Germany

Jul 2nd, 2010, 10:28 AM
  #1  
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Germany

We will be staying in Kapellen Belgium just outside of Antwerp with a car for two weeks (house trade) and would like to visit Germany. It appears that we will be about two hours from Cologne. We were thinking of maybe spending the night on the Rhine or the coast somewhere with a possible boat trip on the river. We would would also like to visit North Sea coastal areas. We like food drink and water views along with scenic drives I’m also a WW2 history buff. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jon V
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Jul 4th, 2010, 05:00 AM
  #2  
 
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I'd recommend Boppard - nice town with a chairlift ride to a nearby peak with an outdoor cafe and a tremendous view of the river. Maybe stay in a hotel along the Rhine promenade there.

See Remagen's WW II museum on the way south, housed in the remains of the former Luddendorf Bridge at the site of one of the more interesting WW II battles for the Rhineland:

www.bruecke-remagen.de

Visit marksburg Castle in Braubach - great tour; take the ferry across from Boppard and drive north:

www.marksburg.de


And see the attractive half-timbereed village of Linz, just north of Koblenz on the east bank, almost opposite Remagen, on the way back to Antwerp.
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Jul 4th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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As for North Sea, you might try the drive west to Knokke-Heist (in Belgium). It's a fancy seaside resort. Further south there are family-oriented resorts such as De Haan. The North Sea resorts in the Netherlands and Germany are too far out of the way for you.

Lavandula
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Jul 4th, 2010, 08:54 PM
  #4  
 
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The Rhine region is lovely and well worth a visit. I like Boppard too. Although, I think Bacharach is a cuter little town but Boppard was tranquil. And there was a cafe (am markt, I believe?) they made the best apricot kuchen I've ever tasted. I have almost found a duplicate Bavarian cream recipe. (sorry I digress)

JonV, if you have time, consider going to Aachen, visiting Cologne and moving down the Rhine or possibly traveling along the Mosel river. It‘s all beautiful.

Lavandula
Funny, you should mention Knokke-Heist, I've been there because I wanted to see the casino with the Rene Magritte mural. I wonder if they have ever decided to do the new casino/hotel design?

Knokke-Heist has a little art deco casino with a Rene Magritte mural in the upstairs gaming room. It was Magritte’s first commissioned job and is a national treasure. There is a small copy of this in the Magritte museum in Brussels.

The casino was bought by a French group who want to build a huge casino and hotel in it’s place. They let it go to seed in what seems to be an attempt to black mail the town into accepting this new design and are running into resistance. We had to wait for a few hours to get to see the Magritte, so we spent some time in the little town. People were friendly and a couple of people in town told me that the design the French consortium had was huge and horrible. After seeing the renderings of the building the architect, Steven Holls pays homage to Magritte in the design. I like the little art deco casino more but the buildings surrounding the casino are awful. Here’s a link if you want to see. http://www.stevenholl.com/project-de...hp?type=&id=62

When we visited the casino, which was really a dank little place and could have been much more, in fact at one time was pretty cool. Like I said, neat art deco building, used to attract some famous names but now is, lets put it this way, they had penny slot machines and the people playing the machines looked like what is best summed up as rough trade.

The casino, not only has this Magritte mural but Keith Haring also did a mural in the casino. The Magritte is in what used to be a dining room but is now a gaming room so it’s in the open. The Haring is tucked away and I had to sneak and peek through t a crack to see it. Also, the casino has a couple of Paul Delvaux’s, another Belgian surrealist but no one is allowed to see the Haring and the Delvauxs are downstairs near the restrooms.

Oh, and the casino also has the dubious distinction of having the largest chandelier in Europe and they keep that out of sight in the downstairs, who can blame them. It‘s atrocious. There are some interesting galleries in the little town.

Didn't mean to hijack your topic Jon with my little "SAVE the ART" rave but that Haring should be saved. If you decide to go to Knokke-Heist it may be interesting.
LSky is offline  
Jul 5th, 2010, 08:56 AM
  #5  
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Thank you, you folks have given us the information I was looking for since this is a part of Europe we haven't been to. House trades put you in interesting areas.

Thanks again, Jon V
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Jul 5th, 2010, 11:09 AM
  #6  
 
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Hope you have a great time. And I've thought about trading homes, please come back and tell us about your experience, or do you do this often?

You mentioned that you were interested in WWII, I think that when one has a specific interest it can really lead you down roads you'd never think of taking and makes for a better vacation.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Thanks LSky for the information about the artwork. I didn't know anything about this - when I visited Knokke I also went to a nearby butterfly farm and Het Zwin, which is a nature reserve. I enjoyed this but did it on foot from Knokke and it took ages to get there!

Enjoy Belgium, Jon_V - Antwerp is a good area to be in, and it's easy to get around. The train network in Belgium is fabulous.`

Lavandula
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Jul 5th, 2010, 04:46 PM
  #8  
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Check out home exchange.com, we've had good luck with it, people like to come here in the northern California wine country.Check out our listing #69705 in Santa Rosa Ca.

Cheers, Jon V
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