f you’re the hopelessly romantic type-or just one who has deep love for sheer beauty-then choosing an excellent barge holiday in France that cruises through Alsace-Lorraine should be the order of the day. The region is rich with history and culture, not to mention outstanding natural beauty; from the undulating hills covered with vineyards from which famous Alsatian wines are made, to centuries-old structures bearing every major architectural design, to its cuisine and culture. Here are a few things to expect from an Alsace-Lorraine luxury hotel barge cruise.
An Art-Infused Start
The best barge holiday in France will often start in Nancy with a “bang” — or at least with a welcoming glass of champagne — primarily because of Nancy’s important place in the history of art. Any art student will know this is where the Art Nouveau movement began and eventually spread from, so a stroll through the city will almost always include an excursion to Ecole de Nancy for a personal encounter with its prized art collection. Along the way, even if you’re merely leisurely walking on the city’s streets, you’ll be treated to breath-taking sights: the Baroque palaces with their gold and iron gates, the grand square (they take the word ‘grand’ very seriously here), and other memorable buildings and structures.
An essential part of a good barge holiday in France on an Alsace-Lorraine itinerary is the opportunity to enjoy the sights of farms and pasturelands – the French countryside at its finest. Imagine being on the barge deck, the morning sun on your face, the fragrant breeze wafting through your nostrils, with the most serene countryside views opening up before you. There is also a good chance your cruise organiser will have pre-arranged a drive out to the renowned Chateau de Fleville. While it is not public property, the Renaissance-era chateau warmly accepts guests, especially those with an eye to appreciate its antique interiors and 18th century furnishings. And to complete this idyll, the barge will be moored at a nearby village for an overnight stay.
Cruising through the Zorn Valley on the way to Lutzelbourg, you’ll be treated to a bittersweet sight: on the surrounding hills are the remnants of feudal castles. On one hand, they remind us of our childhood fairy-tale notions of romance and chivalry, while on the other hand, we may recall the oppression of the old feudal system. At the very least, these old castles provide us a well-rounded, historical aspect to a memorable barge holiday in France. Before reaching this area, you will have visited a village called Harz, famous for its hand-blown fine crystal and a must-see for many tourists; and, depending on your barge company, you may also have passed through the two famous tunnels into the Vosges Mountains and experienced what it feels to actually glide down the Inclined Plane at Arzviller.
There will be many memorable moments to enjoy on a barge holiday through this famed region of France and it may whet your appetite to explore the rivers and canals of the country further.
About the Author:
Paul D. Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways. We can provide you with a luxury, all-inclusive barge holiday in France. Cruises are also offered in Holland, Italy and the UK.
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