Friday, July 2, 2010

A magical trip from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt

A magical trip from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt along the shores of the Rhine River, which are dotted with picturesque towns, magnificent castles, and cathedrals and surrounded by a romantic countryside...
Those who have traveled along the shores of the river Rhine say that “The Rhine does not complete the landscape of Europe, it is the basis of the landscape”. On its 1,320 km journey from Switzerland to the North Sea, the Rhine literally flows into the heart of Europe. The river, which draws a broad curve along western Germany, is a source of miracles, a channel of commerce, a center of industry and a junction of cultures. It is not just a river that flows by. It also acts as a muse to world literature. It was the Rhine that inspired the artists from all corners of Europe two hundred years ago, and it was also the Rhine that gave life to the German Romanticism Movement. The river’s meaning is not much different today. Many touristic trips are organized on the Rhine, which connects the most beautiful cities of Germany. The river, which still maintains its romantic quality with its legends, castles, and knights, is also Germany’s most important waterway. With the regulation of traffic through advanced technologies, millions of tourists and goods are transported along this waterway each year. You may choose Düsseldorf, Cologne, or Frankfurt as a starting point to travel along the Rhine. You have the choice to take a trip that only lasts a few hours, or to enrich your trip by taking a day long boat tour on one of the dinner boats. As you float along the Rhine, you also have the opportunity to witness the marks left by the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution.

Cosmopolitan cities

Düsseldorf is located on the northeastern shores of the Rhine River and is the capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is the locomotive of German industry. It is a favorite of investors both domestic and international due to the incredible transformation the city has undergone during the second half of the century. The city, which has a very strong infrastructure of transportation and communication, is in close contact with the state’s other key cities such as Cologne, Bonn, Essen and Dortmund. The city possesses a cosmopolitan structure, accommodating nearly 100 thousand foreigners, with a total population of nearly 600 thousand. Düsseldorf, which hosts several expositions from maritime industry to fashion, medicine, and cosmetics, greets businessmen from all corners of the world. Königsallee Avenue is the beating heart of the city, an impressive promenade lined parks embellished by sculptures and elegant buildings. The shores of the channel formed by Düssel Creek, which is one of the branches of the Rhine, are filled with natural beauties. The canopies of the gian centenarian trees along the shores of the channel join to form a tunnel. The shores of the channel conceal long hiking paths, which are joined with small bridges that can only carry a few people. Meanwhile, the Aldstatd (Old Town) at the center of Düsseldorf is also worth a visit in order to admire the old houses and to have a taste of local cuisine. Kunsthalle Nordrhein Westfalen (State Art Museum), where the city’s biggest modern art collection is displayed, awaits your visit at Grabbeplatz 4.

Cologne and ıts cathedral

Did you know that Eau de Cologne was first invented in Cologne, located just south of Düsseldorf? The Cathedral of Cologne, which symbolizes a city renowned for its carnivals and cultural venues, is a masterpiece of gothic architecture.The construction of the Cathedral, which has spires as high as 156 meters, started in 1248 and took 632 years to be completed. Cologne’s next door neighbor Bonn was the old capital of Western Germany. This city was established on a flat piece of land surrounded by forests, resembling a huge university campus. Bonn, which is also the birthplace of great composer Ludwig van Beethoven, hosts thousands of extraordinary museums. The other tourist attraction, the Bonn Balloon Festival, is organized near a small town called Eitorf. During the festival, which is organized in June or at the beginning of July, the skyline of Bonn is transformed into a colorful painting. The colorful balloons take off with the accompaniment of classical music, producing a scene from a fairy tale in the Rhine Valley. Fantastic highways line the path that stretches from the shores of the river to the sout.. You may rent a car at an airport or in any of the major cities. Traveling by train through the Rheine Valley could also be delightful, since the railroads pass through many residential areas along the river bed. Wonderful scenery streams through the window of your compartment on a railway trip from Cologne to Frankfurt. Additionally, during a trip that starts off by a plane and continues by train, you have the luxury of adding a boat trip to the excursion. Those who are keen on entertainment and eating may join local festivals or countryside weddings for a close encounter with the locals.

In search of the castles

Wooden fenced village roads in the Rhine Valley, which accommodates Western Europe’s biggest forests, open up to the endless countryside. The curved section of the river which extends from Koblenz to Mains is full of historical castles. You’ll feel like a prince or princess in these mysterious structures, which have stone halls dating back to the Middle Ages and dungeons containing small museums and restaurants. Mainz, which is the second largest residential city after Frankfurt, is located right next to Rheingau, which houses Rhine’s most famous vineyards. An important port since the Middle Ages, the city is also the birthplace of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press.The museum where his works are displayed is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Meanwhile, Frankfurt, which is located on the Main, one of the major branches of the Rhine river, is known as the city of skyscrapers and towers. Although it is home to many modern buldings, Frankfurt is a green city. Worth visiting are the house which Wolfgang von Goethe was born in (Goethe-Haus), which is located in Hirschgraben, and the Great Cathedral in Domplatz, which was constructed in 850. Frankfurt’s 600 year-old City Hall is located in Römerberg. Frankfurt, which is one of the most important exposition centers of Europe and Germany, welcomes over three million visitors anually, who come for festivals and art organizations that go on throughout the year. The Book Fair,a favorite of world famous writers, is just one of these. The philosophers of the Frankfurt School deveoped their ideas here, reflecting intellectual depth of the city. The Frankfurt Opera, the Old Opera House, the English Theatre and International Theater are among the important cultural venues of the city. One has the opportunity to sample all sorts of delicacies from the world’s best cuisine. It is also a great place to shop, especially for electronics and sporting goods. In short, you have many reasons to visit the Rhine Valley. If you can spare the time for it, the Rhine Valley will do its best to please you.

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