1 year ago

Explore More - Expedition Cruising

  • Text
  • Picasso
  • Scandinavian
  • Historic
  • Cultural
  • Clockwise
  • Norwegian
  • Ships
  • Norway
  • Explore
  • Viking



TRAVEL RHINE Getaway The combination of historic sightseeing and modern-day comfort is a winning formula, says travel writer John Wilmott Clockwise, from this page: Tall Dutch houses line the canal in Amsterdam; windmills are a landmark in the village of Kinderdijk Settle down behind your desks, because you are about to enjoy a short lesson in European history. 1248: Work starts on the colossal Gothic cathedral in Cologne. The builders take their time—its soaring twin towers are not finished for another 632 years, though they do take a tea break during the 16th century. 1439: Strasbourg genius Johannes Gutenberg introduces the printing press to Europe with the first machine using moveable type, thereby starting a revolution in mass communication. 1542: The Brömer family builds its glorious aristocratic residence in Rüdesheim. It now houses the wonderful Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum. 1629: Nobleman Philipp Hainhofer is the first to describe a cuckoo clock. Then architect Domenico Martinelli mentions using the bird’s call to note the hour in his horology book. The first known examples come out of the workshop of a Black Forest mechanic in the 18th century. 1740: The perpetually soggy Dutch polder-keepers at Kinderdijk embark on the construction of an ingenious series of 19 windmills to pump excess water off the low-lying land, enabling them to reclaim tracts of land for agriculture. 1828: Twenty-seven years after the French blow up the hilltop fortress of Koblenz, its replacement is completed. The Revolutionaries are unlikely to try another—the new Ehrenbreitstein is one of the largest fortifications in Europe. Join the eight-day Rhine Getaway and you will make a journey through time, though do not expect a chronological order. Then again, going backward and forward through the centuries as you travel is all part of the unforgettable experience. Each of the above dates is a snapshot of the history of the places visited on this leisurely glide along the river from Amsterdam to Basel, or vice versa if you prefer. There are a great many more fascinating insights into the past to discover along the way. The morning after my departure from the heart of Amsterdam, I was making the short hop over the dike to the first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this itinerary. The string of handsome windmills around the polder at Kinderdijk, the densest concentration in The Netherlands, makes for a stirring vision. Incredibly, although modern pumps have been used to keep the farmland dry since the 1950s, a couple of the 18th-century mills remain on standby in case of emergency. I stood beneath the softly whomping sail of one, listening to our guide explaining how the mills worked in tandem to gradually raise the water into EXPLORE MORE 2020 VIKING.COM 27