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Wandering up from the car park, the sandy track is lined with blowsy dog roses. I tuck into a local seafood platter of matjes, sweet beetroot, salmon with sour cream and dill, and brown shrimp, before wandering down onto the sand to walk beside the crashing surf. As he opens the metal door, smoke swirls out.

Inside are trays of butterfish, salmon and eels hanging from hooks. Here, sacks of beans sit in one corner while piles of cakes line the counter including Frisian torte, made from puff pastry, cream and plum jam. Keitum is classier than Kampen, with its 13th-century church and tangle of lanes lined with 18th-century houses. Infectiously enthusiastic, Johannes beckons me into the herb garden at the back, plucking leaves for me to taste. He makes most of the products sold in the shop, such as the vibrant-green leek oil. Others are his personal favourites. The loup de mer with fried fennel , clams and bergamot is fruity and fragrant.

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Originally from the Baltic coast, Bodendorf first washed up here in , and liked it so much he came back a couple of years later. He loves beach living.

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The following morning I drive north to List and squelch across the sand to the oyster beds on the Wattenmeer mudflats to meet Christoffer Bohlig as he turns the cages of crustaceans at low tide. They harvest two to three million molluscs a year. Back at the warehouse attached to a rustic restaurant sylter-royal. Alexandro Pape had a Michelin star.

In August he opened a microbrewery in the same building. The open sandwiches — shrimp and egg on rye — are good, too. Piled artistically high, the teetering creations are what happens when a Michelin-starred chef turns his attention to the humble snack. More info: germany. Home Travel Europe Foodie road trip in Sylt. August 17, at pm. Oysters, Sylt. Club matches of the Bundesliga bundesliga.

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Nevertheless, a Budesliga match is a must for any true football fan, not least because facilities in club stadiums are superb after renovations to host the World Cup. The most successful club is Bayern Munich, regulars in the European Champions League with a record twenty-two league cups in its trophy cabinet.

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The league runs from mid-August to the end of May, and tickets for games, generally played on Saturday, can be bought at stadium gates on matchday or at ticket shops — often a dedicated fan shop — in the preceding week for all but the biggest games. The league website lists fixtures, grounds and links to online ticket sales. Some fans may be fairly lumpen — with much boozed-up bellowing of club anthems — but generally nonviolent. In the past decade the country has developed a taste for so-called Nordic walking , a fitness pursuit whose participants stride purposefully with ski poles.

Popular areas include the Harz, the Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, Saxon Switzerland and the Thuringian Forest, though many trails in any of these areas travel through thick forest, so views can be limited. Details are in relevant chapters. A useful source of walking information is Wanderbares Deutschland wanderbares-deutschland.

Kompass publishes hiking maps of popular walking areas. Simply a joy. Over two hundred long-distance cycle routes across the country provide 42,km of excellent touring. Dedicated cycle-paths off the main road typically follow river valleys — the classic is the Elberadweg Elbe Cycle Route; elberadweg. The national tourist board has a good section on its website that provides a heads-up on many of the most popular touring routes, while the key contact is the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club ADFC; adfc. Cycle maps are widely available through local tourist offices.

For details of taking a bike on the train, see By bike.

But nearby ski village Oberammergau has the finest cross-country skiing in Germany — all 90km of it — as well as steep pistes on the Laber hills m. Steeper still is the Dammkar-tunnel near Mittenwald on the other side of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, its forty-percent-incline hill one of the most challenging in Germany. Outside of Bavaria, the Black Forest offers good downhill skiing; the low-lying Harz and the Sauerland regions focus more on cross-country skiing; weather permitting; and there are lesser scenes in the Thuringian Forest highlands around Oberhof and on the Czech border in south Saxony.

As far as the architecture goes, the town is known for its steeples and spires, high-gabled houses, strong towers and massive gates. The town is also billed as the world capital of marzipan, having been the spot where this delightful confection was first devised there is a legend attached, of course. There are also some great cafes and restaurants to enjoy in this beautiful town which feels quite unlike any other.

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Black Forest cake and cuckoo clocks are what most visitors travel to Freiburg for, but the beautiful city has far more to offer than the expected. The recommended way to explore the town and environs is by bicycle there are plenty for hire along more than 93 miles km of bicycle paths. Visitors will find a wealth of ancient history, some delicious food and wine, and breath-taking natural beauty in Freiburg. The city really a large town is known for its university, magnificent cathedral and medieval treasures, and a somewhat bohemian vibe with its street musicians and pavement artists.

The Altstadt Old City is picturesque, featuring canals and dozens of historic buildings. A cable car carries passengers on scenic trips up the Schauinsland Mountain from the Stadtgarten to enjoy the view from the mountaintop restaurant. Visitors very much enjoy the local Black Forest cuisine on offer in Freiburg's restaurants, and the local wines produced in the region surrounding the city. The weather in Freiburg is renowned to be sunny and warm compared to other parts of Germany, and the city takes full advantage of this to host several festivals throughout the year, including a music festival in mid-June each year, followed by a wine festival at the end of June and a wine-tasting festival in mid-August.

One of Berlin's most popular attractions, this unusual exhibition recounts the history of the German capital city from its foundation until the fall of the Wall in The Story of Berlin is divided into 25 themed rooms and pays attention to the feelings, thoughts and living conditions of common Berliners. The museum is impressively well designed and compelling with modern multimedia technology in every room and a good mix of historical fact and more personal, anecdotal detail.

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History buffs may be disappointed that the exhibits don't go into more detail but the museum covers about years of history and is understandably superficial in some respects; its strength is the recreation of atmosphere and mood in different eras and its visual representation of each period. One of its main attractions is the nuclear bunker that was built during the Cold War in the s and the admission price includes a guided tour through this nuclear bomb shelter.

Guided tours are available every hour, starting in the foyer. Founded by the Romans as a mercantile centre on the northern edge of the Black Forest, Pforzheim, at the confluence of the Wurm, Enz and Nagold Rivers, is today the centre for traditional jewellery and clock-making in Germany. The town is home to the fascinating Technisches Museum, commemorating the important role time-keeping has played in Pforzheim's history. The museum features a reconstruction of a clock-making studio in the 19th century, among other things.

Jewellery is also important in the town and the Schmuckmuseum collection features pieces dating from the 3rd century BC through to modern times. Pforzheim also has an interesting Alpine Garden which has , or more varieties of high-altitude plants growing in a natural setting beside the Wurm River. Tragically, about a quarter of Pforzheim's population was killed in air raids during World War II and up to 80 percent of its buildings destroyed so today it looks much more modern than one would expect for an ancient settlement.

Visitors can still see some charming s buildings from the rebuilding project though and some historic structures have survived; besides, the town's involvement in the war is interesting, particularly for military history buffs. On a lighter note, the famous rock band Fool's Garden originated in the town. Another charming village in the Black Forest, Triberg has a lot to offer visitors and is something of a cultural centre.

The true spirit of the Black Forest is brought to life in the Schwarzwald-Museum of Triberg, which documents the old traditions and lifestyle of this unique region, with displays of costumes, handcrafts including clocks, naturally and furnishings. It also boasts Europe's biggest barrel organ collection.

Another of Triberg's most interesting attractions is the pilgrimage church called Maria in the Fir, an 18th-century, Baroque church.

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Nearby Gutach, a popular excursion from Triberg, contains original Black Forest homes up to four centuries old at the Freilchtmuseum Schwarzwalder. An exceptional waterfall at Gutach, one of Germany's highest waterfalls, drops down the mountainside in seven stages, accessible by a lovely walking trail.

South of Triberg, a huge variety of elaborate Black Forest clocks are on display at the German Clock Museum, to be found at Gerwigstrasse in the village of Furtwangen.