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Travel

Germany's Top Five

Whether you're a marathon contender, a seasoned windsurfer, a Bach enthusiast or election humorist, if you're in Germany this week, you won't be disappointed.

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It's marathon time...

Fighting fit? Then slip into your sneakers and hit the tarmac in Berlin. For the 32nd time, on Sunday, Sept. 25, marathon fans from all over the world will be sweating it out for a moment of glory in Germany's biggest running event. Professionals and part-time runners alike can combine physical fitness and sightseeing as they pound along the city streets lined with cheering spectators and the jazz-, blues- and samba bands which turn the marathon into a festival. Since it began over three decades ago, the Berlin Marathon has produced five world records. This year, Sonia O'Sullivan is aiming to improve her current marathon best as she challenges Japan's Olympic champion, Mizuki Noguchi. As in previous years, there will also be participants in wheelchairs, a group of power walkers and a group of handbikers.

The Berlin Marathon kicks off on Sunday morning from the Strasse des 17. Juni in the center of Berlin .

Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach for the younger generation in Berlin

If your kids like classical music, take them to a musical performance about the life and times of the genius composer Bach. Staged at the Max-Beckmann theatre, the ATZE child and youth theater group presents an aptly-named piece -- BACH -- which illustrates the astounding energy with which, even as a child, the artist followed his dream. Accompanied by original music and a chamber orchestra, ATZE gives its audience insight into the historical era which was Bach's world. There are two variations of the performance, which has a total of 138 roles played by 11 actors and 12 musicians. Part one, which spans the era from Bach's childhood to his 21st birthday and first marriage, runs for approximately 90 minutes. The long version, which covers his life from birth to death, runs for 180 minutes.

BACH premiers at the Atze Theater and concert hall for children on September 23rd. For further dates through to December, see web address below.

Windsurfen Mistral-Weltmeisterschaften

May the best windsurfer win

Wet and windy is the way it will be on the North Sea island of Sylt for eleven days starting Friday Sept. 23. In the Nivea World Cup Sylt, windsurfers from all over the world will battle the elements to sail to the top of the international ranking table, scooping up 105,000 euros ($127,000) prize money in the process. The contest is one of the biggest events in water sports and has been dubbed the "Wimbledon of windsurfing." Each year, some 160,000 visitors gather on the beach of Westerland to watch the contestants execute their breathtaking maneuvers.

The Nivea World Cup runs for eleven days from Sept. 23.

Rittersport

Inspiration for an art collection?

A new home for modern art opened its doors to the public on Sunday in the German town of Waldenbuch in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The newly constructed Ritter Museum, which is located next to the Ritter chocolate factory, is the work of Swiss architect Max Dudler. The museum was privately financed by Marli Hoppe-Ritter, a patron of the arts, and the chocolate factory. It houses some 100 pieces from her vast collection. The work focuses on the square, the shape of the Ritter chocolate, which her grandfather invented.

Defaced election posters are a side-effect of every political campaign, and the recent one in Germany has been no exception. For the past 35 years, photographer Franz-Christian Gundlach has been taking pictures of the innovative ways in which graffiti artists and such have been disfiguring the faces which leer at the electorate from billboards and lampposts from across the country. He began by taking photos of graffiti, which he believes to be a spontaneous way of expressing opinion. Through that he ended up snapping the defaced images of hopeful politicians. He says he quickly came to appreciate the ways in which the voting public altered the election posters, as they are a clear demonstration of emotion.

The exhibition runs until Sept. 29 at the Hühnerposten in Hamburg .

WWW links