German Wine Street offers car-free fun

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The German Wine Street closes to motorized traffic for its car-free adventure day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For the 19th time, Germany’s oldest tourist route turns into the center of the Palatinate on 80 kilometers from Bockenheim in the north to Schweigen in the south. This year’s motto is “Romans in the Palatinate.”
The car-free route leading through Germany’s biggest wine-growing area will turn into a busy bike trail and skaters’ and hikers’ route.
Roman times have a revival at several locations. Roman military camps that show how soldiers lived in ancient times are put up in Bad Duerkheim-Ungstein and at the traffic circle when leaving Neustadt toward Mussbach.
Roman culture is being presented in Wachenheim with Roman food specialties and spiced wines. The historical museum offers the opportunity to become sculptors and engrave Roman letters into stone. Visitors can also put on clothes of Roman times and have their pictures taken.
In the Roman camp in Edenkoben, visitors can receive a Roman hairstyle and make-up. Gladiator fights start at 11:30 a.m. A Roman wedding is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Museums with Roman findings are in Eisenberg, Bad Duerkheim, Deidesheim, Neustadt, Speyer and Rheinzabern.
Towns and villages along the German Wine Street offer entertaining programs with many attractions. There is music, sports and games. Palatinate wine and champagne as well as regional culinary specialties are served in restaurants, tents and booths.
The minister president of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kurt Beck, and the Palatinate Wine Queen, Tina Kiefer, officially open the event at 10 a.m. on Stadtplatz in Bad Duerkheim.
The traditional 10-kilometer run starts in two places again. The route in the north goes from Bockenheim to Kirchheim and the one in the south from Weissenburg to Bad Bergzabern. Starting time is 10 a.m.
Organizers ask all bicyclists, walkers and skaters for mutual respect. They expect 300,000 to 400,000 visitors and recommend using public transportation vehicles such as the train or buses. For details, visit