Germany's rivers and the many sights along them are fascinating and diverse. We take a tour on the Rhine, along the Mosel and up the Elbe to the bizarre cliffs and jagged rocks of the region known as Saxon Switzerland.
From Bingen we take a cruise ship through the Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its numerous castles and palaces and the famous Lorelei rock, as far as Koblenz, where the Rhine and Mosel flow together. There the popular Mosel Cycle Route begins along the curves of the Mosel. Steep vineyards and delightful wine-growing villages line the terraced banks of the lower reaches of the river.
In Trier, archaeological finds bear witness to the artistic sense and lives of the Roman conquerors, who first brought grape vines to the region. On the banks of the Elbe between Dresden and Pirna, the bizarre cliffs of the Saxon Switzerland region are the attraction. The world's oldest fleet of paddle steamers travels to the foothills of this unusual mountain range. In 1826 the sandstone Bastei Bridge was built to link several of the jagged rocks for tourists.
Vincenzo Nibali has won a fourth stage of the 2014 Tour de France. On Wednesday, the Italian had said that he was now racing himself - and he proved it Thursday on the 18th stage from Pau to Hautacam.
Two linked companies, Espirito Santo Group and RioForte, have applied to Luxembourg courts for protection from their creditors in recent days. The Portuguese family dynasty that owns both companies is at a crossroads.
In a quarterly revision of its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for growth worldwide. The body said geopolitical conflicts were weighing heavily on economic prospects.