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Volume #1, Issue #8
"Stand By For Mars!"

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The Thunder Child: Travel Destinations

From science comes science fiction

Dinosaur Park: Kaiserslautern, Germany

View the Gartenshau website
Click on the Anfahrt button for a map to the Neumühle Park.

England is famous as the country where dinosaurs were first given scientific names ? the Iguanodon and the Megalosaurus. Switzerland is famous as the country where the largest known deposit of bones of a single dinosaur were found (the Iguanodons of Bernissart).

But if you?re interested in dinosaurs and the history of the discovery of dinosaurs, you?ll find that Germany has a lot to offer. For a start, all ten fossil specimens of the Archaeopteryx or ?Ur Vogel? (?First Bird?) have been found in the limestone quarries around Solnhofen, in Bavaria. (The first one was found in 1861, the latest in 2001.)

A model of the Archaeopteryx

Beginning your stroll: The Periods and What Existed When
Dinosaur enthusiasts should plan a visit to the Dinosaur Park (officially known as Neumühle Park) in the city of Kaiserslautern, located in the southwestern state of Germany called the Rhineland-Palitinate (about an hour away from Frankfurt on the Autobahn, or by train).

Kaiserslautern is a well-known military community, called K-Town by American servicemen. As such, the exhibits at the Dinosaur Park have signs in both German and English.

What is the Dinosaur Park? It?s a walking tour through time ? past 64 ?true-to-life? models of dinosaurs, amphibians and fish, each with an identifying sign giving its name and a little bit of information about it.

These models are spaced out in a large park that also contains a small, free skateboarding park, Miniature Golf (a few Euro to play, the attendant will more than likely know English, and she sells icecream, too!), and several types of playgrounds, including water spinners, for kids. As you approach this park, you?ll pass a few large buildings which house the ?Tunnel of Life? ? ?illustrating the development of life on Earth from the first beginnings up to the appearance of the dinosaurs and finally the birds living today.? You?ll see mists, light and sound effects which enhance the experience.

There?s also an Aquazoo, with 13 large aquaria. You'll be able to see "indigenous and exotic fish, a sea-water tank, a small pond and a terrarium."

The Tunnel of Life

It would take all day to properly appreciate the Dinosaur Park, but if you?re with people who prefer something a bit more sedate, you can split up and they can go to the Japanese Gardens, which are located nearby. The same ticket secures entry into both parks (until October).


Tyrannosaurus Rex


This is the largest exhibit of dinosaur models in Europe. It's been in existence since 2000. The parks are open from April 19 to October 3.


Fitting fate for a nephew


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