A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Munich and the Rhine

Munich

semi-overcast 50 °F

Off again on another adventure. We traveled from Charleston to Munich. We fly Iceland Air from Dulles, because their Saga Class (business) is about 1/2 the cost of other business class air. We do change planes in Keflavik, Iceland though, but it gives you a chance to stretch your legs.

Our hotel is a Sofitel on Bayerstasse, right next to the Hauptbahnhof or main train station. This makes it very convenient to get around. Dinner the first night was at the Augustiner-Keller, the oldest bier garden in Germany. The gardens are closed as Munich is still getting snow showers, but we ate in the restaurant.
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This morning we boarded the Grey Line Hop On, Hop Off bus and toured the city. Our firs stop was Marienplatz. Marienplatz was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. Today the Marienplatz is dominated by the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) on the north side. The Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall was inspired by these tournaments, and draws millions of tourists a year. At the east side Munich's Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus) is located. It's a gothic council hall and ballroom and tower, which have been reconstructed.
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We then toured Schloss Nymphenberg. The palace was commissioned by the prince-electoral couple Ferdinand Maria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy to the designs of the Italian architect Agostino Barelli in 1664 after the birth of their son Maximilian II Emanuel. The central pavilion was completed in 1675. As a building material it utilised limestone from Kelheim. The castle was gradually expanded and transformed over the years.

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Our final stop for the day was the BMW museum and world. BMW is celebrating 100 years of innovation in aircraft engines in the early days, and then motorcycles and fine motor cars. In the early 2000's it added Rolls Royce to its collection!

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Posted by rpickett 12:01 Archived in Germany Tagged munich 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.
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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!
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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!
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Posted by rpickett 05:06 Archived in Germany Tagged speyer Comments (0)

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