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Rivers And Romance In A Tour Of The Rhine Valley

Dec 18, 2007
Germany may not be a place many people think of for a romantic holiday. It is true that some of the major cities have been so ravaged by war that they are now concrete jungles with little or no redeeming architectural features but there is more to the country than these cities. I would advise anyone trying to find a different and original trip to hire a car and head up the Rhine Valley.

Flying into Dusseldorf may not inspire you that this is the correct destination for a romantic holiday but as soon as you get to the car hire desk and pick up the keys head up river immediately. To get out of the Ruhr Valley should be your primary concern, as Germany's industrial heartland it is not picture perfect.

A quick blast up the autobahn will take you to the middle Rhine soon enough. With no speed limits on much of these roads try and make sure the car hire companies give you a car that's a bit racy. This should not be a problem as my experiences with car hire companies within Germany, BMWs and Mercedes' make up the vast majority of their fleets and offer travel in comfort at speed.

Once off the autobahn you can get a real feel for Germany, the Rhine as one of the major rivers in Europe has had a vast amount of historical importance. Hence the riverside is dotted with gorgeous castles and chateaus with some quintessentially German villages and towns. This is where Germany becomes a romantic destination; with stunning vistas of the river from hilltop castles drifting away and imagining yourself in another time is simply irresistible.

If you have ever seen the Disney fairytale castle you will be in for a shock when you see what Germany has to offer, for example the castle at Marksberg could have been lifted straight from Snow White, complete with towers and pointed crests. Originally these castles were purely built out of military necessity, many can stand testament to this and lay in ruins as a result, but those which survive, offer a fascinating insight into an age of chivalry that has long since passed.

A hire car is essential in the Rhine Valley as the sites are spread out over a vast area. It is a pleasure however driving the winding roads that follow the contours of the valley. The towns and villages, many of them still fortified show excellent examples of medieval life. The inhabitants are all friendly and pleased to see tourists at any time, whilst the cuisine is fantastic.

When in Germany however I have learnt that they do not eat like the rest of Europe. There is a German saying to 'breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king and dine like a beggar', this is a nice way of life but for me I found the huge breakfasts too much when I had to climb into the hire car for a full day of driving.

Overall a trip to Germany and more specifically the Rhine Valley is well worthwhile, the romance and grand scenery of the region is truly awe inspiring. Personally I feel car hire is the best way to see all that the Valley has to offer, it allows you to travel at your own pace and can often lead to encounters that will be memorable for life.

The people of the Rhine are in the most part accommodating and the places to stay vary from quaint little bed and breakfasts to grand castle hotels. If you are planning a romantic getaway and looking for something a little different I would strongly advise the Rhine Valley as a place for magic and serenity.
About the Author
Car hire expert Shaun Parker has travelled extensively and uses budget for all his car hire Germany requirements. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-germany.htm
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