Courting history along the Rhine

"We got off the ship in Nuremberg and got on to a bus, which is unusual for APT because they are normally all walking tours.

"We went first to the war claims tribunal (the Palace of Justice), which is where the Nazi war criminals were tried after World War II.

"We then got back on the bus and were taken to the outdoor stadium where Hitler used to address the masses with his manic speeches, which could go on for hours. The structure itself is rather ugly and many Germans want it demolished, both on aesthetic grounds and also because of the memories it evokes.

"It was quite strange because the stadium is located next to a football stadium and there was a soccer match on at the time we visited, so we could hear the soccer crowd booming in the background as we were imagining what the Hitler gatherings would have been like. It was quite eerie.

"The stadium was a very interesting thing for me to see. I'm 80 years of age so I can remember all of these things happening; we saw it on newsreels 70-odd years ago. I thought I only had vague memories of the war trials but when we got in there it refreshed my memories of what had happened.

"After the stadium we went into central Nuremberg and it is an absolutely majestic, beautiful place; it is very scenic. The city is on the Pegnitz River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, and there are lots of little bridges crossing the water. There are also lots of narrow streets and pastry shops and bread shops.

"We were escorted by an English-speaking professor of history from the local university, who was extremely knowledgeable and articulate, and the walk went for about 90 minutes.

"We were then left to have an hour or so wandering around on our own. We were dropped off in the town square, which had canvas-tented beer halls and other stalls. You can grab yourself a German sausage with mustard and a roll and get yourself a stein of German beer to go with it.

"It was such a good excursion, a real mix of history, geography and sheer pictorial beauty."

Value for money

Under APT's "freedom of choice" touring options, passengers on Rhine River cruises are given a choice of two excursions in Nuremberg at no extra cost.

Jim says the APT river cruise is an up-market product and priced accordingly but offers "superb value" when shore excursions and other inclusions are factored in.

WHO Jim Corsie, from Peterborough in Victoria, who has lost count of the number of cruises he has taken.

WHAT Nazi history and Bavarian culture.

WHERE Nuremberg, southern Germany.

THE SHIP Jim and his wife Ann cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam with APT ( The 15-day cruise, which can be done in either direction, is one of the most popular European river cruises for Australian passengers.

As told to Jane E. Fraser

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