The love of nature among Germans begins in childhood. Many spent their childhood and youth in small towns or villages surrounded by forests and fields. For this reason, when they move to the big city, many adults feel a special attachment to nature and spend their free time, and sometimes even entire vacations, in nature.
Germans Love Hiking
A special pastime in nature and one of Germans’ favorite hobbies is wandern (English hike), which means to walk on foot in nature, hiking, traveling on foot, hiking. Unfortunately, in Russian there is no analogue of this word, so only an adapted translation is possible. Die Wanderung (hike) – hiking, walking; der Wanderer (hiker) – wayfarer, tourist (foot); die Wanderlust (wanderlust) – passion for travel.
“Wandern.” – are long or short hikes, with or without a specific route. Hiking is widespread in Germany. There are two good reasons for this: the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and the relative cheapness of such a hobby 🙂 Almost every settlement has its “routes”, accompanied by a detailed description and signs signs, and clubs, associations hikers (der Wanderverein). In hiking go to families, with friends and even with small children. There are about 200,000 kilometers of hiking trails across Germany.
Every outdoorsman (ein Wanderer) has special clothing and footwear: die Wanderklamotten und die Wanderschuhe / die Wanderstiefel.
Germans travel extensively within their native country. The favorite regions for nature lovers are Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
The love of nature for Germans is not only about walking and admiring the beauty of the landscape, but also about protecting the natural wealth of their homeland. Caring for nature in Germany begins with strict legislation and ends with the personal consciousness and responsibility of each individual member of society. This last point is best explained by the well-known phrase “where there is no littering, there is no littering. Germans are not only very responsible with regard to the law, but also try to live in harmony with the world around them. Here are just a few of the many possible examples:
- The transport tax levied on vehicle owners partly provides funding for environmental protection measures.
- It happens that favorite hiking trails are closed for a certain time, due to the breeding time of the animal species living in the area. Tourists should not frighten the shy forest dwellers.
- Ecotourism and so-called “sustainable travel” (nachhaltiger Tourismus) (1) are becoming increasingly popular. The main idea: man should exist, as well as rest, in harmony with nature, not polluting and not destroying it.
- Tourist regions charge a resort fee to develop the region’s infrastructure and preserve natural diversity.
- It is strictly forbidden to make bonfires in the forests. You can have a picnic and make a fire in nature only in a specially designated place.
- It is typical of Germans to pay special attention to everyday events and the possible consequences for the surrounding world. In this connection, another example of concern for animal diversity. There is an ongoing discussion in Germany about the introduction of a tax for pet cat owners. Note that Germany already has a tax for dog owners. The funds received from this tax are used for the development of urban infrastructure: in the cities you can often see small containers with black bags that are designed for cleaning. Owners are required to clean up after their pets in the streets. The possibility of a tax for pet cat owners has other reasons than keeping the streets of cities clean. Many owners let their cats roam free in the streets. Cats are small carnivores, and they hunt not only mice but also birds. The species diversity of birds is thus threatened. In order to support and preserve the bird population in the country, the possibility of introducing a tax for cat owners is being discussed.
In conclusion, we would like to quote Karl Marx: “Man lives by nature.”.
1. Facts about Germany. All the facts. A brief overview. Download a free ebook Facts about Germany in Russian you can – here.