Travel Syllabus (subject to slight change)
Day 1: US > Frankfurt International Airport
Depart Newark Liberty International Airport, or your gateway airport. You must arrive at the airport no later than 3 hours prior to departure time without exception.
Day 2: Frankfurt International Airport > Freiburg
Arrive today in Frankfurt in the late morning before boarding transport to Freiburg im Breisgau (Freiburg), where we will begin a relaxed introduction to Germany with a few chill days in this charming university town situated in the Black Forest. After getting settled and perhaps a short nap, we will take a walking tour of the old city center, the university and cathedral.
The university is one of the oldest in Germany and hence in Europe with instruction commencing in 1457, 35 years before Columbus “discovered” the New World. We will explore the grounds and tread those hallowed halls before heading over to Stühlinger, a section of Freiburg filled with charming cafes popular with university students. There we can sample some local brews and grab some dinner!
Daily walking total: 6 miles, city streets
Day 3: Freiburg
We will head out at about 9 am this morning to check out the farmers market. After browsing, we will head to get lunch at Markthalle, in the city center where we can try some Flammkuchen, a thin crispy dough with cream sauce and toppings sort of like pizza in appearance if not in taste. The classic toppings of onion and bacon come from just over the river in Alsace, France. A lot of places in town serve it and most will put just about anything you want on it. After we will go to the local brewery for Feierling which has both a pub and a beer garden. The beer is unfiltered and a little sweet, but very fresh. You will have time this afternoon to just wander so you can experience the town through your own eyes.
Day 4: Freiburg
Today we will search for the origins of tales from the Brothers Grimm as we explore the Black Forest. We will start by taking the funicular up to the Schlossberg for spectacular views of the town, then you are free to hike as much or as little as you would like. There are a number of well marked trails of varying lengths that will take you into the forest. If the deep dark woods are not really your thing you can hang at the beer garden by the castle, or head back into town to check out the advanced use of solar energy for which Freiburg, as the sunniest city in Germany, is known for. Saturday night is an excellent time to hit up Niemannstrasse near the University. Bars (and cafes) are open late and the student vibe makes us all feel young. Since it will be late summer sitting outside should be lovely.
Day 5: Freiburg > Munich
Today we will be up a bit early to head to Munich to spend the rest of our time in this super cool city. After we arrive and check in, we will take a walking tour of the city during which includes a stop at the Bier & Oktoberfest Museum, St. Peterskirche and Münchner Stadtmuseum and stroll by the Residenz so as to come to know the history and culture of Munich better and to get to know the small town air of walkable downtown Munich. Keep an eye out for likely places for dinner in one of the wonderful restaurants in the historic city center.
Daily walking total: 4 miles, city streets.
Day 6: Munich
The fest which needs no introduction – Oktoberfest! Here we will join the world’s largest beer festival, making new friends and practicing being Bavarian for the day.
Should you wear a dirndl or lederhosen? Uh, yes. Get this ahead of time and bring it with you. While there will be a few people dressed in regular clothes, it won’t be many and they will feel like harshly judged outsiders. The Germans take it seriously – it’s real and traditional clothing, not a costume: you will see many outfits that the wearer inherited from his or her grandparents. So be cool, get into the spirit and fit in, drink some beer, dance, and eat. Glorious!
There is no admission fee or reservations necessary for Oktoberfest, so while we have reserved this day for it, you are free to go as many days/evenings as you like and your liver can tolerate!
Daily walking total: minimal since we’ll spend the day and into the evening on the grounds. Your dancing and/or staggering around total will vary however . . .
Day 7: Munich
Since we presume you will sleep in to deal with your hangover from yesterday, we’ll have an easy day. When you get up (perhaps even in the late afternoon), grab some picnic food and head the Englische Garten, which as odd as it might sound given we are in Germany, it’s very popular among the local population and a prime opportunity to check out the Munichers.
There is an actual wave pool if you want to try your hand at/show off your surfing skills. Plus, there’s a great beer garden at the Chinese Tower (yes, you are still in Germany despite the English Garden and Chinese Tower – just think of how cosmopolitan it all is!) which thankfully serves German, not Chinese, beer. If your liver can take it, you may want to slide by for a stein and hang out with the local Munichers!
Daily walking total: a few miles but it depends upon your chosen activities.
Day 8: Munich
Today we shall leave thoughts of festivity behind as we visit the Dachau Concentration Camp, the first such camp opened by the Nazis in 1933 originally purposed for political prisoners. Ultimately about 32,000 people were killed here. This is a sobering, challenging experience as we encounter the worst in humanity but gain a lesson that brings us a sort of essential wisdom: that humans have both angels and demons in their nature. After the tour, we will give a talk offering our theory on how such atrocities could possibly occur. We will also stop by DenkStätte Weiss Rose to visit a memorial exhibit on the White Rose, one of the few groups that opposed the Nazis from within Germany.
Daily walking total: about 4 miles over paved roads
Day 9: Munich
Today’s experience is one of apparent whimsy and fancy, a seeming direct contradiction of our visit to Dachau yet nevertheless connected in a way or two that we will explore with a talk on Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau Castles.
Regardless of the sort of castle they all serve a purpose – to project power and wealth, these two no less than any other. Even Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, modeled after Neuschwanstein, seeks to do the same. After we marvel at them, we’ll consider these aspects.
Daily walking total: about 7 miles, city streets and even trails, though some is uphill for a while.
Day 10: Franz Josef Strauss Airport (Munich) > US
This morning we will say our goodbyes to the land of lager and lederhosen, as we check out and depart for the airport. We will fly home from Munich, arriving back in the U.S. in the late afternoon or early evening.
Pricing: $3400 which includes airfare, accommodations, all tours, taxes and admissions fees (except where noted as optional), tour guide tips, train and bus travel within Iceland, and one group dinner. Please note that this amount is subject to change, though not drastically until you make your deposit.
Methods of Payment: We accept cash, check, and credit card payments, PayPal, Venmo and Apple Cash, though cash or check are preferred. The $500 deposit may be made online on our website at www.educatedwanderer.com. They may also be mailed or hand-delivered to our office at 707 N. 4th Street, #106, Allentown, PA 18102. Please contact us with any questions regarding your payment at 610.285.1775.