Travellers new to the Rhine need to be aware that it is primarily a working river. The picturesque castles and vineyards depicted in travel brochures are in the Rhine Gorge, a beautiful area but one which can be cruised through in less than a day. RIVER SNAPSHOT. Wonderful at Easter when the cities are bedecked with thousands of real multicoloured eggs and decorations. No leaves on the trees in April, so you can see the wonderful sights gliding by and enjoy the emerging spring as you travel south, but wrap up warmly. CHRISTMAS MARKETS. Rhine sailings in November and December are a wonderful way of visiting several Christmas markets in one trip and, as I discovered, you can go for just a few nights. My trip started and ended in Cologne, which was ideal as it has four big Christmas markets which, with pretty twinkling lights draped everywhere and stalls packed with traditional handicrafts, get everyone in the festive mood. At the pretty town of Rüdesheim you have to try a Rüdesheimer coffee, served in red-and-white cups decorated with scenes from the Rhine. Making the coffee is a performance in itself and involves sugar, coffee and the local Asbach brandy, topped with whipped cream. Apparently, the shape of the cup, which tapers from a large brim to a smaller base, makes it easier to warm your.
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