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HANNOVER

Hanover, is the capital of Lower Saxony in Germany. Being host to several of the biggest exhibitions in the world, Hanover calls herself the "EXPO City" or "Exhibition City".

Hanover has large green areas, with forests and big parks. The landscape is mostly flat, with the river Leine going through the city. The world-famous Great Garden of Herrenhausen was created in the 17th century to copy the Versailles Garden in France. Even in the winter, one can still see its beauty, but it reaches its best at the end of spring until end of summer. There is also a glimmering cave decorated by Niki de Saint Phalle.

The lake Masch (Maschsee) is rather spectacular, considering its size as a man-made object. This is where the Lake Maschsee Festival is held. It is an annual event in the summer with food & beverage outlets, and open air cinema. Walk or jog around the Maschsee, especially in the summer and in a rare very cold winter, the surface of the lake will be frozen and thick enough for ice skating.

Hanover's people enjoy a lot of fireworks during the year. In addition to the world competition held every summer, there are fireworks every night of the Kleines Fest, every weekend during the Spring Festival (Frühlingsfest) and Oktoberfest, and on the weekend of the Lake Masch Festival. For the first two, the best spot to see is inside or outside the Great Garden, while the latter ones can be seen from any point around Lake Masch.

Kröpcke is Hanover's major shopping spot, home to the Opera house and has lots of places to eat. The "underground" shopping passageway from the central station to Kröpcke was named "The Niki de Saint-Phalle Promenade" in memory of the late French artist Niki de Saint-Phalle.She had several of her works in public spots in Hanover (i.e., "the Nanas", "the Cave" in the Great Garden) and also in the Sprengel Museum.

For a good meal, check out the variety of food stalls in the market hall (Markthalle). You will find almost everything from Spanish tapas to Mett (raw minced meat).

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