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Culture

Germany's Top Five

There's lots of ice in this week's Top Five with a curling championship, lovers on skates and frozen sculptures. But you can warm up with exciting equestion action and hot medieval food so there's something for everyone.

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Keeping cool in Germany this winter is not proving to be a problem

Ready, steady, curl! It’s cold outside so what would be the best way to spend your free time while in Germany? Maybe watching some people slide stones across an ice rink would not be right up there on your list but if you would dismiss Le Gruyère European Curling Championship as such then you would be in danger of missing out on a wintzer spectacle. Held at the Olympic Ice Rink in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the championships come to their heady conclusion on Dec. 17 so if you want to see the best of the action featuring 53 teams from all over Europe then get down there.

Winkler/Lohse bei Holiday on Ice

The stories of the great lovers make it onto the ice in Romanza.

Romeo and Juliet...on ice. Not convinced? How about some sensual and sensational love action on the ice? Frankfurt's Festhalle plays host to the new Holiday on Ice show, Romanza -- a mixture of professional figure skating, colourful costumes, music and spectacular light effects. The show takes in the classic love stories of Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Caesar and Cleopatra and is currently touring Germany until February 2006.

BDT Dinosaurier aus Eis

Jurassic Lübeck: The sculptures seem alive at the Ice World Festival.

A chip off the old block. Still want the ice but can do without curling and smooching on skates? Then get some icy culture in Lübeck. The Ice World festival offers a glimpse into the world of master ice sculptors who have transformed the town into a stage for impressive frozen creations. If you need a break from all the amazing ice sculptures then you can carry on to be amazed by the Medieval Gothic architecture of Lübeck. A day out full of possibilities!

Marcus Ehning

Jumping, dressage and carriage driving are all on the agenda in Frankfurt.

Four-legged fun. If cosier and warmer international action is more your thing but Frankfurt's Festhalle is your preferred destination still, then maybe the Mitsubishi Cup International, one of the biggest indoor equestrian events in Europe, will excite. With prize money in the range of €350,000, it’s also one of the richest and features everything horsey from carriage-driving and dressage to jumping events. The annual Christams event usually attracts around 30,000 spectators so a great atmosphere is guaranteed.

Amerikanische Familie in München Weihnachtsmarkt

A trip back in time is fun for all the family.

Ye Olde Christmas Market! Germany at Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a market or two. And there are plnety to choose from. However, if you’re looking for something different why not head to Esslingen for the Medieval Christmas Market. Dating back to 777, the medieval market, held every year on the Rathausplatz, has that authentic nature based in historical traditions. Witness the sights and smells of the Middle Ages with jesters, knights and sorcerers and a vast array of delicious food cooked on open fires. There is traditional crafts and art on sale as well as the opportunity to get some slightly unusual Christmas presents. The market runs until Dec. 22 and is open now.


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