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“In the Footsteps of Martin Luther

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 Contents

  • Itinerary

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Day 1  - Departure from the USA and overnight flight to Europe.

 

Day 2   - Arrival at Frankfurt airport in the morning. Your English speaking tour guide Ulrich “Uli” Buschmann 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. After a drive of about 1½ hours we’ll arrive in the city of Heidelberg [80 km]. The first thing we’ll do is motor up to the Castle: See this magnificent fortification where, it is said, lions were once kept in the moat to protect the powerful Prince Elector and his court. Today it is the place where the “Student Prince” is performed. Also, marvel at the Big Cask – the largest useable wine barrel ever made, hear the tales of Perkeo the dwarf, and wonder at the mysterious footprint on the castle patio.

As you descend back into the valley on foot your guide will take you on a short walking tour along the Hauptstrasse: peep into the Holy-Ghost-Church and visit the curious student prison before you have some free time to further explore the city on your own. It’s time to board the bus again to go to your hotel in the Pfalz [159 km] area for dinner and overnight:

 

Day 3   – Breakfast will be at your hotel – as always on this tour. This morning get on the bus and start motoring further south. We’ll cross the border to France for a visit to Strassbourg [105 km], an old and beautiful city where French and German cultures and languages have been mixing for centuries. Today the city is one of the two seats of the European Parliament, and a popular destination because of its grand cathedral and the cute old town around it. In the early afternoon, motor back to Germany and into the Black Forest. Past the cities of Offenburg and Gengenbach we get to Wolfach  [174 km] where we’ll visit the Glashütte, the only glass blowing manufacture in the Black Forest. Watch the glass blowers and – at an extra fee - try to blow your own item under the guidance of an experienced craftsman. There is also an opportunity to buy their beautiful crystal products at factory prices. Continue to your hotel in this area of the Black forest [192 km]:

 

Day 4   - A long day of driving lies ahead of us: First visit the biggest cuckoo clock in the world (as mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records) in the Triberg area [24 km]. Then motor past the city of Singen and just a little bit across the border into Switzerland to Schaffhausen [125 km]. Visit the Rhine Falls – admittedly not quite like Niagara Falls, but still the best we can do in Europe with regards to waterfalls, and very pretty indeed. For an adventure take a little boat and cross over to a steep rock right in the middle of the falls. Then drive back into Germany and along Lake Constance (Bodensee), the second largest Alpine lake. Birnau church [193 km], spectacularly situated right by the lakeshore, is an example of the richly ornate Baroque building style, and well worth a 30 minute visit. Then we'll continue past the city of Lindau and along the Allgäu Alps via Isny, Kempten and Marktoberdorf into Bavaria where we’ll stay at this country guesthouse in the village of Böbing [357 km]:

 

Day 5- Today is devoted to the beautiful Bavarian countryside: Motor to the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen [43 km] and go up to the peak of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. This is an extensive trip that will take a minimum of 3 ½ hours, and involve the use of a mountain railway (departure at 10:15am from Garmisch), a cogwheel car, and a cable car for the return journey. On the way back we intend to stop at the famous village of Oberammergau where the Passion Plays are staged every 10 years. Catch a glimpse of the festival hall, admire the pretty murals on many houses, and watch the world-renowned woodcarvers at work. Finally, and provided there’s still time visit Wieskirche [88 km], the well-known “church in the meadow” - generally considered one of the finest baroque churches north of the Alps, and also a place of pilgrimage. Dinner and second overnight at your Bavarian Gasthaus  [104 km].

An evening of entertainment  will now unfold: the folklore group of Böbing under the leadership of Herr Miller will play typical Bavarian music and perform traditional dances for us. And… maybe, just maybe… there’ll be yet another surprise.

 

Day 6  – After breakfast we drive across the alpine foothills to the Berchtesgaden area [184 km]. Around lunchtime motor up the Obersalzberg on a special bus, and use a cable car to get up to the peak where the famous “Kehlsteinhaus” lies, better known as the Eagle’s Nest - once the mountain retreat of the terrible dictator Adolf Hitler. – Back down in the valley, travel inside the very mountain you’ve just been on as we visit the exciting salt mines: Dress up as miners and ride into the Obersalzberg mountain on a train. In the depth of the mine watch a movie that tells you about the salt mining and trade in this area, cross an underground salt lake on a raft, and whoosh down two extremely long chutes. Back to daylight, we will proceed to our hotel in the Salzburg/Berchtesgaden [189 km] area for dinner and overnight - at a place half way up the mountain:

 

Day 7  - Today is devoted to Salzburg [25 km], the beautiful Austrian city so well known in the USA by the movie “The sound of Music”. It is true that the city served as a backdrop to the film, but it is also famous because Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born there, and because it is home to one of the most prestigious festival of classical music in the world. Your guide will take you around the old town for about 1 hour, taking you into the magnificent cathedral, through the famous cemetery, a cardboard model of which was used in the movie, and to Mozart’s birthplace in the busy Getreidegasse, before you have time to yourself. On the way back to the hotel yet another highlight is waiting for you: Schloss Hellbrunn. “Yet another castle” you may think. Stop right there! And be ready for some refreshing surprises… Dinner and second overnight at your hotel [55 km].

 

Day 8  - We’re off to an early start this morning, motoring  north again past the cities of Munich and Augsburg to Nürnberg [317 km]. This is the city of gingerbread, and we’ll be visiting what is probably the most famous gingerbread manufacturer in the world, the Schmidt company (www.lebkuchen-schmidt.com, site speaks English.) While unfortunately nobody is permitted to enter the actual production site for hygienic reasons, they have a video film ready for us (in German) explaining about the history and the making of their goodies. While watching the movie you may enjoy a cup of coffee, or a soft drink, and munch on a Lebkuchen, as gingerbread is called in the local language – all on the house. They also have a factory outlet on site that offers their exciting range of products.

In the afternoon we’re moving on to the area of Franken and to your last hotel, situated in a village next to the famous city of Rothenburg [419 km]:

 

Day 9  - A very short ride this morning takes you to Rothenburg ob der Tauber [3 km]. 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: walk on the city wall, visit the church with its famous Holy Blood Altar, and see the area where the castle once was – now a beautiful garden with a wonderful view into the Tauber valley. After that you are free to explore the town, and in particular Käthe Wohlfahrt's all-year-round Christmas Stores. If interested your guide will take you to a local potter who makes crockery in the typical “daisy” style of the area. Return to your hotel for your farewell dinner and last overnight in Germany.

 

Day 10   – Transfer to Frankfurt Airport [187 km] – it is now time to say goodbye, or rather "Auf Wiedersehen", to your tour guide and your driver. Departure to the USA.

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We count a total of 8 overnights in Europe.

List of overnight places:

Place

No. of nights

Pfalz

1

Lauterbach

1

Böbing

2

Salzburg/Berchtesgaden

2

Rothenburg

2

Total overnights

8

 

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