Click on above photo to view it in large format: Once an important market town on the Main River in the Lower Franconia area of Bavaria, today Miltenberg Germany is best known for its half-timbered houses. One of the many magnificent sites seen during my Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.
Click on above photo to view it in large format: The area of Germany known as MittelRhein is littered with old castles like this one, Ehrenfels Castle, located between Rudesheim and Assmannshausen on the Rhine River. One of the many magnificent sites seen during my Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.
I threw open the drapes of my stateroom and gasped. Gone were the gray skies of Amsterdam and Cologne. Brilliant sunshine promised a perfect day of sailing through the Middle Rhine Valley, a fairy tale landscape of glittering green hillsides, where near-vertical vineyards tumbled down toward the emerald river.
Since prehistoric times, the Rhine has been one of the world’s most important trade routes, and the 40 castles and forts found in the UNESCO World Heritage area between Koblenz and Bingen are testament to how much these lands have always been coveted. The castles, mostly constructed between the 12th century and the first half of the 14th century, were built by the princes of the empire to protect their land holdings and mineral rights from political rivals. Toward the end of the 13th century, however, they seized upon an even more important source of revenue: collecting tolls from ships using the Rhine to transport goods. Chains were strung across the river and lowered only when the toll had been paid. Read More
Click on above photo to view it in large format: The Hauptbahnhof is the Central Train Station in Cologne, Germany. More than 1,400 trains pass through the station every day. It is located next to the Köln (Cologne) Cathedral, the most iconic site in the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I visited the Cologne as part of my hosted Viking River Cruises Grand European Tour.