Treat your taste buds amid spectacular scenery, treat your eyes as dancers defy gravity, or treat your inner athlete watching long-distance runners. Those and more are among Germany's top five attractions this week.
A sunny day, local delicacies, good wine -- what could be better?
Harvesting the grapes
Eat, drink and be merry at the Wine and Gourmet Festival going on in the picturesque Mosel Valley in western Germany. Besides enjoying the stunning scenery, visitors can sample, or gorge if they choose, on regional delicacies. One of the highlights is the presentation of 444 wines in the Roman-era surroundings of the State Museum in Koblenz. The Mosel Valley is the northernmost wine district in Europe. The steep slopes of the valley make for the dramatic landscape of the area, where vineyards still worked by hand sit perched on impossibly steep slopes. The regional microclimates mean each wine has its own unique qualities so the best bet is to grab a good wine guide and make a few memorable discoveries first hand. The festival runs until May 1.
Put on your dancing shoes or at least be prepared to watch some fabulous footwork at Dresden's International Dance Week, running from April 21 to May 1. Performances at this festival aren't just limited to the stage; the whole city comes alive as dancers show off their talents in various venues, including on street corners and in squares. This 13-year-old festival started small, on the outskirts of the fringe dance scene, but now attracts companies from both sides of the Atlantic. Most come from the US and Central Europe, but Latin American artists are also making an appearance. The emphasis here is to move beyond the spoken word and let the body do the talking.
Frankfurt's Kunsthalle Schirn on a past Long Night of Museums
Stay up late for a nocturnal culture crawl. Germany's banking metropolis is not all three-piece suits and corporate board rooms, the city is rich in cultural offerings as well, with many on view during the Long Night of Museums in Frankfurt, taking place on April 23. More than fifty of Frankfurt's museums, special collections and cultural projects will keep their doors open until 4 a.m. during this popular annual event. A fleet of special buses will ferry night owls from one destination to the next. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, various institutions are offering concerts, readings, dance and theater shows, special tours and "exotic menus" to see visitors through to the early hours.
Make it burn, if you've got what it takes, in the Hamburg Marathon. The sweating takes place on Sunday, April 24, in this picturesque Hanseatic city. Even if visitors to the city didn't pack their running shoes, those needing a break from the museums or the beer gardens can watch as some 10,000 others go for a 42 km run. The race traverses some of the most beautiful areas of the city and its most famous sights, including a long stretch along the Elbe River and another around the Aussenalster Lake. In keeping with Hamburg's open, inclusive ways, the race will include sections for men, women, wheelchair racers and inline skaters (indeed, it is part of the world cup of inline skating.) Side races include a 15.2 km race for skaters and a one-tenth marathon for children on Saturday.
Experiment a little at the European Media Art Festival (EMAF), running from April 20 to April 24 in the western German city of Osnabrück. Don't expect to see videos of kids' birthday parties or that honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls. This festival features experimental films and videos, nonlinear oeuvres, performances and an exhibition of computer installations that runs until May 15. Carrying the motto, "Document," the festival aims to shed light upon artistic work as a document of the creative process and focuses on media artistic approaches to documentary forms. Organizers hope the festival will start a discussion among visitors and participants about perception and authenticity in our increasingly digitized world.