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German climbing centers

The sport of climbing is becoming more popular in Germany. According to the national tourist board, there are 180 indoor climbing centers now open in the country. Here are some the board recommends checking out.

• Enjoy a futuristic feel at the Duisburg-Nord Industrial Landscape Park. The three-hour supervised Expedition Steel tour takes place in an unused foundry. As part of a team, you scale heights using thin steel cables and transverse wobbly barrels and swaying planks.

No previous experience is necessary, but climbers must be at least 16 years old. The price is 80 euros per person and equipment is provided (group rates and dates also available).

Initial scheduled dates, all Saturdays at 5 p.m., are Jan. 16, Feb. 13, March 13, April 3 and 17 and May 8 and 22,

Find details at www.power-ruhrgebiet.de.

• Germany’s largest indoor/outdoor climbing hall is the Bronx Rock in Wesseling, between Bonn and Cologne. A family hall, it has 300 varied and innovative routes with heights up to about 54 feet. It’s open 9 a.m. to midnight weekdays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Admission weekdays is 11.50 euros for adults and 10 euros for children; on weekends it is 12.50 euros for adults and 11 euros for children. Equipment is available for rent.

There is a mandatory beginners course, which costs 22.95 euros. It’s held 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, and 1-3 p.m. weekends.

A 400-meter climbing forest in Hardtbergbad also has opened.

Find more at www.bronxrock.de.

• For those who want a little relaxation along with climbing, there’s the Bergwerk Climbing Hall set in the former Hansa Coking Plant in Dortmund. It has 400 varied routes of all difficulties. It also has a separate children’s climbing and play area, stone-tiled sauna area, under-floor heating, cafe, beer garden and an outdoor area with a lawn, beach and volleyball court. It features various climbing courses, offers instruction and rents equipment.

The hall is open 2 to 11 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends. Tickets cost 10 euros for adults and 5 euros for children 12 and younger. Get details at www.kletterhallebergwerg.de.

Einstein Museum

When he developed his famous E=mc2 formula and the theory of relativity in 1905, Albert Einstein was working in a patent office in Bern, Switzerland. Today, interested visitors can learn more about the man who would radically change the field of physics at the Einstein Museum, located in the city’s Historical Museum.

His theories are explained through original memorabilia, film documentaries about his life and animated films, experiments and a virtual journey through the cosmos.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission, which includes entry to the historical museum, is 18 Swiss francs (about $18) for adults, 8 Swiss francs for children 6 to 16 and free for those younger than 6 years.

The Web site is www.einsteinmuseum.ch.


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