Published: November 27, 2013
Enjoy extreme outdoor endeavors without fear of loss of life or limb by checking out the collection of films showcased in the European Outdoor Film Tour, being screened in various German venues through late January.
Nine short films and documentaries complete the program, which includes some 120 minutes of film viewing, punctuated by a half hour break, host commentary and a sweepstakes.
Activities to enjoy vicariously include whitewater kayaking in the jungles of Mexico, tackling mountain summits by bike in Kyrgyzstan, surviving the winter in a homemade hut above the Polar Circle, off-width climbing in Utah, and other hair-raising pursuits.
Tickets to the shows cost 14 euros and tend to sell out very quickly. A sporting goods store in each locality serves as the ticket seller; purchase them well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Venues hosting the tour near U.S. military communities include:
• Nuremberg, Meistersingerhalle, Nov. 25, 8 p.m.
• Bamberg, Konzerthalle, Nov. 30, 5 and 8:30 p.m.
• Regensburg, University-Audimax, Dec. 6, 5 and 8:30 p.m.
• Mannheim, Capitol, Dec. 18, 8 p.m.
• Wiesbaden, Thalia, Jan. 28, 8:00 p.m.
• Karlsruhe, Konzerthalle, Jan. 31, 8 p.m.
For the complete list of cities hosting the festival, tickets sales and more about the films, see www.eoft.eu.
Published: October 28, 2013
German Rail is offering a special chance to enjoy a short Saturday getaway. From now through Dec. 11, a “Samstags-Ticket” lets two people travel together to destinations countrywide for just 59 euros total. The catch? All travel must be completed within the same day.
The deal applies to trains classed as ICE (Inter City Europe), Intercity and Eurocity, as well as local trains. A third, fourth or fifth person can join the party for just 10 euros per person. Children ages 6 to 14 can travel with a parent free; note that their names must be listed on the group ticket. Children younger than 6 also travel free, but need not be named on the ticket.
There are, of course, some limitations to the offer. Tickets must be purchased at least three days before the start of a journey. Spaces along some of the most popular routes might be sold out on desired travel dates. The deal cannot be used in combination with trips outside the country.
Find information (in German) at http://tinyurl.com/pdovofw.
Published: September 26, 2013
The Fotofestival Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg, Germany’s biggest curated photography festival, celebrates its fifth anniversary through Nov 10.
Artistic partner to this edition of the festival is the highly regarded Magnum Photos, a worldwide photo agency established in 1947 that provides documentary and artistic images to the press, publishers, advertising, galleries and museums. The festival takes place across eight exhibition venues, three cities and two federal states.
Published: September 20, 2013
Munich’s Oktoberfest might be the mother of all beer festivals, but sky-high hotel prices or the hassle of finding a seat in a tent without reservations are enough to put some people off. Luckily, it’s also possible to get into the spirit of the season by attending an Oktoberfest-style event outside of Bavaria.
Here is a sampling of places where readers can heft a frothy mug of suds in the weeks to come:
Published: September 10, 2013
There’s still time to sign up for the first-ever edition of the Fisherman’s Friend StrongmanRun Luxembourg. The event, first held in Germany in 2007 and since staged in a half-dozen other which has been held in several European nations, debuts in the Duchy on Oct. 20 in Differdange.
Strongmen and strongwomen will cover a distance of some about 12 miles in two laps, overcoming 15 obstacles with each pass. Participants will climb, jump and swim across gravel pits, tire swings, bales of hay, wire, reinforced steel and frigid waters. With so many participants battling through simultaneously, organizers note the real risk of injury.
Entrants must be older than 16; those under 18 must have parents on hand to grant permission at the start. Registration costs 69 euros ($91); a mandatory chip for time measurement is an extra 30 euros, 25 euros is refundable upon return of the chip. See www.strongmanrun.eu.
Published: August 30, 2013
Keep that summer feeling alive after Labor Day with a trip to a beach in Portugal’s Algarve region. The 11th edition of the International Sand Castle Festival, known as FIESA, runs through Oct. 25 in Pêra. About 50 artists will have used 40,000 tons of sand as a canvas, creating vast sculptures inspired by this year’s theme of music. By evening, illumination adds a new dimension to the works. Visitors who are feeling creative can head to a special area to try their own hand at sand artistry.
The giant outdoor park opens daily at 10 a.m., closing at midnight through Sept. 15 and at 8 p.m. Sept. 16-Oct. 25.
Entry costs 9 euros for adults and 4.50 euros for ages 6-12; kids up to age 5 enter free. The park will close in bad weather.
Learn more at www.fiesa.org.
Published: August 7, 2013
If this year’s cold and rainy spring put a damper on the pleasure derived from things that bloom, it’s not too late to get a flower fix. Throughout the next few weeks, events in which buds and blossoms take center stage abound. Here are a few worth checking out.
• Selestat, a charming town in France’s Alsace region, holds the 84th edition of its Corso Fleuri, or flower parade, Saturday, with events starting at 4 p.m. Referred to as “The Fest of 500,000 Dahlias,” the theme of this year’s festivities is art in its broadest sense, and its floats promise to transport visitors into the world of painting, cinema, theater, comics, high fashion and other realms. The first parade sets off at 6 p.m., while the night parade begins at 10 p.m. Street artists, concerts and fireworks round out the program. Adult entry to the parade and fest area costs 7 euros; those under age 12 enter free. See http://tinyurl.com/qc7whaw for details. English pages are available.
Published: August 1, 2013
The term “tattoo,” once applied to the drumbeat signaling soldiers back to barracks in the evening, is nowadays better known as a military pageant featuring music, marching and exercises performed as entertainment.
One of the world’s best-known is The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, opening Friday, Aug. 2, and taking place daily except Sundays through Aug. 24.
Bunol, Spain’s gigantic tomato fight known as La Tomatina, held annually on the last Wednesday of August, has grown so popular that town authorities have decided to levy what is referred to as a government tax on participation. As of this year, it will cost 10 euros (about $13) per person to get to the area where tomatoes for pelting one’s neighbor are distributed from the back of trucks. The event website notes that with the addition of the fee, the truck route has been lengthened to offer more space to those who want to join the tomato fight.
To book a ticket in advance for the Aug. 28 event, visit http://latomatina.info. Another option is to book a package including bus transportation to Bunol from Valencia, just over 20 miles away. Packages are available through the aforementioned site or from other tour operators including latomatinatours.com, which also offers packages including accommodation.
An open-air performance in a castle courtyard sounds fine indeed, but what to do when you don’t speak the local language? Some theater companies performing Shakespeare’s plays in English have already taken their summer 2013 productions on the road. Here is a sampling of performances in historical settings:
• The American Drama Group Europe, which brings English theater to a primary audience of non-native speakers worldwide by offering affordable ticket prices, brings its production of “The Taming of the Shrew” to Germany, stopping at Schloss Mainau on July 8; The Residenz in Würzburg on July 9; Schloss Hohenschwangau on July 12; Schloss Amerang in Crailsheim on July 15; the Brunnenhof Residenz in Munich on July 17; and Schloss Heidelberg on July 24. The group brings “Much Ado About Nothing” to Kasteel Huis Bergh in the Netherlands on Sept. 8. Find the complete schedule at http://adg-europe.com.