11 Day Franconia, Bavaria & the Passion Play
June 17th 2020 departure starting at $3,349 (tour only)
includes 8 Breakfast, 1 Lunch & 8 Dinners
June in Germany and Austria – flowers splashing color on every mountain and in every pocket garden. Wineries coming to life along the majestic Rhine River. Postcard perfect villages with cobblestone streets and palaces ornate with gleaming golden embellishments. We’ll see all these, as well as the Passion Play at Oberammergau. Don’t let another ten years pass without experiencing this once-a-decade production.
DAY 1: Depart USA. We begin our journey with a flight to Frankfurt.
DAY 2: Rüdesheim, Germany. Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we drive to Rüdesheimon the Rhine. We soon see that this is a major wine-producing region, particularly known for their Reislings. Rüdesheim is towered over by a Medieval castle housing a lovely wine museum, for anyone who would like to stretch their legs on the climb up the hill. We enjoy a wine tasting welcome party upon arrival.
DAY 3: Rüdesheim. We walk to the river this morning and board a ship for an excursion along the most beautiful section of the Rhine. After passing the famous Lorelei Rock, we disembark at St. Goarshausen, have lunch, and drive further along the Rhine to the Marksburg Castle. After dinner, we might like to stroll through the Drosselgasse, a small lane filled with wine bars and live music.
DAY 4: Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We now drive along the picturesque Rhine Valley to Heidelberg, home of "The Student Prince," and Germany's oldest university.Upon our arrival we visit the magnificent castle ruins for a panoramic view of the city and Neckar Valley below. There is also time to explore the Old Town" area as well. After lunch, we drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the city that time passed by.A late afternoon tour of this medieval walled city acquaints us with this truly delightful gem. As we admire the handsome, half-timbered buildings and walk the narrow, winding cobblestone streets, we realize that we truly are stepping back 500 years in time!
DAY 5: Meersburg. We take a picturesque drive south today along the Romantic Road to Meersburg on Lake Constance for our overnight. Meersburg retains its medieval roots, with a lower city along the water once inhabited by the merchants and tradespeople, and the fortified upper city for the gentile classes. We venture out to spend the afternoon on the Island of Mainau, located in the middle of Lake Constance. It is known as the “flower island” due to its beautiful gardens.
DAY 6: Oberammergau After a hearty breakfast, we drive through the tiny principality of Liechtensteinto Innsbruck, Austria. We have a tour of Innsbruck, including the Wilten Basilica, the Golden Roofand Court Church. We overnight in Oberammergau.
DAY 7: Oberammergau. We enjoy a relaxed morning in Oberammergau, admiring the bright frescoes that adorn many of the homes and businesses, perhaps shopping for a souvenir woodcarving for which the village is famous. We may choose to take the regional bus to nearby Linderhof Castle, the glitziest of King Ludwig II’s castles or to Ettal for a visit to the impressive Benedictine abbey. During WWII, the Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the Jesuit Priest, Rupert Mayer, both active in the resistance against the Nazi regime and later martyred, were given refuge here. This afternoon we attend Part I of the Passion Play, the legacy of a vow made by the Oberammergau ers in 1633 to enact the Passion story. Due to the ravages of the Thirty Years War, the plague had taken its toll in lives. But many of the people were spared, and the following year, the first Passion Play was performed on a stage set up in the cemetery. We have a dinner break before attending part II.
DAY 8: Salzburg, Austria. We have a beautiful drive through the alpine region to Berchtesgaden today. Near the site of the former Nazi mountain retreat, Obersalzberg, we board a smaller bus and traverse narrow roads up the Kehlstein Mountain. Our trip continues with a walk through a tunnel into the mountain and ends with an elevator ride to the summit. We arrive in the tea house known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” which was presented as a birthday gift to Adolf Hitler in 1933. The view on a clear day is magnificent! Listen for the hills to come alive “with the sound of music” as we continue on to Salzburg for our overnight.
DAY 9: Salzburg. A morning walking tour of Salzburg introduces us to this city. We visit the Salzburg Cathedral, the Getreidegasse (pedestrian zone), the market area, the Peter’s Church and more. After time for lunch, we enjoy an excursion to the Mondsee area. With its beautiful mountains and lakes and picturesque valleys, it is a very popular vacation destination for many Austrians. Tonight, we are treated to dinner and a concert in the Stiftskeller St. Peter, the perfect setting to enjoy Austrian food and the music of Mozart.
DAY 10: Munich, Germany. We drive to Munich today, where we have a short orientation tour of the city, including the Olympic grounds, the Glockenspiel, the grounds of Nymphenburg Castle, and the pedestrian zone. We will visit the famous Hofbräuhaus in the evening where you can choose from the menu.
DAY 11: Return. We transfer to Munich Airport for our return flight.