Through snowy woods and over broad plateaus, cross-country skiers glide over excellently prepared trails. The Black Forest, in southwestern Germany, with its gentle hills is ideal for cross-country tours.
The highlands of the Black Forest offer Europe's largest contiguous cross-country ski network: 1200 kilometers of interconnected trails. Beginners can take courses in which they can learn the technique in a matter of hours, for instance on the panorama trail near Todtnau. Experienced skiers can choose one or several stages on the 100-kilometer long-distance trail from Schonach to Mount Belchen. In both winter and summer, holidaymakers enjoy the Black Forest as a region rich in tradition, with its combination of beautiful countryside, rustic villages and cozy guest houses.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations has told Russia to halt Sunday's referendum aimed at annexing Crimea from Ukraine. The G7 says if Russia proceeds it will take "further action."
German trade group BGA says sanctions against Moscow will hit businesses here but might be life-threatening to the Russian economy. 2014 growth in German trade will hinge on the outcome of the Ukraine crisis, it claims.
The German cabinet has thrown its weight behind Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble's budget plans for this year and beyond. Berlin said it aimed to do without any fresh borrowing as of next year.