Oktoberfest European Capitals
Day 1 - Southampton (London) The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downs and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton serves as your gateway to the countryside - and to a wide variety of historic sites, national landmarks and charming. And of course, London is a two-hour drive by modern highway. The United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear.
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - Hamburg Germany's leading seaport, Hamburg is the gateway to Berlin - and a fascinating place to visit in it own right. Situated on the banks of the Elbe, the city is built over the water and boasts more than 2,100 bridges, more bridges than in Venice and Amsterdam combined. Established by Charlemagne in the 9th century, Hamburg has managed to preserve its Gothic old quarter. The city's other attractions range from St. Pauli, the ribald red-light district, to the fashionable shops of Jungfernsteig and the St. Michael's Church, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
Day 4 - At Sea
Day 5 - Gothenburg, Sweden Sweden's second largest city - and the largest port in Scandinavia - was founded by King Gustavus Adolphus in 1621 at the mouth of the Göta River. Gustavus Adolphus hired Dutch architects and builders to lay out Gothenburg, so it should come as no surprise that the city is laced with a network of gracious canals lined with elegant buildings. Like all great seaports, Gothenburg is a cosmopolitan city with a wealth of cultural attractions, from its ancient University to its beloved pleasure garden at Liseberg Amusement Park. The city is also the gateway to the archipelagoes and picturesque fishing villages of Sweden's West Coast - the country's favorite vacation playground. Gothenburg's cultural hub is the Götaplatsen. Here Carl Milles' dramatic bronze figure of Poseidon stands watch over the central square, home to the city's Museum of fine Arts, Concert Hall, Municipal Theatre and City Library.
Day 6 - Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen was founded during the 12th century. The city owes much of its charm to the buildings erected by Denmark's monarchs, and boasts a treasure trove of late-Renaissance and Rococo architecture. Copenhagen deserves its accolade as the Venice of the North. Founded on a series of islands and islets, the city today is laced with graceful canals and boasts some of the most delightful architecture in Northern Europe. See the fabled statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, a symbol of the city. Stroll along the old harbor of Nyhavn, lined with cafés, restaurants and 500-year-old gabled houses. Browse the superb shops on the world-famous Stroget or view the Rococo palaces lining Amalienborg Square. Best of all, savor the taste of local delicacies while wandering the paths of Tivoli Gardens, one of Europe's most celebrated pleasure gardens.
Day 7 - Oslo, Norway The oldest of the Scandinavian capitals, Oslo boasts one of the most fabled maritime and cultural histories in the entire world: it was the homeland of the seafaring Vikings. The dramatic beauty of the city's setting is understandably inspiring. One need only look out upon the breathtaking Oslofjord, glistening lakes and enchanting woodlands to see why a people might want to discover more beauty.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - Rotterdam The largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is an intriguing mix of the old and the new. The city's lineage is ancient - Count Willem III granted city rights to the sleepy fishing village on the Rotte in 1328, yet much of the city dates from the six decades following the end of World War II. An important industrial center and a major European port, Rotterdam was among the first targets of the Nazi blitzkrieg against the West. On May 14, 1940, the German Luftwaffe firebombed the city, Rotterdam was gutted. The post-war years saw a slow rebuilding but by the early 1960s the maze of port facilities extended all the way to the North Sea. Today, this city of over half a million is the economic powerhouse, not just of the Netherlands but of Northern Europe. The Nazi bombardment of 1940 gutted most of the old city. As a result, Rotterdam's architecture is an intriguing mix of old and new: modern glass skyscrapers often stand adjacent to 19th- and 18th-century buildings.
Day 10 - Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge) Zeebrugge is your gateway to Brussels. The capital of Belgium, Brussels is really two cities in one. Old Brussels is a city of superb Baroque architecture with ornate guildhalls, cobbled lanes and one of the finest squares in Europe. New Brussels is the modern city, the capital of the European Union, the home of NATO and the seat of the European Atomic Energy Community. It is a city of fascinating contrasts.
Day 11 - Southampton (London) The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downs and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton serves as your gateway to the countryside - and to a wide variety of historic sites, national landmarks and charming. And of course, London is a two-hour drive by modern highway. The United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, Southampton was home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear.
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