Around the Frankfurt Green Belt
The Green Belt is a 70-km biking trail, encompassing a network of regional trails winding throughout the entire Rhein-Main area. Along the way, cyclists get a chance to visit dozens of historic sites, viewpoints, gardens, forests and playgrounds. The trail follows the city's "green lung", a network of parks and forests that total 8,000 ha, or a third of the city's area. The trail stretches all the way to the Natural Park Hochtaunus to the Northwest, and its natural border to the South is Odenwald. There is also a hiking trail, which joins a network of 13 different trails that total 63 km through picturesque monuments and natural landscapes. For a free map of the green belt, contact the Environmental Office (Umweltamt).
Tel: 069-212 39100
Bike Tours in Hessen
Over the past decade, Hessen has built an extensive network of bike paths totaling 2,200 km from Reinhaldswald to Odenwald. Detailed maps are available at newsagents or from the Hessen Tourism Association. You can also consult the excellent website www.radroutenplaner.hessen.de If you want to go yet further afield, the German Federal Railway offers discounted weekend train tickets for biking tour groups. Detailed maps of Hessen's bicycle paths are available at most newsagents or from the Hessen Tourism Association.
Cricket in Germany traces back to the 1850s when British and American expatriates in Berlin founded the first club. Today there are more than 50 clubs playing in four different regions as well as a German Cricket Association. In Hessen there are 11 clubs and new members are always welcome. For more information, contact the Hessen Cricket Association at firstname.lastname@example.org. .
Nearly every town and city in Germany has its own swimming pool - either outdoor or indoor. These facilities range from municipal pools for families to luxurious water parks. If you live in Frankfurt, the best way to find a facility that meets your needs is to consult the Baederbetriebe Frankfurt (Tel: 069 - 213 240 34, www.bbf-frankfurt.de) to find out where to take a dip in one of the more than 90 pools in the metropolitan area.
If you'd rather swim in a more natural setting, there are dozens of lakes (Badeseen) across the region. In the Rhein-Main region, the largest lake is the Langener Waldsee, where you can not only swim, but also go sailing and camping. Open daily from 8 am - 8:30 pm, from mid-May to mid-September. For more information, call 069 - 692 688 or for information on other lakes, visit www.sommer-sonne-see.de.
Spas, Saunas and Thermal Baths
During the gray winter season, there is nothing better than spending a day in thermal springs. With more than 30 thermal baths in the region, Hessen is one of the states offering the greatest relaxation opportunities in Germany. The thermal tradition in Germany dates back to the Roman era, and the concept of a healthy body and soul is still very much valued here.For more detailed information on all 32 health resorts and spas in the region, contact the Hessen's health resort organization (Hessischer Heilbaederverband), www.hessischer-heilbaederverband.de Along with the more traditional therapeutic baths, there is also a growing market for bigger wellness complexes that offer countless activities for the whole family. Several spas and thermal baths are currently being modernized and many are being turned into huge complexes that encompass everything under one roof: outdoor - indoor pools, whirlpools, water parks, saunas, spas, thermal baths, etc. In the Frankfurt region, the possibilities are plentiful: at least a dozen wellness centers are spread out across the area. Note that the spa culture in Germany is practiced naked - meaning that you cannot enter the sauna area wearing your bathing suit. Some, but not all, spas have separate facilities for women.
Germans have a healthy and ongoing interest in inline skating. It is so much a part of the norm here, that one can actually buy good-quality skates at supermarkets. Every Tuesday night, from April through October, thousands of skaters roll through the streets of Frankfurt. The meeting point is in Sachsenhausen am Deutschherrenufer (in the area between the Alte Bruecke/Ignatz-Bubis-Bruecke/Frankensteiner Platz) at 8 pm, and the fun begins at 8:30 pm. On average, up to 2,000 people participate, so you cannot miss it. The tour is typically 35-42 kilometers long and skaters return to their starting point at about 11 pm. Note that the tour is not suitable to novice skaters. Tuesday Night Skating (TNS) also organizes skating trips across Europe. For more information consult the TNS website at www.t-n-s.de