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Written by Jennylowe on 23 Nov, 2009
I was recently lucky enough to experience one of the Rhine's amazing river cruises and I just had to share it.The Rhine is one of most romantic rivers in the world, steeped in history and cloaked in beauty and tradition. Apart from perhaps the Danube,…Read More
I was recently lucky enough to experience one of the Rhine's amazing river cruises and I just had to share it.The Rhine is one of most romantic rivers in the world, steeped in history and cloaked in beauty and tradition. Apart from perhaps the Danube, it’s also one of the most commercially important waterways in Europe. The Rhine begins at the confluence of the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein, near Reichenau in Switzerland. From Reichenau, the Rhine flows north and forms the border between Liechtenstein and Austria and empties into Lake Constance. It flows on westward as the Hochrhein, passes the Rhine Falls where it is joined by the river Aar to begin its journey through the heartland of Europe.For me it was one of the best ways to see the spectacular scenery of four European countries. It’s in Germany though that the Rhine gains most of its tributaries, such as the Neckar, the Main and the Moselle and it’s here between Bingen and Bonn that the Middle Rhine flows through the stunning Rhine Gorge with its many romantic castles and vineyards. One of the highlights of the cruise was sailing along the Rhine gorge framed by the fairytale Rhine castles, which tower majestically over the vineyards along the banks of the river. Not many rivers can offer as much variety with historic cities and hidden villages such as Bamberg, Würzburg, and Koblenz, as well as smaller villages and towns such as Mainz and Rüdesheim with its impressive castle.Few river cruises can compete with romantic stories that have been built up around the waterway and come alive via the landscape. Legends such as the famous Lorelei Rock, which rises to over 130 metres, where the "Lorelei" lured sailors to their doom by singing sweet songs and lullabies. Despite its economic importance as a commercial highway in its lower reaches around the Rhur and into the major ports of Holland, the middle and upper Rhine remains one of the most picturesque waterways in Europe and cruising it makes for one of the best holidays you could experience in my opinion. I can’t wait to go back and see more of the areas that I could not explore. Close