Riquewihr

Officially one of the most beautiful villages in France ( Les plus beaux villages de France), tiny Alsatian Riquewihr nestles among vineyards between the Rhine River to the east and the Vosges mountains to the west.  This little commune hasn’t changed much in 500 years and was spared damage in World War II when fast advancing American forces surprised and routed the German defenders before they had a chance to destroy the town as part of Hitler’s scorched earth policies. Advertisements

Bridge at Remagen

In the closing weeks of World War II allied armies were rapidly pushing east trying to get across the Rhine River and have a chance to get to Berlin before the Soviets.  The problem was that stubborn Germans fighting desperately kept blowing up the bridges across the river just as advance elements of the American army arrived.  That all changed at the small German village of Remagen when a brave young American army officer and his sergeant led a squad of soldiers across a bridge and made history.  It was like something right out of Hollywood.

Strasbourg

The beautiful city of Strasbourg lies a few miles west of the Rhine River on the Ill River.  Nothing sickly at all about this ancient French city that was established more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans.  These towers on the Ill River were once part of the medieval fortifications that surrounded the inner city.