A trip “Down the Danube” first begins at Mainz, where the westward-flowing Main river joins the Rhine valley. At first the route passes through the industrial and business area at Frankfurt, but the remainder of the cruise is in the very beautiful and historic state of Bavaria. The Main river is gorgeous, passing between wooded hills and past ancient castles. It runs through many towns and cities, providing a good view of the architecture of several centuries. After two major north-south loops, making the river distance twice the straight-line distance, the eastern end of the navigable portion of the Main connects with the Main-Donau-Kanal at Bamberg.
The old-city section of Bamberg lies between the Main-Donau Kanal and the Regnitz river, with a part of the Ludwigskanal passing through the middle. It makes for a walk that is ideal for water-lovers. There have been major floods on the Regnitz over centuries; watch for historical high-water marks on the buildings. It is the largest intact preserved historic center in Germany and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bamberg is known for its diverse beer tradition, with the local specialty being smoked beer, similar in flavor to smoked meat. There are eleven active breweries here.The city is a hub for cycling routes along the Main-Donau Kanal and throughout northern Bavaria.
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