WHO IS TONI LANKES
From the Upper Palatinate to the Rhine
I was born and raised in the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria, near the town of Furth im Wald – which in those days was just a few kilometres away from the Iron Curtain. How did a Bavarian end up with a passion for sharing Rhineland culture? After attending the Bavarian Volksschule (secondary school), I was needed on the family farm.
The next ports of call in my career were the federal police organisation (then called the Federal Border Guard) and the German Aerospace Center in Bonn. Later on, I played a pioneering socio-political role as one of the first stay-at-home dads in Germany. I became more and more interested in my new Rhineland home, which led me to successfully complete a course to become a city tour guide in Bonn in 1998/99.
After my very first themed tour, it was clear that this is the place for me!
- Tour guide diploma from Rhein-Voreifel tourism
- Certified tour guide for churches and cultural sites
- Tour guide certification from Bremen City University of Applied Sciences and the federal association of the German tourism sector
- Exams to become a certified outdoor tour guide in the Siebengebirge nature reserve and the Rhine-Sieg region
- Member of the Rhineland association for the preservation of historical monuments, the Bonn local history association, the friends of the North Rhine-Westphalia foundation and the German National Tourist Guide Association
- The Thomas-Morus-Akademie in Bensberg has been a constant companion in my continuing education. I take advantage of the conferences and seminars offered there on the topic of my Rhine homeland as often as my schedule allows.