Immersive Tour of Austria & Germany
After arrival at Munich airport, we will be met by our tour escort who will lead us to our coach. Our drive to Schladming in Austria will take about 4 hours. We check-in at our hotel and have some time on our own to relax or to explore the surroundings of our hotel. We will meet in the party room for a special ‘get acquainted’ time which will include evening prayer as we prepare for the passion play. Overnight is in Schladming. Morning Prayer with the Daily Texts begins the day followed by a luscious breakfast. Afterwards, there will be options for a hike to a waterfall or on a mountain trail, getting a massage, swimming, or taking a sauna in the Spa area of the hotel. In the afternoon, we will visit the Church Museum on the history of Lutheranism and the counter-Reformation in the Schladming Valley. After our four-course dinner we will experience a slide show on the 12 seasons of the Schladming Valley. We will close the day with evening prayer. During our excursion of today we see the great city of Salzburg, the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We start our tour with visits to Mozart’s Birth House and Mozart’s Residence. The house in which the great composer was born in 1756 is now one of the most frequently visited museums in the world. No other place where the person behind the artist and his music can be experienced as well as at his birthplace. At Mozart’s Residence, the biographies of the family members and the authentic impressions of everyday family life are displayed. Later you will get an overview of the most popular sights and some of the original filming locations of the film and musical “The Sound of Music”. You will see the Carillon, Salzburg Cathedral, Franciscan Church, Mozart Square, Hofstallgasse, St. Peter’s Abbey, and Mirabell Palace and Gardens in baroque style. After the lunchbreak, a cable car takes us up to Hohensalzburg fortress. We explore one of the biggest castles in Europe with an audio-guide. After going down again by cable car our coach brings us back to our hotel in Schladming for dinner and overnight.
On this Sunday morning, we will gather for Worship at our hotel. Afterwards we can take part in several activities. Hiking will be available, or it is a gift to sit on the veranda of the hotel and take in the gorgeous mountain views front and back. The incredible Spa will be open as well. We will have our third preparation for the Passion Play. Another feast of dinner will be enjoyed on the close of this Sabbath day. We depart our place of Geborgenheit, Gesundheit, and Gemutlichkeit; Schutterhof! We travel by coach through the famous landscape of the Alps. After several hours, we finally reach Lake Constance. We cross over the border to Germany, follow the north banks of the lake and come to the picturesque island Mainau, which is famous for its parks and gardens. The smell of flowers will accompany us during our guided tour on the island. We then come to Constance, check-in at the hotel, and have dinner. Overnight is in Constance. After breakfast, we leave Germany and come to Switzerland. It is just a short way as Lake Constance belongs to three countries: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We head to Lucerne, located on the banks of Lake Lucerne. The “Golden Circle Tour” will bring us by boat, cable car, rack rail and bus to Alpnachstad, to the peak of Mount Pilatus, to Kulm, to Kriens, and back to Lucerne. Dinner will be at the restaurant “Stadtkeller” where we enjoy a national specialty: the cheese fondue. Overnight is in Lucerne. This day is dedicated to the most famous castle of Bavaria. We visit Neuschwanstein Castle from the outside and from the inside. On our way, we will have a stop at the border to the Principality Liechtenstein. A very nice stamp in our passport will confirm that we visited one of the smallest countries in Europe. Neuschwanstein is the most visited castle of Germany, perched high up on a mountain in the beautiful landscape of the Alps. The shimmering white towers of the castle among the clouds are instantly recognizable to many and are the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. To visit it is to step inside a fairy tale. We also have the opportunity to visit the Museum of the Bavarian Kings and learn about royal history. After the visit, we continue to a small, picturesque village in the Alps which is known all over the world: Oberammergau, the “Passion Play village with heart.” Dinner and overnight is in the Oberammergau area.
Oberammergau is not only known for its World-Famous Passion Play, but also for its woodcarving craft and for its colorful and attractive frescos known as Lüftlmalereien. In the morning, we have time to explore the lovely village, the museum, the parish church and a woodcarving workshop. Then we should take our seat at the Passion Play Theater for the early afternoon performance. All the actors, musicians, and singers as well as the backstage staff are either born in Oberammergau or been residents for more than 20 years. Between the different scenes of the life of Jesus Christ we can admire “living pictures” – scenes from the Bible presented as still life. After 2.5 hours, it is time for a dinner break, which is waiting for us in a local restaurant. After dinner, we have the opportunity to stroll around in the village and to do some shopping. Later this evening, the second part of the play starts and will end at approximately 11:00 pm. We go back to our hotel in the Oberammergau area for overnight after the play. This morning we continue to Munich, where we enjoy a walking tour through the historic Old City of Munich. It consists of famous buildings and squares, including the Marienplatz with the town hall and its “Glockenspiel” along with the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) with its distinctive onion dome towers. And of course, we will walk through the Viktualienmarkt. From the outside will we see Deutsches Museum and Nyphemburg Palace. After lunchbreak, we drive south to Dachau. Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp, where over 200,000 prisoners were sent during World War II. We experience the history through photographs and the Dachau memorial. Dinner and overnight are in Erding, not far from Munich airport.