Sambesi, Göttingen

The Sambesi is a restaurant at Göttingen, Germany, named after the river running through central and Southern Africa. I have a little bit mixed feelings about this place as you can get nice African-style dishes here but it is often too loud and the restaurant has the atmosphere of a waiting hall at a railway station. Additionally, I never had the desire to eat ostrich, crocodile or zebra meat – which seems to be the unique selling proposition of this restaurant.

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Bilsteinklippen, Kassel

The Brasselsberg mountain close to Kassel, Germany, is full of rock formations of volcanic origin. There were different volcanoes and over time erosion washed weaker material out and left bizarre rocks throughout the mountains. Some are better known as they are located next to frequently used hiking paths (like the Porta Lapidaria) and some are very special like the Teufelsmauer and facilities like protective huts have been created next to them. A rather unknown beauty are the Bilsteinklippen, a collection of large volcanic rocks near the Bismarckturm.

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View from Hirzstein, Kassel

When you’re hiking within the Habichtswald near Kassel, Germany you might find signs leading you to the Hirzstein – a 500 meters high rock formation with a nature preserve. Access is possible from the Teufelseck near the Teufelsmauer. It is just a one kilometre long way along the mountain through beautiful forest until you reach a viewing platform. Here you will find benches and very good views on Baunatal and Schauenburg. A detour is absolutely worth to take!

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Burgruine Schauenburg

View from Burgberg, Schauenburg

The municipality of Schauenburg, Germany, is (like also, for example, Baunatal) a combination of different villages: Breitenbach, Elgershausen, Elmshagen, Hoof and Martinhagen. Its centre is at Hoof and the symbol of the municipality is the Schauenburg, a former fortification on a volcanic cone (the Burgberg). It dates back to the 11th century CE and the structures are clearly visible on top of the mountain – different walls are still standing and even some crop plants from these times have survived.

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Wet grave

Fuldabrücke, Guntershausen, Baunatal

Different stories about bridges could be told at Guntershausen. The village belonging to Baunatal, Germany, is an important railway junction where the tracks from Kassel to Frankfurt (Main-Weser-Bahn) and from Kassel to Bebra (Friedrich-Wilhelms-Nordbahn) meet. Since 1848 a large and beautiful bridge leads over river Fulda, but its centrepiece was destroyed during World War II by the Nazis. It was rebuilt in 1952 in modern style. The most macabre story happened during the construction works of a nearby road bridge. High water stopped the construction works in 1924 right after the piling walls had been placed.

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SÖ-1, Söhre, Söhrewald

The Söhre is a far-spread mountain range with beautiful forests close to Kassel, Germany. At its centre, a municipality called Söhrewald can be found but the Söhre also reaches into municipalities like Lohfelden, Guxhagen, Fuldabrück, Helsa, Kaufungen or Hessisch Lichtenau. It is an area beloved for nice hiking tracks and different routes like the Märchenlandweg or the Kassel-Steig guide you through it. The Söhre is closely linked to Kassel as brown coal was found there and transported via the Söhrebahn to the city. This created many villages along the track that today people live at that commute to Kassel.

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Söhrebahn, Wellerode, Söhrewald

The Söhrebahn was a railway leading from the city quarter Bettenhausen of Kassel, Germany, to the forest behind the village Wellerode (passing Eisenhammer, Lohfelden and Vollmarshausen). It was built in normal width (1435 mm), more than 10 kilometres long and opened in 1912. Within the Söhre brown coal had been found and it was transported from there to Kassel – but also other companies along the track started to use it and connecting tracks where built. The railway track was also used to transport persons and its existence connected the Söhre closely to Kassel. Many villages along the way grew and people used the trains to commute to the city.

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Noah‘s ark

Coati, Zoo Arche Noah, Grömitz

The zoological garden Noah‘s Arche at Grömitz, Germany, is one of these family-friendly zoos: not too big, not too expensive – but with enough animals, a children’s area, a playground and a short railway to ride. On the inhabitant list, you can find lions & lynxes, coatis & camels, alpacas & apes; but also wallabies, porcupines, raccoons and many more species. I was really surprised to see the tree full of raccoons climbing around and I loved the areas where you can get in touch with goats, alpacas, nandus and llamas – don’t forget to buy animal feed at the entrance!

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Aaliyah’s books

Aaliyahs books, بيروت

The Armenian quarter of بيروت, Lebanon is well-known for its good bars and restaurants. It is located in the former Christian East of the city and you can easily reach the road called Armenia from Martyr’s square and the city centre. Close to the St. Nicholas Stairs (linking Armenia with the Sursock art museum and often used for art exhibitions) you will find Aaliyah’s books – one of the cosiest places of the Lebanese capital.

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