Would you believe there is yet another tourist route to follow in Germany? This one is the European Walking Way, a picturesque route that winds straight through the Hessian town of Birkenau (and other parts of Germany) from Sweden to Italy.
Along the way you’ll find nature conservation areas with plenty of walking paths taking you past horse farms, forest areas, and lots of cute (deer, rabbit, fox) wildlife.
It doesn’t even have to be the warm days of summer to enjoy the great outdoors of Birkenau. No, winter is great, too. Skiers flock to this area, which is turned into something known as grass skiing during the warmer months. Floodlights allow for nighttime skiing, whether grass or snow.
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How cool is that?!?! Pretty awesome if you’re a die-hard ski fan. ;-)
All right, if careening down the mountainside with your snow bunny tail on fire isn’t your idea of a good time, don’t worry. This town has plenty other stuff to make you happy.
Funny thing, though, Birkenau does have its fairshare of wintersports — but, it does have a mild climate which is evident by the arrival of an early almond tree harvest (making the town quite lovely in the spring).
A cross between the outdoorsy side of Birkenau and its historical side is Schloss Birkenau. OK, you might not get to see the inside (it’s private property) but, you can hand out in the castle park where the peacocks hang out.
History buffs will appreciate the half timbered buildings that are found around town. Its Old Town Hall, from 1552, is a great first stop; and still has its Old World pillory (think stockade) and an Ellwand(used as a standardized measurement of length).
If you’re the museum goin’ type, Birkenau has a pretty cool one with highlights of many German customs. Although, the party-animals would say one of the town’s festivals could do the same thing. One of the most fun is the annual Kerwe church festival held the first weekend of September.
Birkenau, also known as Das Dorf der Sonnenuhren (or the sundial village), is great fun for everyone in the family. Now, I’m going to go grab some of those almonds — I want to mix them with my chocolate. Yummy! ;-)