Exploring German Wanderlust

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WHEN spring arrives, the first rays of sunshine begin to tempt people off their couches and into nature for a walk. But few can top the Germans when it comes to Wanderlust. The Megamarsch, founded two years ago, sees hikes of 100 km in 24 hours in seven big German cities, attracting a growing number of participants (sometimes, as this year in Munich, more than logistics will allow). The annual “Tag des Wanderns” (Hiking Day), held on May 14th, promotes hiking in tours and workshops all over the country. And with 1.2m members, the Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV), founded in 1869, is the biggest mountaineering sports association in the world. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, pulls on her boots with her husband nearly every summer holiday, often heading to South Tyrol. 

Naturally, this is reflected in the culture. Where else would hiking books top the bestseller lists? Christine Thürmer has hiked 40,000 km in Europe, America and Australia since she left her job, her flat and her normal life in 2007, fully embracing a new…Continue reading

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