Pahlmeyer 2018 Wine on the Rhine River Cruise
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On the three-border intersection of Switzerland, Germany and France and unfolding in two sections from the banks of the Rhine, Basel has an international flair, a cultural vibrancy and is picturesque besides. A medieval town center invites exploration by foot, while an abundance of museums and galleries suggest an indoor stroll amid works of art and relics of history. The Museum of Fine Arts is home to the world’s oldest art collection accessible to the public. The city itself hosts Switzerland’s oldest university, dating to 1460. Antiquity may be Basel’s strong suit, as it is in much of Europe, but this corner of Switzerland also reveals a more modern countenance: Architects Herzog & de Meuron, best known for the design of the Tate Modern in London and the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, and Frank Gehry of Bilbao Guggenheim Museum fame have contributed their considerable talents to buildings here.
When you glimpse the steep-peaked, half-timbered buildings, the placid waters of narrow canals, flowers blooming on balconies and bridges, and old towers standing sentry over the scene, you know you have stepped into Strasbourg—either that, or the very pretty pages of a fairytale. Located just across the Rhine from Strasbourg, Kehl is your access point to the capital of the Alsace region, the seat of the European Parliament and, simply, one of the most photogenic old towns in existence. Strasbourg boasts a breathtakingly gorgeous Gothic cathedral (with the tallest cathedral tower in France), twisting alleyways, a sweet collection of the aforementioned half-timbered buildings and a charm that oozes from virtually every cozy corner of Grande Île, or “Large Island,— the first city center to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
According to legend, the name Karlsruhe, which translates as "Charles repose", was given to the new city after a hunting trip when mangrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, woke from a dream in which he dreamt of founding his new city. The city was laid out on the drawing board and consists of a central circle, containing the castel, and streets running towards the castle as radial "spokes". Due to the fan-like layout, Karlsruhe is known as the "fan city". Situated on the Rhine between the Black Forest, the Vosges mountains and the Palatinate Forest, Karlsruhe is a hub of science and technology. Many pavement cafes and beer gardens around the square are ideal for watching the hustle and bustle of the city. The botanical garden, palace garden and the zoo are worth the visit.
The third largest city in southwest Germany, just after Karlsruhe, Mannheim is known for its exceptional inventive power and was ranked 11th amount the TOP 15 of the most inventive cities worldwide by Forbes magazine. The baroque 18th-century Mannheim Palace houses historical exhibits, plus the University of Mannheim. In the grid-like center called the "Quadrate". Marktplatz Square features a baroque fountain with statues. Planken shopping street leads southeast to the Romanesque Water Tower, in the art nouveau gardens of Friedrichsplatz.
If Rudesheim’s scenic location on the Rhine Gorge doesn’t sweep you off your feet, then the town’s medieval Old Town with its half-timbered buildings and narrow lanes, especially the Drosselgasse overflowing with charming shops and taverns, surely will. Still more that promises to enchant and delight is the region’s renowned Rieslings, produced here for centuries from vineyards dating to Roman times. A glass of white wine or the other local specialty, Asbach brandy, sipped amid historic surroundings can make the heart flutter, not necessarily from the effects of the spirits but from the simple beauty of one of Germany’s, if not the world’s, most romantic locales.
Located where the Rhine and Moselle rivers and three low mountain ranges meet, Koblenz has a leg up in the scenery department. Add to that the city’s 2,000-year-old history, hilltop fortress and squares lined by classic Germanic architecture and you have a place ready made for photographs. You might start by aiming your lens at the Deutsches Eck, or German Corner, where the rivers merge around a corner of land marked by a monument to Emperor William I. Ambling along the river promenade and exploring the town’s narrow lanes, you might encounter medieval churches, flower-filled parks, sidewalk cafes and perhaps a weinstube, or wine tavern, an ideal venue for sipping dry Riesling and drinking in the atmosphere.
A scan of Cologne’s skyline offers a short-hand of a long essay of architecture, varying from the space-needle-type Rhine Tower to the avant-garde buildings along the river to the spectacular spires of the cathedral. One look at the magnificent church and you can’t help but draw a breath of amazement—the structure is enormous and intricately glorious, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Germany’s most visited landmark. Peel your eyes away from the famed Kölner Dom, as it is locally called, to discover other architectural notables, including remains of the Roman wall, a modern museum complex, the contemporary philharmonic hall, cozy beerhalls and the span of the Hohenzollern Bridge, reconstructed after the war.
Amsterdam derives its name from a 13th-century protective dam. Itis a beautifully preserved city with quaint architectural styles, priceless art treasures and welcoming people. Many of its wondrous highlights are located within the five concentric canals that gird the city's older neighborhoods and business districts. Whether cruising its waterways or visiting its exquisite galleries and museums, you will discover a wealth of fascinating sightseeing opportunities. A short drive away, characteristic towns preserve their traditional Dutch ways with intricate national costumes, sturdy wooden shoes and purposeful windmills.