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Palmengarten

Frankfurt has many parks and gardens, but one of the most important is the 20-hectare Palmengarten. This garden is home to a large number of plant species, including 300 different species of palm tree in a spectacular old metro station. Several species of exotic bird also live here.

This well looked after and organised botanical garden is an excellent choice for a gentle stroll if you want some peace and quiet in your day while enjoying the tropical vegetation and all sorts of plants and flowers, ranging from carnivorous plants to cacti in a number of individually themed garden areas.

A wide variety of cultural activities and exhibitions are also held throughout the year in the Palmengarten.

So you feel like visiting the Palmengarten, do you?! Book your flights here!

 

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Romantic Settings the Scent of Vineyards and Alpine Charm in Germany

Fantastic medieval castles, beautiful scenery, enchanting villages, splendid vineyards, tasty cuisine and a touch of romanticism – what more could you want in a getaway? Well, all that and more awaits you on one of the most popular itineraries in Germany, known as the Romantic Road (Romantische Straße, in German).

The route starts at Würzburg, which lies about 110 kilometres south-east of Frankfurt, and ends in Füssen, 82 kilometres south-west of Munich. Between those two points, you will come across over 60 towns and villages steeped in culture, as well as stunning scenery. In all, an itinerary covering some 400 kilometres to savour what was once an important trade route in the Middle Ages and, since 1950, one of the leading tourist magnets in Germany.

The Main Sightseeing Spots

As there is a lot to see on that long trip, we have made a selection of the places we consider the standout spots to stop at.

Würzburg. Situated in the heart of Franconia’s grape-growing region, this town is famous as the home of a veritable jewel of Baroque architecture – the Würzburg Residence, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber. One of the best preserved medieval towns in the country and one of the major attractions on the Romantic Road, so be sure to make a stopover to visit it. We recommend strolling along the medieval wall to soak up the panoramic views it affords of the city and its surrounding area.

Dinkelsbühl. Another of the gems you will encounter along the Road is this picturesque town, which managed to avoid destruction in both the Thirty Years’ War and the Second World War. It is thus well preserved and the essence of its medieval past intact. A striking feature that meets eye when walking through the town is its numerous towers, numbering sixteen in all.

Nördlingen. While less frequented than the previous ones, much of the historical charm of this beautiful medieval town in Bavaria has been preserved. Curiously, the town was built over a crater caused by the impact of a meteorite that fell to earth over 15 million years ago. It covers an area measuring 25 kilometres in diameter.

Augsburg. The largest city along the route and one of the oldest in Germany. It was founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Having enjoyed independence for a period of its history, the city flourished and generated considerable wealth, becoming one of the most prosperous in Europe. A prominent city landmark is the Rathausplatz, a large pedestrian square in the very heart of the Altstadt, while other noteworthy sights include Renaissance and Baroque buildings.

Wies Pilgrimage Church. Located in Steingaden, this is a must-see spot for art lovers, as the architectural style of the building is among the most noteworthy in the Bavarian Rococo.

Neuschwanstein Castle. Wrapping up our list of recommendations is this stunning piece of architecture which was actually the model for the castle design in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. No wonder, then, that Neuschwanstein means “new swan stone”. Overlooking the Pöllat Gorge in the Bavarian Alps, its construction was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria – the “Mad King” – in 1866.

Some Pointers

The best way to get around along the Romantic Route is by car, as it gives you greater autonomy when moving from one town to the next. You can pick up a hire car at Frankfurt airport. The route is signposted, so you just have to follow the indications to find your way. Those who prefer an alternative means of transport can take the coach, for which tickets can be booked in advance for specific legs of the journey. The more intrepid among you can also enjoy the pleasure of cycling through the bucolic landscapes as, on the whole, the route does not present any steep slopes.

Since this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, we recommend that, if possible, you schedule your trip for the spring or autumn, as in summer it is far more crowded.

Now that you’re up to speed with the ins and outs of this fantastic route, it’s time to plan your own itinerary. Check out flights to Frankfurt here.

 

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by vince42, Tilo 2007, Rictor Norton & David Allen, ilovebutter, Holger Baschleben, Allie_Caulfield, Brian Wiese

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El 11 deportivo de Barcelona

1.- Museu Olímpic i de l’Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch | In the slopes of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Stadium there is the museum with the memories of that historic milestone for the city. Next to the stadium, you can also enjoy Palau Sant Jordi, Picornell swimmingpools and other Olympic venues.

2.- Museu del Barça | Beside the Camp Nou, on a day without match, the best thing to do is take the tour to the facilities of the club and wander through the Museum of FC Barcelona, an installation rich in multimedia material and historical memories of the club, such as the boots with which Koeman scored the goal that gave the first European Cup to the club.

3.- Palau Blaugrana|  Slightly eclipsed by the majestic Camp Nou. In Palau Blaugrana, lies one of the most familiar FC Barcelona values: its multidisciplinarity. Barça teams of Basketball, Handball, Roller Hockey and Futsal play their games in this ancient but hot venue.

4.- Frankfurt Pedralbes | The most traditional plan for Barça supporters is, before going to the game, stop by the more typical  frankfurt of the city to fill the stomach and share the atmosphere with other supporters at a establishment well known by all the locals.

5.- Estadio de Les Corts | Nothing remains of the former FC Barcelona stadium, but in here laid the headquarters of FC Barcelona before Kubala forced the club to build a new stadium (Camp Nou in Catalan). Les Corts  became too small when so many people wanted to see the Hungarian genius playing football.

6.- Estadio de Sarrià | Today,  it is only still standing the corner gas station from the former RCD Espanyol stadium. But even though to the naked eye are observed only luxury flats, the true football fan in that corner can easily see  the World Cup ’82 Stadium where Brazil and Italy left one of the best shocks in the history of the World Cup.

7.- Font de Canaletes | The tourist won’t even see the small fountain that on the right side of the top of the Ramblas observes all visitors if passes distracted. This is the Font de Canaletes where all Barca fans get together  to celebrate victories and championships and even the defeats of Real Madrid.

8.- Michael Collins Irish Pub | If there is a football game and you would like to see people drinking beer and having a good time in a good atmosphere, this is the place to be. The most famous irish pub in the city where you will always find people to watch any international  match. Overlooking Sagrada Familia.

9.- Hotel Vela | Barcelona coast’s architectural icon, this is the place chosen by FC Barcelona to spend the nights before the important Champions League matches. There begins the seafront promenade that runs all the Barcelona beaches, catwalk full of runners, cyclists, skaters, surfers and beach volleyball enthusiasts. The hotel also houses a cocktail bar with a trendy terrace.

10.- Estadi Cornellà-El Prat | Half field of the stadium is located in Cornella  and the other half is in El Prat, hence the name of the new home for RCD Espanyol. A modern and charming stadium full of very passionate supporters. It is worth a visit, while far from the city, and there is a large shopping center in front of the field.

11.- Olímpic de Badalona | Apart from being home to Joventut de Badalona, a traditional Catalan basketball club , any basketball lover should immediately associate this name to ‘Dream Team’. A unique team in the Sports history  formed by Jordan, Johnson, Bird and company amazed everyone in the Olimpic de Badalona.

 

By Panenka www.panenka.org

Picture by Yearofthedragon

So you feel like visiting Barcelona, do you? Book your flights here! 

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Fine Wine in Beer Land

At some spot between Ingolstadt and Nuremberg, the Bavarian accent becomes gentler, the wind blows a little further down and wine competes with beer as the local beverage. This is Franconia (Franken) and, as locals never fail to point out, the Franconians – who live in the wooded hills and on the banks of the river Main – are very different from their outgoing southern cousins.

The wine producers in the north-east of the region make sublime white wine, sold in a characteristic tear-shaped bottle known as the bocksbeutel. For open-air enthusiasts, the Altmühltal Nature Reserve is an ideal area for hiking, cycling and canoeing. However, it is Franconia’s incredible towns – Nuremberg, Bamberg and Coburg – that attract most visitors. But, let’s concentrate on that marvellous elixir that has captivated human beings since the dawn of time.

Wine – the Soul of the Region

The wine of Franconia is not merely a beverage, but a celebration of the senses. It is welded into the DNA of the whole region. Its presence is felt everywhere. To see how influential it is in the landscape, suffice to go walking or cycling on the banks of the river Main, or to visit Würzburg Residenz Palace. Its presence is also tasted in the culinary creations of local chefs and in the taverns. Moreover, in Franconia, wine is extolled at festivals and trade fairs –Heckenwirtschaften– dedicated solely to wine.

The region’s mild climate is propitious for the production of this delicious beverage. It is continental, with very cold winters and mild summers, meaning the grapes mature very slowly. The soils are highly varied, being formed of coloured sandstone, granite, limestone and some slate, so that each soil type yields a different kind of wine. The coloured sandstone yields red wine, while the granite and limestone are ideal for white wines. Grape-growing has been an important and constant activity here for over 1,200 years. It is a joy to explore the wines of Franconia and all their nuances.

This wine-producing region lies east of Frankfurt and some 65 kilometres from the Rhine. The vineyards are planted on the south-facing slopes along the river Main and encircle the city of Würzburg, so this is the only vinicultural region in the state of Bavaria. Franconia is divided into three districts – Mainviereck, Maindreieck and Steigerwald – formed by the shapes adopted by the Main’s meanders. It is worth a trip along the river to get an idea of how varied the area’s vineyards really are. The main types of grape are the Müller-Thurgau, Sylvaner and Bacchus.

Wine Cellars and Taverns

Wine cellars have proliferated lately. True, the consumption of white wine has increased markedly in recent years. They put it down to the economic crisis – white wines are usually cheaper than red – and to global warming – wine served cold is more appetising. The great advantage held by Franconia’s wines is undoubtedly the exceptional grape varieties grown there. And, the exuberant architecture of the wine cellars provides added value for the senses. Here is a list of the wine cellars and taverns specialising in the area’s leading wines.

DIVINO Nordheim
Langgasse 33 · 97334 Nordheim a. Main. Website

Fränkische Flaschenpost
Kirchplatz 2 · 97236 Randersacker
Tel. +49(0)931/30489627

Vinothek im Kuk
Rathausplatz 6 · 97337 Dettelbach. Website

Vinothek Iphofen
Kirchplatz 7 · 97346 Iphofen. Website

Vinothek Sommerach
Kirchplatz 3 · 97332 Sommerach a. Main. Website

Weinforum Franken
Hauptstraße 37 · 97246 Eibelstadt. Website

Winzer Sommerach- Der Winzerkeller
Zum Katzenkopf 1 · 97334 Sommerach a. Main. Website

Have you got that? Then come and discover the wines of Franconia. Check out our flights here.

 

Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Alexander Von Halem, Goegeo, VisualBeo, FrankenTourismus/Fraenkisches Weinland Tourismus/Hub

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