Germany not only lies at the geographic crossroads of Europe, it lies also at the subcontinent's economic and political heart. The northern regions of Germany being the
Northern Plains are areas glaciated by the Continental ice sheets moving out of Scandinavia. These areas comprise some of the most sterile soils in all of Germany. For the most part clothed only in heather and pines. The Luneburg Heath south of Hamburg is one of the most extensive areas. In sharp contrast to these unproductive heathlands are the loess soils that form an almost continuous belt across the front of the Central Uplands, these soils among of the most fertile in Germany and early on gave rise to a dense agricultural settlement and many of the leading towns of mediaeval Germany grew up as market centres for the rich agricultural hinterlands of the loess belt, including Munster, Hanover, Braunschweig, Magde- burg, Leipzig and Dresden. The largest industrial concentration in Germany is located in the valley of the Ruhr river. The Ruhr owes its industrial pre-eminence to a combination of factors, primarily to its location on the largest deposit of high-grade coal in Europe, but also to its location adjacent to one of the great navigable rivers of the subcontinent. Through the Rhine and its inter-connecting system of canals, as well as by means of a highly developed railway network, the Ruhr has managed to supply large areas of Western Europe with coal, while at the same time giving rise to an agglomeration of industries that makes it the economic nerve centre of Germany. The Central Uplands is a landscape of low forested ridges reaching about 3000ft elevation and open cultivated valleys. The Rhine Graben is the country's premier agricultural region. Its ele- vation lies below 500ft. The Alpine Forland has been glaciated and has infertile moranic soils. Its elevation varies from 700ft to 2200ft and it summer temperatures are cool and its winters are cold and snowy. Located at the foot of the Alps, it is a favourite area of tourists in both summer and winter.
Berlin one of the most captivating cities in Europe, Germany's exiting capital is a joy to discover for all ages. The fusion of outstanding modern architecture with poignant reminders of Berlins turbulent past has formed a fascinating metropolis that continues to change. Enjoy supurb museums, exellent shopping, spacious parks and unsurpassed nightlife. Places to see are the Reichstag, the seat of Parliament is well worth visiting as one of many impressive buildings in this vibrant city. The restored Unter den Linden Avenue sweeping eastwards from the symbolic Brandenburg Gate provides a glimpse of historic, pre-war Berlin. Also go and see Checkpoint Charlie museum and the East Side Gallery, an open air gallery of the longest preserved section of the Berlin Wall. Berlin is an exiiting place to shop and the renowned Kurfuerstendamm offers 2 miles of supurb shopping or visit Berlin's largest park the Tiergarten.