Great German Outdoor Activities
Germany is a fantastic country for outdoor activities!
The choice of activities is almost unlimited: walking, biking, camping, sailing, gardening, kayaking, canoeing and boating, skiing, horse riding, , etc.
And as Germany is not a very big country (slightly smaller than the state of Montana or about a quarter of the size of Quebec province), it is relatively easy to go from one region to the next and to practice many outdoor activities in a short period of time.
You could also be part of one of the numerous clubs that organize outdoor activities. There are literally thousands of such clubs throughout Germany and most Germans are members of at least one club, sometimes two or three. You're sure to find one that suits your interests!
Many of these outdoor activities can also be done directly in city centres or in villages close by, such as horse riding in Heidelberg, Kayaking in Frankfurt, or what about a little surf on the Isar river crossing Munich?
A little word about the weather: Germany is a lovely green land and it is such because it has a rather maritime climate, meaning that it rains a lot! But, on the other hand; it is rarely cold. And so, the vegetation is luxuriant; with roses blooming in February in Heidelberg!
But, if you are waiting for the perfect sunny day to go out for a little excursion, you might have to wait a while and you'll miss many opportunities to discover fantastic sights. My advice to you: buy yourself a good raincoat, an umbrella and a good water-resistant pair of walking shoes and get out!
There are so many interesting places to visit along the way, from old churches and monasteries to medieval castles and Roman city walls and baths, that you will soon forget a little drizzling rain. And you will almost always find a nice Café or Weinstube (similar to a pub) to rest, eat and drink a nice hot chocolate or a Glühwein, or better yet, a Dunklesbier (a dark German bier)!
One outdoor activity that has many adepts is mountaineering. And speaking of climbing mountains, the Alps come readily to mind, and Germany is a great place not only for mountaineering but also for downhill skiing! There are charter buses that leave the cities to take you directly to ski resorts and there are many ski clubs, such as the Alpine Ski Club of Munich and the Ski Club in Mannheim.
Germans love the outdoors and THEY make sure that the trails are in good shape, the rivers are clean, the skis well waxed and that the boats are in "ship-shape" condition!
A little word of caution: hunting and arms possession are really highly regulated in Germany, as in just about all other European countries. So, you will want to ask the proper authorities about rules and permits before going on a hunt. They do not have a sense of humour about it!
So, better ask the government (or your Embassy) or go to Hunting Club in Germany (Deutscher Jagdschutzverband (DJV)) or toJagdnetz. Both sites are in German and Deutsche Jagdschutz-Verband (DJV) has about 300 000 hunters as members.
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