Beautiful Castles from around the Globe!

The Romantic Danube

Europe is certainly blessed with beautiful rivers. The Danube River starts in the Black Forest of Germany and flows into the Black Sea. It flows through 10 countries making it a major water highway. Some major cities on the Danube River include Vienna (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary)and Belgrade (Serbia).

Wachau Valley
The Wachau Valley about 1 hour West of Vienna, Austria is surely a romantic part of the Danube River. There are beautiful vineyards and castles along the Wachau Valley. There is so much history along the banks of the Danube. For an example, Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle. Dürnstein Castle lies along the Danube River and is worth a trip from Vienna, Austria. Melk, Austria is another place that you should visit. The Melk Baroque Benedictine monastery is a treasure. It houses a large library and beautiful frescoes. River cruises run between Melk and Krems. Take a romantic river cruise along the Wachau Valley and take back lovely memories of this journey.

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Romanian Cuisine

The great thing about travelling is you get to savor all types of tasty food on the road. Romania with its various cultural influences has some really tasty food. If you are paying in US Dollars, you can eat like a king.

Cultural Influences
Germans (Saxons) settled the Transylvania region when it was under Hungarian rule. You can visit many of the Saxon castles and even fortified churches that protected against invasions. The Turks, Austrians, Greeks and Romans have also left their influence on the food of Romania. Each region in Romania borders different countries such as Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine. Some of the Romanian Cuisine is closely related to food eaten in the Balkans.

Popular Romanian Food
Try some tasty sausages Mici or Mititei which is like a blend between a kebab and a regular sausage. Grilled lamb is quite popular here. Various stewed meat dishes with a fusion of locally grown spices create an exotic flavor. Sarmale or stuffed cabbage rolls with meat is a very popular dish eaten in this part of the world. You can also try some very unique cheeses including sheep cheese. Sibiu, Transylvania is a great foodie destination to visit.

Rural Romania
The pastoral lands in Romania offer some really good organic grown food. Even Prince Charles sources organic Transylvanian honey (for his Highgrove Royal Gardens) from Saschiz, Romania! If you have time, take a trip to rural Romania. You can get to experience Eastern Europe at a slower pace and go back in time. Wild flowers still grow in the Romanian meadows like it used to around the rest of Europe.

Getting to Romania
If you are flying from the USA, Delta, KLM, Air France and Alitalia can connect your flight to Bucharest Henri Coandă (OTP) International Airport. The Sky Team Airline partners may connect the flights via their local airline hubs in their respective countries. From Bucharest (Bucuresti), Romania you can take a train to Brasov, Transylvania to explore the castles and the fortified churches.

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European Airport Hubs

Major Continental European Airport Hubs
European Airport hubs are well integrated with ground transportation networks. Europe has an excellent rail network.

Netherlands

Schiphol International Airport (AMS)
Amsterdam is a good gateway to explore Europe further. Schiphol International Airport (AMS), Amsterdam, Netherlands is a major transportation hub. If you prefer to fly, there are low cost flights that will connect to you to rest of Europe from Schiphol International Airport (AMS). You can even take a train to Brussels, Belgium or Paris, France from the airport train station. The airport train station is conveniently located right within the airport complex. The airport has lockers where you can store your bigger luggage so you do not have to take it with you.

Amsterdam Centraal Train Station
From Schiphol train station, you can quickly reach Amsterdam’s main Centraal Station. From Amsterdam Centraal Station, you can connect by train to major European cities such as Zurich, Switzerland or Berlin, Germany. There are also river cruises that will take you up the Rhine from Amsterdam.

Germany

Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)
Frankfurt am Main International (FRA) Airport is the busiest airport in Germany. This is Lufthansa Airlines largest airport hub. Rent a car or take the trains to connect to your travel destinations. You can drive down to the Romantic Mid Rhine area. The Mid Rhine area has a lot offer with beautiful castles between Mainz and Kobenlz. Best to explore the Rhine River by boat. Slow down and enjoy the views. You can also explore the Romantic Road.

Munich International Airport (MUC)
Munich International (MUC) Airport is an excellent hub to explore Southern Germany, Bavaria and the Alps. Munich is also known as Munchen in German. If you are travelling during Christmas, the Munich Airport hosts its own Christmas Markets. You can take trains to beautiful cities like Salzburg, Austria or Vienna, Austria and Zurich, Switzerland.

Germany’s Alpine Region
Take a beautiful train journey south to Fussen, Germany. Fussen is located right across the border from Austria. Here you can explore King Ludwig’s castles. The most famous is the Neuschwanstein Castle. You should also check out the Linderhof Palace and Hohenschwangau Castle. If you have time, check out Herrenchiemsee Palace which is based on King Louis’ Versailles. Herrenchiemsee (New Palace) is located on the largest island in Lake Chiemsee closer to Salzburg, Austria.

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Germany’s Romantic Road

Germany’s Romantic Road between Wurzburg and Fussen is a destination in itself. There are several castles on this route to be explored. So take time and soak in the beautiful German towns and villages.

Rothenburg
Spend time in towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg is located in the Franconia region of Bavaria. Experience the German culture at its best.

Fussen
Most travellers will remember the Neuschwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein Castle is known as Schloss Neuschwanstein in German. Neuschwanstein is best explored from Fussen, Bavaria. Fussen can be reached by train from Munich. This is a very beautiful part of Bavaria. Fussen borders Austria and is lush with the Alpine scenery.

Flying into Frankfurt am Main, Germany
If you are starting in the North from Wurzburg, best to fly into Frankfurt am Main International (FRA) Airport. Rent a car and you can make your own travel plans to get to Wurzburg.
You can also take a detour from the Romantic Road and drive down to the Romantic Mid Rhine area. The Mid Rhine area has a lot offer with beautiful castles between Mainz and Kobenlz. Best to explore the Rhine River by boat. Slow down and enjoy the views.

Flying into Munich, Bavaria, Germany
If you are starting in the South from Fussen, fly into Munich International (MUC) Airport. Munich is also known as Munchen in German. If you are travelling during Christmas, the Munich Airport hosts its own Christmas Markets.

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Salzburg and the beautiful Salzkammergut region of Austria

Salzburg is around 2 hours by train from Munich and less than 3 hours by train from Vienna. Most of us remember watching the Sound of Music filmed in beautiful Salzburg Austria. The beautiful Schloss Mirabell Gardens is where the Sound of Music “Do Re Mi” was filmed.

Mozart, the classical composer was also born in in Salzburg, Austria. You can visit Mozart birthplace and museum in Salzburg.

Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Carols and Advent are beautiful traditions observed here during the Christmas season. The song “Silent Night” is Austrian after all.

Salzburg (salt fortress) became an important center due to the salt trade. The fortress Hohensalzburg overlooking Salzburg is majestic. Stroll around the old town center and soak in the beauty of this place.

But that is not all. The Salzkammergut region is beautiful with Alpine ranges and lakes. Enjoy the beauty of the Austrian countryside. Take a trip to Hallstatt, Austria. This is an amazing place of beauty with the beautiful Hallstatt village hugging the lake.

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The Romantic Rhine

You can cruise the Rhine from Amsterdam, Netherlands via the German Heartland to Basel, Switzerland. Rhine starts its journey from Lake Toma, in the Swiss Canton of Graubünden and winds its way to Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Rhine actually passes through Switzerland, Liechtenstein , Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. There is so much history along the Rhine. It used to be the boundary between civilized Europe and untamed lands beyond. There is so much to see along the Rhine.

Rhine Falls, Switzerland
Rhine Falls or Rheinfall in German is Europe’s largest waterfall. In some ways resembles the Niagara Falls between United States and Canada. Rhine Falls is located near Schaffhausen , in Switzerland just across from the German border.

Lake Bodensee
Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) is one of the lakes on the Rhine. Bodensee borders Austria, Germany and Switzerland. You can basically visit all 3 countries by boat. Principality of Liechtenstein is around 30 minutes by car from the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

Basel, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland on the Rhine is a good transportation hub to pretty much get anywhere in Europe, especially to your Alpine destinations. A good place to rest and sight see in the lower elevation before going up into higher altitudes of the Alps.

Mainz to Kobenlz, Mid Rhine, Germany
The mid Rhine is probably the most romantic part of the Rhine. German towns from Mainz to Kobenlz, Germany will take you back in time. Take the Rhine ferries to slow down and soak in the beauty.

The Moselle River to Luxembourg
The Moselle River meets the Rhine River at Kobenlz. Moselle can take you all the way to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourg actually means Little Castle). Towns along the Moselle such as Zell and Cochem are simply breathtaking.

Heidelberg, Germany
Take another detour along the River Neckar (Neckar meets the Rhine at Mannheim) to Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg is both romantic and picturesque. It is definitely worth the detour.

Netherlands
Keep following the River Rhine and you will end up in Rotterdam, Netherlands which is Europe’s largest port with plenty of good places to eat and shop. For the romantic side visit Amsterdam.


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