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“Oktoberfest ‘n’ more” Tour

Contents

  • Itinerary

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Day 1 -  Departure from the USA overnight flight to Frankfurt.

 

Day 2 –  Arrival at Frankfurt airport . Your tour guide and your bus driver are waiting to welcome you to Europe. Board your private deluxe motor coach that will be with you for the entire trip. Upon arrival we motor for about 30 minutes and enter the Rhine Valley by the city of Rüdesheim. This is the beginning of the “Romantic Rhine” that you’ve heard about, and seen pictures of. Board one of the Rhine steamers to float past vineyards nestling between steep rocks, go past well-known places like Bacharach and Boppard while marveling at the many beautiful castles. Also, take a spectacular look into the Rhine valley from the top of legend-laden Loreley Rock, and stop in Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse, a small alleyway that many think is the center of wine-inspired fun in Germany.

Leaving the area, we motor south for an hour and a bit to the romantic city of Heidelberg, your first overnight place in Germany. Dinner will be in a restaurant nearby to your hotel.

 

Day 3 -  Breakfast will be at your hotel - as always on this tour. We will then load the bus before taking you on a short walking tour along the Hauptstrasse: peep into the Holy-Ghost-Church and visit the curious student prison before you set out on your own to explore Heidelberg some more. If this is your first time in Heidelberg we’d like to take you up to Heidelberg Castle. See the place where the Student Prince is performed, marvel at the Big Cask – the largest useable wine barrel ever made, and wonder at the mysterious footprint on the castle patio (The admission fee to the castle is NOT included in the tour price). At about 11:30am we’ll meet on the bus and start motoring along the Autobahn further south and into the Black Forest. In Gutach we’ll visit the open-air museum with its superb collection of Black Forest farmhouses before we continue to your hotel in the area. Dinner will be at the hotel.

 

Day 4 - Our first stop this morning is the Clock Museum in the city of Furtwangen. You know, of course, that the Black Forest is the home of the cuckoo clock, and this museum is devoted to the art of clock making. Not just noisy cuckoo clocks, though: also listen to organ grinders, admire a stunning astronomical clock, and chuckle at the famous “dumpling eater” clock – unique in the world. After this visit we travel further south and into Switzerland where our first stop will be in Schaffhausen. Visit the Rhine Falls – admittedly not as high as Niagara Falls, but still very pretty - and at any rate the best we can do in Europe. The last stretch of road today will take us further into Switzerland and to the city of Lucerne, where you will be staying for the next two overnights.

In the evening a special treat is waiting for you – a visit to the well-known Stadtkeller (www.stadtkeller@bluewin.ch) restaurant: While you enjoy a typical Swiss dinner you’ll be entertained by a troupe of folklore artists. Singing and dancing  galore… 

 

Day 5 -  Time to go to church. At about 11:30hrs this morning we depart for an excursion into the Swiss Alps. After about 45 minutes we’ll reach the village of Engelberg (www.engelberg.ch).  – Using a system of cable cars we will go up to the top of the Titlis mountain (www.tourist-center@engelberg.ch)

 

Return to Lucerne. No organized dinner today.

 

Day 6 -  Leave Lucerne in the morning – you are now on your way to the principality of Liechtenstein. Our first stop, however, is the town of Zug romantically situated on the lake of the same name. We’ll take some time to explore the small but interesting medieval city center. The small village of Einsiedeln is our next stop. Situated in the hills of the Kanton of Schwyz it has been Switzerland’s most important site of pilgrimage for a thousand years, and still draws a quarter of a million visitors every year. Hear about, and see, the “Black Madonna“ figure and its story. Now we'll start the final stretch of our journey today – towards and thru Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein and up into the mountains to the village of Malbun. Haven’t you always wanted to wake up to the tinkling of cowbells? Here’s your chance…

 

Day 7 -  We leave the principality this morning and enter into Austria. Through rugged mountain areas and across the Arlberg pass we’re now moving east into the general direction of Innsbruck. A stop will be made in the town of Wattens where the famous Swarovski company created a fantastic artistic installation called “The Crystal World” (Catch a glimpse at www.swarovski-kristallwelt.com).

 

As your hotel for tonight we have chosen a charming and very old Tyrolean “Gasthof” situated in the very downtown of Innsbruck. In fact, as a guest of the Weisses Kreuz you are in good company: In 1769 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, then 13 years of age, stayed here together with his father as they were trammeling to Italy.

Dinner will be at a restaurant nearby to your hotel.

 

Day 8 -  Leave Innsbruck this morning to cross the border back into Germany. In Mittenwald, practically the first place after the border, and a very charming Alpine town, we have scheduled a visit to the violin building museum. After this visit, go through parts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the 1936 winter olympics took place, and continue to Linderhof Castle, one of the three castles build by “mad” King Ludwig. Visit this castle, the smallest of the three, but considered by many to be the one with the highest artistic value. Highlights will be the “magic table”, the mirror room, and the artificial grotto in the garden, place of the king’s wagnerian daydreams. Then, continue to Oberammergau, the Passion play village also known for their many woodcarvers. We’ll visit one whom you can watch across his shoulder from close by while he’s doing his stunning work.

 

Now it’s onto Landsberg, your overnight place for the balance of the tour.

Dinner at a local restaurant

 

Day 9 -   This morning, it's onto the bus and we're heading for the city of Giengen. You may not have heard about this place – but surely you know about teddy bears, don’t you? And this is the home of the famous Steiff teddy bear factory. Hear the story how one of the bears produced by Margarethe Steiff found its way to America, and only there was baptized „teddy“ bear – owing to an incident in which another „teddy“ was involved... They have a very nice Steiff museum on site, and their factory outlet will perhaps attract you, too. After this visit we’re on our way to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This city certainly is a gem: cobble-stoned alleys, century-old buildings, an altar that was artistically carved almost 500 years ago, magnificent city gates, a wall all around.. it's like stepping into a fairy tale. Your guide will make sure you get some idea about Rothenburg, and at least walk on the city wall for a bit before you explore the town, and in particular, Käthe Wohlfahrt's all-year-round Christmas Stores. No organized dinner has been scheduled to give you a maximum of time in this unique city.

 

Day 10 -  Today’s excursion takes us to Munich, the capital of Bavaria. After a quick visit to Marienplatz square and the famed Glockenspiel we’ll let you loose on the Octoberfest. While this is basically a carnival, albeit the largest we have in Germany, there are still some special things to discover: The five huge beer tents for example, run by the five local breweries, where you can eat (how about a Schweinshaxe knuckle of pork?), drink (beer of course, and from huge but badly filled steins); nostalgic merry-go-rounds that will take you back to your childhood perhaps; and oddities like the strongest man in the world, the lady with the longest beard in Germany; and the opportunity to have your spouse beheaded (most survive it somehow, though…)

 

No organized dinner as you will probably be snacking during the fair anyway and we’re planning to leave Munich a little later at 6.30pm to return to Landsberg.

 

Day 11 -  The mountain city of Berchtesgaden will be our first destination this morning, and we’re planning to go up to Hitler’s mountain abode, the so-called Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus is the official name). To do this we will change to a local bus specifically equipped to master the very steep road, and the last bit we’ll do by cable car. You will be rewarded by a spectacular view, and perhaps some goose bumps as you imagine the Führer frolicking about with his toy-lady Eva Braun (Did they or did they not – that is the question…) As we descend it is only a short drive to Salzburg, the city of Mozart.  Your guide will take you on a short informal walking tour where you’ll visit the majestic Cathedral, walk across quaint St. Peter's Cemetery (you saw a "cardboard model" of it in the movie), and stand in front of Mozart's birthplace in the Getreidegasse, the famous shopping street in Salzburg. The balance of the afternoon is free before we return to Germany.

 

Our farewell dinner tonight will be at a very special place today: The restaurant at Andechs Monastery, otherwise known as the “holy mountain” of the area. Here, the famous and very tasty Andechs beer is brewed according to old recipes and traditions, and you should not miss the chance to try it as you have your final dinner before heading home.

 

Day 12 -  Transfer to Munich Airport - and time to say goodbye, or rather "Auf Wiedersehen", to your tour guide and your driver.

 

 

List of overnight places:

We count a total of 11 tour days in Europe

.

Place

No. of nights

Heidelberg

1

Black Forest

1

Luzern

2

Malbun

1

Innsbruck

1

Landsberg

4

Total overnights

10

 

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