Let the sights of Europe come to you on a River Cruise

Each year millions of visitors flock to Europe to experience its beauty and culture. Planes, trains and automobiles may be the traditional methods of reaching famous locations but can be stressful and tiring. River cruise tours in Europe offer an opportunity to relax in comfort and luxury, while the continent’s greatest sights and experiences are brought to you. From Amsterdam, cruises set sail for Germany – treating passengers to luxury cabins, stylish restaurants and spacious sun decks.

Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night Photo: in_focus on Flickr

Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night

The Rhine, Main and Danube river cruise stops first in Cologne, where the twin spires of the city’s Gothic cathedral dominate a scenic skyline. In the afternoon, guided walking tours take passengers out into the city and around its most interesting and historic locations. The city is host to a wealth of eye-catching architecture, including medieval churches and the Colonius tower – the tallest structure in the city.

The leisurely trip through Germany includes stops at the historic Koblenz and the sleepy, idyllic town of Miltenberg. Passing onto the Danube, the towers of Nuremburg’s 11th century castle rise into view and the cruise stops for guided tours of the city’s old town and popular market districts. Once regarded as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, there’s a lot to see and do in Nuremburg, including cultural attractions like Museum of Modern Art and the Justice Palace. Don’t forget to find time to sample some of the city’s famous Nurnberger Bratwurst!

A view of Miltenberg from your river cruise Photo: Steve Masiello on Flickr

A view of Miltenberg from your river cruise

Passing into Austria, the next stop is Passau from where you might like to take a coach trip to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and home to spectacular Alpine views and cosy mountain settlements. Further into Austria, stops include a Benedictine abbey and Durnstein, one of Austria’s finest wine producing villages. After a stay in the stylish Vienna, it’s on to Slovakia and the capital, Bratislava, in the Carpathian mountains.

A view of Salzburg, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

A view of Salzburg, Austria

Bratislava is a melting pot of central European culture – dating back 2000 years to early Celtic civilisation. Rich royal heritage is all over the city – in elaborate baroque palaces and the imposing Bratislava Castle. There’s a modern side to Bratislava and you’ll see striking, innovative buildings, like the diamond-shaped Kamzik Tower and the inverted-pyramid of the Slovak radio headquarters, scattered across the skyline.

View of the Chain bridge in Budapest Photo:Heatheronhertravels.com

View of the Chain bridge in Budapest

Ending in Budapest, the river cruise chance to experience some of Europe’s most famous destinations at a pace which lets you savour their beauty free from the stress and complications of the airport and the motorway!

This article was brought to you by Titan Travel,  where you can book your River Cruise holiday and discover the sights of Europe in luxury and comfort.

More good things to explore in Europe

Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg
Passion, Music and drama in Oberammergau
The latest dirndl fashions from Bavaria in Munich

Photo credits: Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night by in__focus , Miltenberg by Steve Masiello

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

May Day at The White Horse Inn on Lake Wolfgang, Austria – video

“You know the water in the lake is drinking quality?” I was told by my new friend Wolfgang, as he pressed me to drink another glass of sparkling Sekt, the Austrian version of Champagne. By this time I was starting to feel a bit tiddly, but it certainly tasted better than a glass of lake water, however pure that might be.

Meeting Wolfgang and Carolin in St Wolfgang Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Weeting Wolfgang and Carolin in St Wolfgang, Austria

We’d arrived at the pretty lakeside town of St Wolfgang, an hour from Salzburg in the heart of the Salzkammergut region, to find the May Day festival in full swing.The cobbled streets with pretty painted houses were filled with wooden kiosks, where the locals were gathering to while away the afternoon awash with beer, wine and the odd Weiner Schnitzel. By the time we’d settled into our lakeside hotel, the White Horse Inn it was well into the afternoon and the crowds were starting to thin. We got chatting to local hotelier Wolfgang and his dirndl clad wife, Carolin who were running a beer stand to promote their hotel just around the lake shore. Before we knew it, we too were awash with the May Day spirit and swaying along to the yodelling trio playing nearby.

I hope you enjoy the video below about our stay at the White Horse Inn and Lake Wolfgang

If you can’t see the video above, view it on my blog here

If you thought that Wolfgang (as in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) was an unusual name, you’d be wrong hereabouts. As my new friend told me, he’d been named for St Wolfgang who founded a church here in the 1st century that became the hot destination for pilgrims from all over Europe in the Middle Ages – he was, as Wolfgang joked, the Patron Saint of Tourism in this part of Austria.The story goes that St Wolfgang threw an axe from where he stood and where it landed he built the church, even tricking the Devil himself to help with the building work.

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Our bedroom at Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

Fuelled with May Day spirit, we returned to our room at Hotel Weisses Rössl or The White Horse Inn, a family run Austrian Inn that has over the years swallowed up the neighbouring buildings and transformed itself into a luxury spa hotel. We threw open the doors onto the balcony overlooking the lake, where I could have sat all day and watched the ferries criss-crossing the sparkling water.

Lake Wolfgang is ringed by mountains with a number of pretty lakeside towns such as St Wolfgang, Strobl and St Gilgen on the shore – and there’s plenty to do at all times of year from swimming and hiking in the summer to ski-ing and Christmas markets in the winter. From the lake shore you can take one of those ferries across the lake or chug up to the top of the mountain on the Schafburgbahn, a miniature steam train that was built in 1893 to take those early tourists up to the top for some breathtaking views and clear Alpine air.

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

View of the lake from Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

The White Horse Inn is also well known as the setting for a famous comic opera of the same name that was first performed in Berlin the 1930s and later made into several film versions – think Gilbert and Sullivan but in German. It’s a charming comedy of errors in which the Head Waiter of the White Horse Inn is in love with the owner, but her heart is set on one of her regular guests. When the object of her attention arrives, he promptly falls in love with someone else, but it all ends happily with everyone marrying the right person.

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Hotel Weisse Rössl at St Wolfgang in Austria

The setting of The White Horse Inn right beside the lake is just perfect and there’s a spa with saunas, treatments and indoor pool as well as a wooden sun deck with an outdoor pool set in the lake. In May the sun was warm but the water a little cool for me, so I watched my husband and son playing a lovely game in which they swam a few lengths in the outdoor pool (pleasantly fresh) then jumped into the lake itself (freeeezing) to swim a few strokes before hopping out and into the outdoor jacuzzi (blissfully warm).

St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

St Wolfgang in Austria

St Wolfgang in Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

St Wolfgang in Austria

We also had fun borrowing the hotel’s pedalos to explore the lake shore near the hotel, peering up from the lake at St Wolfgang’s church tower and dodging the ducks. On our final morning we took the Shafburgbahn train up the mountain for a coffee with a stunning view – if we’d had more time, I’d have loved to do some hiking in the mountains around the lake. I’m normally happy to enjoy a place and move on but if you asked me to go back to Wolfgangsee and the White Horse Inn, I’d be there like a shot!

More stories from Salzburg and Wolfgangsee

Riding the steam train – on the Schafburgbahn at St Wolfgang – video
Podcast – Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria
Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg, Austria

 If you’re thinking of visiting (trust me, it’s wonderful at any time of year)

Website for Wolfgangsee or Lake Wolfgang
Hotel Weisses Rössl or The White Horse Inn – Website – find them on Facebook
My new friend Wolfgang Linsmayer’s hotel at Gasthof Bürglstein
For more information about Holidays in Austria visit the Austrian Tourism Website and follow them on Twitter @Austria_UK
Check out this great video about Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz as well as the other videos about Holidays in Austria

My thanks to the Austria National Tourism Office UK for hosting our trip to Salzburg and Wolfgangsee

www.flickr.com

heatheronhertravels' Austria - St Wolfgang and Wolfgangsee photoset heatheronhertravels’ Austria – St Wolfgang and Wolfgangsee photoset


This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg – video

July 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Austria, Europe, Leisure, Salzburg, Sightseeing, video

The Hohensalzburg fortress was top of our list of things to see in Salzburg, as it seemed to be mentioned by practically everyone who gave me a Salzburg recommendation. When travelling with the family I’ve learned to visit the thing that you really want to see at the start of the day, while you’re full of energy and then go with the flow as the fancy takes you.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

It’s hardly surprising that so many people mentioned the castle to me, as wherever you are in the town it looms over you, dominating the town and all the inhabitants. It was above all a symbol of power of the Prince Archbishops who ruled over Salzburg, their wealth founded on the salt that was mined in the mountains around the city and brought down the river Salzach into the city.

I hope you enjoy the video below about the HohenSalzburg Fortress

If you can’t see the video above, view it on my blog here
Download the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg_ Austria -Video[mp4]
Subscribe to all my videos in I-tunes
If you enjoyed this video, check out the others in my Video archive

View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

With our Salzburg card we skipped the queue at the ticket booth and took the funicular that’s included in the ticket price, up the rockface to the castle at the top, rising higher and higher above the rooftops and church spires of Salzburg. Apparently, back in the 16th century there was a type of railway here so that freight could be hoisted up to the castle. If you prefer to walk you can take the path for a 30 minute stroll up to the top, or better still, save your legs and take the funicular up, then walk all the way down.

Armour in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in SalzburgPhoto by Heatheronhertravels.com

Armour in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

On reaching the top we followed our noses along the battlements, pausing only to take a few photos of the view and then climbed the steep steps to the small doorway higher up the wall. The castle was never conquered, although the townspeople had a go in the Peasant’s war of 1525, but if it had come under siege, I imagine this stairway would have been taken away, leaving the castle entrance virtually impregnable. The building of the castle began in 1077 with a wooden structure and developed over the centuries to defend the power of the ruling Prince Bishops, although they mostly lived in comfort in the Residenz in the town at the foot of the fortress.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Through the doorway and there was another courtyard behind the lower one – with layers of defensive areas and courtyards behind the thick towering walls. Our first stop was the room where you started the audio tour – after waiting in line for 10 minutes or so we went through the turn style as a group and were each given an audio-guide, then were taken through as series of rooms by the guide. We passed through the richly panelled apartment rooms, in one of which was a model of how the castle had been built up over several centuries reaching it’s current form around 1500.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Next there was a dark, stone walled room known as the torture chamber, not so much because of what had gone on there but because the torture implements that were stored there – well that’s all right then! Next we climbed up to the watch tower for a panoramic view over the city of Salzburg. From here it was easy to work out the geography of the city, encircled by a series of rocky outcrops on one side and bounded by the river on the other.

Spiky underwear in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Spiky underwear in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

After the tour we sat a while in the spacious courtyard with a couple of shady old trees, just like a village square before taking a look around the museum. There was some medieval furniture, household objects and armour on display as well as some of those torture implements including what looked like a spiky pair of underpants – ouch! and a jester’s mask that I’m sure was no joke to wear.

After a while wandering through the succession of museum rooms, I managed to lose the two men in my life, my husband and teenage son. Once I had finished photographing everything that took my fancy, I went out of the museum through the turnstile but then couldn’t find them anywhere.

Torture mask in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Torture mask in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

I retraced my steps through all the courtyards, down as far as the funicular but they were nowhere to be seen. Half an hour later, by which time I was feeling tired and frustrated, they emerged from the museum where they had been sitting at the exit waiting for me – Grrr.

We all made friends again, but after all my racing around I felt I’d seen enough of the fortress, despite there being a very inviting outdoor cafe with a fabulous view. We descended on the funicular and established ourselves outside the beer tent at the bottom and soaked up the atmosphere of the brass band and the May Day festivities with a plate of Bratwurst and a Weiss-bier.

More fun in and around Salzburg

Your recommendations for Salzburg in Austria
Podcast – Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria
Our comfortable Guest house at Hotel Zur Post in Salzburg

Visitor Information for Salzburg

My thanks to the Austria National Tourism Office UK for sponsoring our trip to Salzburg and Wolfgangsee

www.flickr.com

heatheronhertravels' Salzburg - Hohensalzburg Fortress photoset heatheronhertravels’ Salzburg – Hohensalzburg Fortress photoset

 

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscribe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

Next Page »