Long before railroads and smooth highways existed, trade and transportation were conducted on rivers, which is why so many of Europe’s major cities—Budapest, Vienna, Paris and London—are built around rivers. Rivers were used to transport stone to build castles and city walls, to carry and distribute the material brought overland on the Silk Route to all of Europe, and to send urgent messages. Travelling down a river brings you in touch with history and lets you see the spread of ideas, cultural influence and national identity.
This summer, AMA Waterways is conducting a number of European river tours, starting at Paris, Budapest, Amsterdam and other cities. These cruises include wine-focused cruises with winery visits and wine-tasting evenings, itineraries which stop at Koblenz, Germany, for the 2011 Horticultural Show (15 April-16 October), and views of riverside castles. All packages include travel on a luxury cruise ship or overnight stays at star hotels. For details, log on to www.amawaterways.com
Serene waters: AMA Waterways’ Amacello Passau. Courtesy AMA Waterways
The Mandawa Hotels in Rajasthan are offering a special weekend rate at two of their properties—Castle Mandawa and the Desert Resort. Castle Mandawa is a heritage property, a fortress (with turreted towers) built in the 18th century and repeatedly renovated, while the Desert Resort has the traditional mud-brick architecture of the Mandawa region (Mandawa is 168km from Jaipur). The hotels will arrange tours to nearby havelis and the blackbuck sanctuary at Tal Chappar. The weekend package is Rs13,000 for double occupancy for two nights. For details, log on to www.mandawahotels.com
The Ultimate Boarder Championship
Fans of extreme sports should attend the Ultimate Boarder Championship—a triathlon in which professional as well as amateur athletes will take part in snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding contests next month. The triathlon will start at Mammoth Mountain in Colorado, US, and move on to Cardiff, near San Diego.
The only event of its kind, the Ultimate Boarder Championship isn’t just for the athletically inclineed. It has lots to offer non-participants too as it will take place in some of the most scenic locations in the US. For details, log on to www.ultimateboarder.com
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