The German Green Belt (Das Grüne Band Deutschland) is an emerald ribbon that meanders from the Baltic Sea through all of the major regions in Germany to the Czech Republic; it is also the 1,400 km (870 mile) former East-West border. Thanks to the work of the BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany), this stretch of land, once dubbed the “Death Strip,” has been transformed into a UNESCO-protected nature preserve and a migration station for wildlife. Now, Acoustiguide Germany has created an app and multimedia experience for the areas of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt which tells a story of wetlands, wildlife and the witnesses who lived through a remarkable chapter of history.
Whether you’re hiking or biking, the GPS-directed app covers 26 kilometers (16 miles) and features 17 points of interest that offer something for everyone. You’ll hear about Daring Escape Attempts! Princes! Birds! Bees! Beavers! and so much more…The app also includes engaging storytelling for kids, who, as junior ‘researchers,’ get to answer interactive quizzes. Further enlivening the experience are slideshows, videos and audio stories from people who live in the area. In one instance, you’ll hear what it was like to grow up in the village of Stresow, which was wiped off the map as the East German authorities feared its proximity to the West German border would make it a security hazard.
One of our favorite stops on the tour is the Anna Elbe café which serves regional food, thirst-quenching beer and sweeping views of the river Elbe.
Along the way, as you’re having fun, you’ll also be learning about biodiversity, its importance for our future world and why it’s so important to keep this area protected.
You can find the app here, but so far it is only available in German. Fingers crossed for an English version…