This 'land of open spaces', as it's known in Germany, gives visitors a sense of well-being. Its vastness and variety of scenery offer a welcome break from the pace of modern life, Hikers, lovers of the great outdoors or those simply looking to unwind will find plenty on offer here. Take the Hochrhöner trail from Bad Kissingen to Bad Salzungen, voted Germany's most beautiful walking route in 2010. Experience the extraordinary rock formations and ancient woodland of the Gangolfsberg and Milseburg peaks. Orchards, meadows in bloom and pastures with free-roaming Rhön sheep all attest to a long-standing human presence here. The highly sought-after produce of the region and the inventiveness of its culinary artisans are a delight for gastronomes. Devotees of the sport of gliding might already be familiar with Mount Wasserkuppe. Hessen's highest peak was the birthplace of the sport and remains a meeting point for gliding enthusiasts from all over the world. The former border between East and West Germany that used to pass through here is still very much in people's minds. Point Alpha, the former listening post where the NATO allies squared off against the Warsaw Pact countries, is today a memorial site featuring exhibitions showing what it was like to live with – and so close to – the border.
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