The State of Wisconsin gets its name from an Indian word, possibly meaning long river, grassy place or gathering of the waters. Encompassing 65,503 square miles, Wisconsin is the 23rd largest of the 50 states in the USA. Its population of just over 5.6 million makes it the 18th most populous.
The capital of Wisconsin is Madison and is home to the state's largest university - the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, the state's most populous city is Milwaukee which lies in the southeastern part of the state along Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin gets one of its nicknames "America's Dairy Land" from its well-known dairy industry (milk, butter and cheese). Wisconsin is also known for farming (corn), cranberries, machinery, paper manufacturing, beer brewing, and tourism. The state's other nickname "The Badger State" dates back to the 1800's when miners dug tunnels into the hillsides to look for lead and then lived in them during the winter months to keep warm.
Two Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior border Wisconsin. The Missippipi River separates Wisconsin from Minnesota and the Wisconsin River flows through the center of the state. Wisconsin's waterways play important roles in the state's economy and its tourism industry.
Outdoor recreation and sports are a large part of life in Wisconsin. The Green Bay Packers (American football), the Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team, and the Milwaukee Brewers, baseball team all call Wisconsin their home. For more information about the state of Wisconsin, visit http://www.travelwisconsin.com/
Dating back to the 6th century A.D., Bavaria is the oldest and largest of Germany's 16 federal states. With an area of approximately 27,000 sq. miles, Bavaria is just slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina. However, its 12.5 million inhabitants makes it comparable to the state of Pennsylvania.
The capital of Bavaria is Munich, which also boasts a large and renowned university. Additionally, Munich is host to the annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest folk festival, which attracts over 6 million visitors from around the world, who drink over 6 million liters of beer at this 10 day festival.
Two major rivers flow through Bavaria, the Danube (Donau) and the Main (pronounced "mine"). The Alps in the southern part of Bavaria are the other dominant geographical feature. Its highest peak is the Zugspitze at just under 3,000 meters high. The Alpine region of Bavaria is very popular with tourists throughout Germany and Europe for its outdoor recreational activites, e.g. swimming, hiking and skiing.
Bavaria shares borders with three other countries, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Germany's largest inland lake, Lake Constance (Bodensee) also creates part of its southern border.
Because Bavaria was a kingdom for over 100 years, many beautiful castles can be found today throughout the region. Several of these were built by the "Fairy Tale King" King Ludwig II, who spent vast amounts of the Bavarian treasury making his dreams into reality.
Click on "Bavaria" to see pictures of the places GAPP groups typcially visit. For more information about Bavaria, please visit http://www.bayern.by/en/about-bavaria-5.html