August 5th ~ Bernkastel-Kues, Germany
Old Town Bernkastel-Kues
The town in its current form came into being on 1 April 1905 through the merger of the town of Bernkastel with the winemaking village of Kues across the river. Located in the Moselle Valley, this charming town screams traditional German culture. Well known for their wine, the Riesling is a stand out.
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Regular passenger train services through the Gotthard Base Tunnel begin. The longest rail tunnel in the world, it is the centrepiece of the planned AlpTransit rail network that will speed people and cargo through Switzerland and under the Alps. It was inaugurated on Jun 1.
The 57km (35-mile) tunnel is expected to service 65 passenger trains per day reaching speeds of 250 kmh (155 mph), along with up to 260 freight trains. It cuts the 3.5-hour travel time from Zürich to Milan by an hour and reduces the journey from Zürich to Lugano to one hour 40 minutes.
A parallel service, running hourly, begins in the same month on the original Alpine railway link, which involves countless bridges and loop tunnels and passes through the old 15 km (9.3 mile) Gotthard tunnel, which was built in 1882.
Engineers broke through the final barrier in the new Gotthard in Oct 2010. With rock cover up to 2,300 metres (7546 feet) in depth, it is also the deepest rail tunnel in the world. It has overtaken Japan’s 53.9 km (33.5 mile) Seikan rail tunnel as the longest in the world and pushed the 50.5 km (31.3 mile) Channel Tunnel linking the United Kingdom and France into third place.
“…nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” – Mark Twain
People have always travelled to other parts of the world to see great buildings and works of art, to learn new languages, to experience new cultures and to enjoy different food and drink…
…In 2008 I flew to Athens and in the departure lounge queue behind us was a couple of girls and one announced to the other that ‘I only go on holiday for three things, to get drunk, get stoned and get laid’, I had to see who this person was and when I turned round she turned out to be so unattractive that I was tempted to say ‘Don’t build your hopes up, if I were you I would concentrate on the first two!’ but she was…
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