Germany is one of those special countries riddled with historic sites and relics of long ago.
America has its sites and relics, too, but it’s different. We’re a nation less than 250 years old, which is comparatively young. To put it in perspective, Niederkail, a neighboring village of Spangdahlem Air Base, recently celebrated its 800th anniversary.
A country with that many years under its belt has many famous landmarks Americans stationed overseas can visit. The Berlin Wall, the Black Forest, Neuschwanstein Castle, Brandenburg Gate.
But even the local attractions hold a certain appeal. I’m talking about geological excursions of Gerolstein, an in-depth tour of Himmerod Abbey or a pleasant hike through Devil’s Canyon.
With that in mind, we have decided to showcase some of these unique local travel opportunities with a travel blog. We’ve also narrowed our focus to include travel opportunities within the Eifel region, with the exception of any information, tickets and travel tours in which we participate in. These local stories should help all of us realize the vast amount of history literally on our doorstep.
The intent is to have a blog post at least twice a month. The reasoning behind this is first of all, public affairs doesn’t necessarily have the manpower to send one of our Airmen out every week. Secondly, money is tight for everyone. I’d like to believe that traveling is free, but we have to be realistic and budget for gas, food and entry into attractions.
With that being said, we’ll make sure to keep extensive journal entries as to what is happening during our travels. It helps us remember the good and bad of the adventure. This helps you, because if we make a mistake, we can hopefully save you from doing the same.
Keep in mind, this isn’t one-way communication. If you comment on our posts, we’ll answer your questions. If you suggest a site, we’ll do our hardest to include it into the rotation of our travels.
Remember, this is your community. We’re here to help you enjoy it to the fullest. In my opinion, that means taking advantage of the well-kept secrets of Europe.
Spangdahlem truly is a gateway to adventure!
Just a short drive from Spangdahlem Air Base, the city of Bitburg stands as a great place to visit for a meal or shopping on the economy.
While much smaller than Trier, the quaint city offers pedestrian walking areas around shopping and restaurant centers, but visitors should not limit themselves to the main square. Much more is tucked away throughout the city.
Parking lots can be found off the main streets, but on-street parking is most common, from what I’ve seen.
There are so many great places to eat that I rarely visit the same restaurant twice! A friend recently visited me; and while we were out to dinner, he struggled to understand the menu. I told him to close his eyes and point to an item because there is no way he would be disappointed.
If visiting different restaurants are not on your list of things to do, there are various antique shops, second-hand stores, cafés and bakeries that you may stumble upon when roaming the city. Speaking of … the city is easy to navigate when you need to pick up something specific in a pinch.
Bitburg is home to the American Bitburg Air Base. The base has been an active influence in the community for many years and although it is closing, the locals are used to seeing Americans around the area, so as long as you’re polite, you should have no problem finding your way around or asking for directions.
Feel free to try out your German language skills here with a phrase seen throughout the city, “Bitte ein Bit.” The city is best known for its famous brew Bitburger which among the most famous in the area.
If you’re driving throughout the city and wonder why all the roads seem to be going in direct, don’t worry, Bitburg underwent a road change in 2013, integrating a central ring for all traffic throughout the city. The ring establishes no stopping zones and foregoes traffic lights, except certain areas for pedestrian crossings.
While in Bitburg, people can expect to see Fashing celebrations as well as many other cultural festivals throughout the year.
So, if you are looking for a quick and easy trip to a local city with little to no planning beforehand, Bitburg may be the city for you.