Near the harbour, small and big boys may want to visit Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway layout with scenes of northern Germany and the Alps. To the west on the Autobahn 2 is Bielefeld. The city grew on the production of linen and it was an important city in the German industrial revolution. It suffered damage in the war because of its industry and has only a little to offer passing tourists including Sparrenburg Castle which has a huge watchtower dwarfing the castle below it. In the summer, the Sparrenburg festival re-enacts scenes from the castle’s history including its role in the Thirty Years War.
The E45 southbound will get you to Kassel. The city has been known through the ages for its scientific and engineering innovations and the Orangerie in the city has a display of many of its useful and not so useful inventions. Kassel was also the home of the Brothers Grimm who wrote many fairy tales for children. Their home is now a museum and exhibition for their work.