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From Amsterdam to Innsbruck

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Uploaded on Nov 21, 2007

A scenic tour of Europe from Amsterdam's Amstel River thru the Rhein region into the Tyrolean Alps in Innsbruck. Highlight of the tour is a river cruise along the Rhein - between Bingen and Koblenz - declared a protected UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

The castles which are today such an unmistakable feature of the Rhein landscape date back to the Middle Ages. Their founders were feudal overlords, who built them to protect their lands from marauders and predatory neighbors. This accounts for the large number of castles along the Rhein, particularly in the narrow gorge connecting Bingen and Koblenz. Along this stretch of river, which has a length of only thirty-five miles, there are more castles than in any other river valley in the world. Lorelei Rock is squeezed into the river's narrowest and deepest point, making the Middle Rhine at this point very difficult to navigate and the correct passage is (today) clearly marked with buoys. The legend tells us that a siren called "Lorelei" bewitched the hearts of sailors and when they looked up to the rock, their boat crashed and sank.

From the river, we traveled thru one of several 'themed' roads in Germany, one of its most famous vacation routes. The Romantic Road is a stunning 220-mile journey from the River Main to the Alps offering the traveler one of the most beautiful and engaging combinations of scenery, cuisine and ambience that Germany can offer.

Finally, we reached Austrian Tyrol, a picture-book region of outstanding beauty, where jagged, snow-capped peaks tower above fast-flowing rivers, green meadows and onion-domed churches. The capital of Tyrol (it became Maximilian I's imperial capital in the 1490s), is now a most popular holiday destination. Innsbruck lies at the very heart of the Austrian Alps, with stunning scenery nestling in the valley of the Inn River, tucked between the northern Alps and the Tuxer mountain range.

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