A Travellerspoint blog

October 2014

Switzerland and the Rhine

Cruising and Amsterdam

overcast 60 °F

Our final day aboard AMACello was spent cruising the canal to Amsterdam, followed by a canal cruise and city tour. Amsterdam is the largest city in Holland with almost 800,000 people living within the city limits. In addition to one of the largest commercial centers in Europe, it is also one of the top financial centers of Europe. The historic canals of Amsterdam were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. As you would expect the Anne Frank House was under heavy police protection. Of course, no panoramic city tour of Amsterdam would be complete without a drive by of the Red Light District!

Posted by rpickett 23:50 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam Comments (0)

Switzerland and the Rhine

Cologne (Koln) Germany

rain 60 °F

Our program today included a walking tour of old historic Cologne including the wonderful Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, followed by some beer and potato pancakes. Cologne was first settled by the Romans in 50 BC because of its natural harbor and there still are Roman remains being excavated. it is the cultural center of Rhineland. The Cathedral in a UNESCO world heritage site. The most famous product other than beer is Eau de Cologne or "4711", formulated at the beginning of the 18th century.

Posted by rpickett 23:37 Archived in Germany Tagged cologne Comments (0)

Switzerland and the Rhine

Rudesheim and the Rhine Gorge

overcast 62 °F

After a mid night departure, we arrived in Rudesheim Germany for morning tour of the village and a gondola ride to View the Riesling slopes of this famous area in Germany. After that we visited a local winery to sample some of the wonderful white wines of the region. We returned to the ship for a traditional German roasted pork lunch with some of the best sauerkraut that I have had - our chef is German. After lunch we set sail for the Rhine Gorge - a 41 mile section of river upstream from Koblenz - which has been added to the UNESCO world heritage site list due to it's many 12th Century castles. Although it was a little cloudy and blustery on deck, it's a spectacular ride down the river!

Posted by rpickett 08:24 Archived in Germany Tagged and the gorge rudesheim rhne Comments (0)

Switzerland and the Rhine

Speyer Germany

sunny 72 °F

Today we stopped at the German village of Speyer - a town of 50,000 inhabitants, which is one of Germany's oldest towns. The main highlight is the Cathedral, consecrated in 1024 and completed in 1111. It's the largest Romanesk Church in Europe and we the center of Christianity in Germany for some time. It is the burial place of 8 German emperors and kings. Additionally of significance is the Jewish temple and bath, also from the 12th Century, which remained unscathed from the Nazi's. The Jews ended up on Speyer at the invitation of Bishop Ridiger Huzmann in 1084. He granted Jews rights and privileges far beyond the norm for the time. Also in Speyer is a wonderful "Technical Museum" of mechanical objects and devices from around the world. I particularly liked the half-track motorcycle!

Posted by rpickett 05:06 Archived in Germany Tagged speyer Comments (0)

Switzerland and the Rhine

Strasbourg France

sunny 72 °F

After a mid night departure, we continued our voyage into the heart of Alsace, the 4th of the 26 regions of France. Alsace is derived from German and means "seated on the Ill River". Our tour today was through Strasbourg city to the old town. Strasbourg is the home of several European institutions including the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. The port of Strasbourg is the second busiest on the Rhine. The city center or Grande Ile was designated a world heritage site in 1988, the first city center to receive this designation. In addition to some wonderful architecture, the highlight is the Cathedral Notre Dame du Strasbourg and its famous astronomical clock. Again it was a perfect fall day!

Posted by rpickett 08:20 Archived in France Tagged strasbourg Comments (0)

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