prelude to a Blue Danube Dream