Imperial Splendor and Oberammergau Passion Play
Before we begin the Oberammergau Passion Play portion of our tour, we’ll arrive in Prague. We will drive into the Old Town to catch a first glimpse of the capital of the Czech Republic and stroll though the quarter. In the evening we enjoy our welcome dinner at famous Plzenska restaurace Obecni dum. Overnight is in Prague. In the morning we tour the well-known and largest ancient castle in the world “Hradschin” and visit St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica and Old Royal Palace. We stroll through the famous Golden Lane down to Lesser Town, a beautiful Baroque quarter which clusters around the foot of Prague Castle. In the afternoon, we have free time to explore the streets and places of Prague, visit one of the museums (not included), shop, or just enjoy life in one of the famous café houses. For dinner, we come together at the hotel and overnight is in Prague. After breakfast, we leave the Czech Republic and enter Slovakia, where our next stop is in Bratislava. On our own, we stroll narrow pedestrian streets of pastel-colored 18th-century buildings or relax in one of the many sidewalk cafes under the watchful gaze of the city castle, which harks back to medieval times. Then we continue to Budapest, the capital and biggest city in Hungary. After check-in we enjoy a dinner and Gypsy Music. Overnight is in Budapest. We start our day with a sightseeing tour. We will pass Heroes square, Andrassy Avenue, the Opera House, Castle district, and Parliament building. Then we have a short transfer to the picturesque artists’ village Szentendre. In the afternoon, we have free time. After dinner at the hotel, we board a cruise on the Danube to see Budapest by night.
Journey to Vienna and Salzburg
Following breakfast, we will drive to Vienna. In the afternoon, we take a guided tour exploring the lovely city center of Vienna. Along the famous Ringstraße you will see the State Opera House, Hofburg, Art and Natural History Museum, Parliament, City Hall and National Theatre. Then we make a stop at Stephansdom (St Stephen’s Cathedral) and the Sacher Café, famous for its Sacher Torte chocolate cake. The colorfully decorated Hundertwasser House, the Hofburg and the famous Spanish Riding School are not only architectural highlights but also interesting for their history. After dinner at the hotel, we have the option to experience the famous atmosphere of Vienna. This morning, we have the opportunity to discover some highlights of Vienna on our own. For example, you can visit the magnificent showrooms of Schönbrunn Palace, Empress Sisi’s former summer residence. In the afternoon, we transfer to world-renowned Vienna Prater. Here we can take a ride on the Ferris wheel to overview the city (not included). Then we continue to the Heurigen area, where we have dinner at a typical restaurant with live music. We return to Vienna for overnight. Our fist stop today is the Seegrotte in Hinterbrühl, is situated on our way to Salzburg. We tour the grotto and take a boat ride on the underground lake. Then we continue our tour through the stunning Austrian Alps and lakes to reach the great city of Salzburg. After check-in, we have free time and in the evening we enjoy dinner and overnight at our hotel in Salzburg. This day is dedicated to discover the city of Salzburg. In the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, we get an overview of the most popular sites and some of the original filming locations of the film “The Sound of Music”. We see the Carillon, Salzburg Cathedral, Franciscan Church, Mozart Square, Hofstallgasse, Hohensalzburg Fortress, St. Peter’s Abbey, and the baroque-styled Mirabell Palace and Gardens. We also have an inside visit of Mozart’s Birth House. The house in which the great composer was born in 1756 is now one of the most frequently-visited museums in the world. In the afternoon, we take a ride by funicular to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress. We explore the area and enjoy the great view over Salzburg. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
The Oberammergau Passion Play
After breakfast, we head to Germany. Before our Oberammergau Passion Play experience, Our first stop is Linderhof Castle. Of the three palaces that King Ludwig II actually had built, Linderhof Palace is the most inspired. Afterwards, we see the most famous and most visited castle in Germany for a photo-stop outside, Neuschwanstein Castle, perched high up on a mountain in the beautiful landscape of the Alps. The castle is instantly recognizable to many and the inspiration for Walt Disney’s castles. Then we make our way to a small, picturesque village in the Alps which is also known all over the world: “Oberammergau Passion Play village with heart”. We check-in at our hotel, which is in the area of Ettal/Oberammergau. This village is not only known for its World Famous Oberammergau Passion Play, but also for its woodcarving craft and for its colorful and attractive frescos know as Lüftlmalereien. In the morning if time permits, we will explore the lovely village, the museum, the parish church and a woodcarving workshop. Then we take our seats at the Oberammergau Passion Play Theater for the early afternoon performance. All the actors, musicians, and singers as well as the backstage staff of the Oberammergau Passion Play, are either born there 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 Oberammergau for overnight after the play. We transfer this morning to Munich International Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A. and arrive home the same day, the end of a wonderful tour with our memories of experiencing the Oberammergau passion play.