August 12, 2016 THROUGH August 26, 2017

Our romantic trip to Bavarian and Austria starts and ends in Munich, Germany. Bavaia is the largest state in Germany and Munich is its capital. It's known for beer, Oktoberfest, and lederhosen. This will be a 15 day and 13 night escorted tour of Bavaria and Austria. We will visit Munich, Berchtesgaden, Eagles Nest, Prien am Chiemsee, Salzburg, Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck and return to Munich. Our group will be small so we can all enjoy the trip. My name is Fran Colter and I will be your host and driver.

On day 1, you will leave the USA for an overnight flight to Munich. I will meet you in Munich on the morning on Day 2 and we will drive a short 1 hour to Prien am Chiemsee for a 3 night stay. The Chiemsee is the largest lake in Bavaria and one of the most beautiful spots for relaxing and taking in the sights. After checking in to our hotel for 4 nights, we will board 1 of the many ships in the harbor for a ride to the Herrenchiemsee castle. King Ludwig II of Bavaria, often called the fairytale king bought an island in the middle of the Chiemsee and built a castle on it in the 1860-1870 time frame. He was a recluse by nature and wanted his privacy. The castle is modeled after the French castle Versaille and in tribute to french kings, Louis XIV and Louis XV. We'll stroll the grounds and visit the castle. We'll continue on the boat trip to Frauen Insel. This island is home to an active women's monastary, dating back to the 1100's. There are additional homes and business on this island. Then we will return to Prien. There is also a little green steam train running from the Prien Harbor through town to the Prien main rail station. We can ride this little train round trip. The evening is at leisure or weather permitting, we can walk the promenade.

After a hearty breakfast buffet, day 3 will find us taking the commuter train to Munich. After arriving at the main rail station, we will board a double decker bus for a brief tour of the city. We will arrive at the Marienplatz in time to watch the Glockundspiel at the Rathaus or town hall. Millions of visitors watch the figures dance and jost. We can walk to the Victiculture Market and look at the full range of fruits and vegetables for sale and visit the Frauenkirche. Bavaria is predominantly catholic and the Frauenkirche is the Dom for Munich. I will be eating at the Hofbrau house later this afternoon. Anyone wishing to join me can enjoy a lively lunch is the garden with a Bavaian band for entertainment in addition to watching all the visitors. Then we will leasurely stroll the pedestran zone back to the train station for the ride back to Prien.

The Eagle's Nest is the American reference to Kehlsteinhaus which is the name given to Hitler's Birthday present. Located in Obersalzburg outside of Berchtesgaden, we will drive from Prien on our 4th day to this area. At Obersalzburg, we will board the Kehlsteinhaus buses for the thrilling ride up the mountain. At the summit, we will walk into the tunnel and enter the brass elevator for the short ride to the top. Kehlsteinhaus is just 3 rooms with a beautiful terrasse. The view from the top on a clear day is breathtaking. You can see all the way to Austria. There was a large meeting room with fireplace, a smaller side room for Eva Braun, and the bar/kitchen area. It was not used for overnight stays but rather for day meetings. After we come down from the Eagle's Nest, we'll explore the lovely hillside town of Berchtesgaden. We'll return back to Prien for the night.

Salzburg is a wonderful city of white buildings and green river. Its the city of the Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews. We can enjoy the sights of the movie on the Sound of Music tour for anyone whose is interested. We'll visit the gazebo, see the back of the house, visit the lake region and the church where Maria and the Baron were married. In the after noon, we'll check out the old town with all the wonderful signs and narrow streets. Of course, an apple streudel is in order to make the day complete. We'll return to Prien for the night.

On the day 6 we will check out of our hotel and drive to Innsbruck, Austria. On the drive down, we will stop at Wattens and visit the Swarovski Crystall factory. The picture is of the giant. We enter under the water fall and enjoy the wonderful world of crystall. At the end of our tour, of course there is the largest retail area of crystall. Rings, bracelets, necklaces, home decor, and all types of figurines. It is a shopper's paradise. After we've had our fill of crystall, we'll journey on to Innsbruck for 2 nights stay. Innsbruck is built on the Inns River surrounded by mountains. It hosted the winter Olympics in 1976. It has wonderful vistas of snow covered mountains even in the summer. You can see the giant sky jump from the center of town. On day 7, we will explore this beautiful town and have lunch on the river surrounded by the moutains.

Day 8 will find us checking out of our hotel and driving first east and then south to the city of Graz for 2 nights. The drive south is on the autobahn but through many long tunnels under the mountains. The drive is quite breath taking with all of the tunnels and mountains. Graz is located on the Mur River which divides the town. The old town has many buildings in original condition with outdoor cafes. One can sit ourdoors and admire the the sites. There are art museum, shops, and lovely churches to explore on day 9.

Day 10 will find us driving a short distance to Vienna for 2 nights. Vienna is a jewel of a city. We'll spend the day exploring the Castle Schoenbrunn. The guided tour through the castle is so very interesting as it was the home of the Hapsburg dynasty who ruled Austria and had descendants on many of the thrones of Europe. We'll also take the tram ride around the grounds which has a zoo, green house and many interesting walkways with fountains. On day 11, we will take the tour of downtown Vienna and visit St. Stephens Cathedral.

Day 12 we will start our journey westward and visit the 900 year old abbey at Melk. It sits high above the Danube River and provides a wonderful view of the river. Many of the cruise ships stop and explore the Abby. We will spend the night in this picturesque town on the Danube. On day 13, we continue in the Wachau area known for the fine Austrian wines and maybe take a day cruise on the Danube River.

Day 14 will find us driving back to the Munich area for our final night. We'll take in the sights on our way to back to Munich. Unfortunately day 15 will find us saying "Auf Wiedersehen to Deutschland" and catching our plane homeward to the USA. All the hotels we will stay at will be stars or above so each room will have its own bathroom. All hotels will have an elevator and the reception staff will speak English. A scrumpous breakfast buffet is included each day.

Included in the costs of this trip is transportation to and from the airport in Germany, 13 nights accommendations with breakfast buffets, all ground transportation in Germany and entrance fees for scheduled sightseeing. Sight-seeing which you decide to experience on your own, is at your expense. Not included in the price of the tour are lunches, snacks, dinners, and alcohol. Of course, shopping is at your expense. Airfare costs are not included but available through Travel Germany or you may book your own. You will need to arrive in Munich before noon on August 13, 2017.

The price for 15 days and 13 nights is $3595 based on double occoupancy with an additional $500 for single rate.

Just a note of reminder that Germany and Austria do not necessarily have handicapped facilities available. There is a great deal of walking involved with this trip and we all need to be in good physical condition. Sturdy walking shoes and warm clothes are a must. The weather should be warm with cool nights at this time of year so we need to be prepared.

Travel insurance is available through Travel Germany. Ask for details.

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I look forward to having you join me as we explore Bavaria and Austria.
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