Bavaria has so many interesting sights and we'll have just 15 days and 13 nights to try to cover as much as possible and still have some free time to explore unexpected wonders. Also we don't want to spend any more time in the van/car than necessary. We want to appreciate all that Bavaria in the fall has to offer. The blue and white diamond flags will be flying all over the Freistat of Bavaria. The flowers should bring a smile to your face as Germans take their floral arrangements very seriously whether in doors or out. Bavaria is predominantly Catholic and the beautiful churches are very plentiful and each one is more spectacular than the next. Whenever we get tired or need a moment of silence, we can visit these churches and enjoy the splendor. You'll depart the USA on Saturday, September 23, 2017 and I'll meet you at the airport in Frankfurt the next morning. It's and overnight flight. It'll be Sunday so the shops are not open but we'll drive a short 2 hours to Würzburg.

After checking into our hotel for 3 nights, we'll visit the magnificant Prince-Bishop's Residence in Würzburg. Its style is German baroque with vivid ceiling Frescos, and is a short walk from our hotel. We'll also walk along the Main river and walk across the bridge with all of its saints. The view up to the fortress, Marienberg, is impressive. Our pace will be very relaxed, no speed walking on this trip.

Day 3 will find us driving 1 hour to Bamberg. Bamberg is also on the Main river and enjoys a beautiful old town divided by the river. We'll walk through the old Rathaus that sits in the middle of the river and admire "Little Venice" on the banks of the river. We'll return to Würzburg in the evening.

Day 4 will find us checking out the wine shops for a little wine tasting. Würzburg is the home of the Franconian wines charterized by the "squatty" green bottles. Franconian wines have a different taste from the wines of the Moselle and Rhine rivers area but world reknown in their own rights. We'll also have some time to visit the shops, churches or just stroll along the river.

On day 5, we will drive 2 hours to Nürnburg and check into our hotel for 2 nights. Nürnburg is famous for Lebkucken, a moist, gingerbread, frosted biscuit. Also the Nürnburger Bratwurst is worth a taste. An order consists of 3 finger sized sausages with kraut and of course washed down with a draft beer. Are you hungry yet? We'll stroll around the market platz and maybe try an ice or confection.

Nürnburg is a walled city with Kaiserburg castle built in the wall so day 6 will be spent exploring the castle and taking a sight-seeing train around old town. It has a large pedistrian zone to wander around. There's a store which sells Steiff animals and "Der Topferladen" and "Kaethe Wolfahrt" which sell souveneers from Bavaria and Germany. My favorites are the nut crackers, smokers, pyramids and of course the Hummels.

Day 7 will find driving south to Prien am Chiemsee and stay 5 nights. Prien is located 1 hour southeast of Munich on the Chiemsee Lake and is nestled at the base of the German Alps. There is an island in the middle of the Chiemsee which King Ludwig II owned and built the beautiful castle Herrenchiemsee. We will take a boat ride out to the island and leisurely wander the island and tour the castle.

On day 8, we will catch the train over to Munich and spend the day. We'll check out Marienplatz and watch the Gluckundspiel dance at the Rathaus at noon. We will stop for a snack at the Hofbrau Haus. There's lots to do and see in Munich. This is Oktoberfest time. Munich welcomes over 8 million visitors to the world's biggest party. There are many colorful "tents" to see, music to listen to, and partygoer's to watch.

In the morning of the 9th day, we will drive over to visit Neuschwanstein Palace. This is the fairy tale castle built by crazy King Ludwig II. It sits high on a hill and is a challenge to get to the front gate but we'll try to catch a ride close to the top. We'll check out the castle. visit the throne room, kitchen, and royal bedroom. This is the second castle built by Ludwig that we will visit. All the money to build his 3 castles came from the salt mines we will visit on Monday. We take salt as an unlimited commodity but long ago, salt was gold.

In the afternoon, we will vist Linderhof. This was yet another castle built by King Ludwig II. Built in the Rococo style, this small castle was King Ludwig's main residence. He was a recluse at this point of his life so he had a dining room table built that could be raised and lowered so servants would not hover over him while he ate. His grotto is a tribute to composer Richard Wagner and his "Swan Lake."

There is 1 more stop we'll make in this beautiful alpine region, Ettal. Ettal is a active monastary nestled in the Alps. Known for their wine and beer, this religious center has one of the most beautiful churches that I'm seen. It's just awe-inspiring. So this will be another full day of sight seeing and we will return to Prien for the night.

On day 10, we will drive to Berchtesgarten in the German Alps close to the Austrian border. Weather permitting, we will visit the famous Eagles Nest. The bus ride up to the brass elevator is quite an experience in itself. The view from the Eagles Nest is breathtakingly beautiful. Kelstein Haus is the german name for Hitler's tea house. Built as a 50th birthday gift for Hitler, the house had just 3 rooms. After our descent from the mountain, we will drive to the salt mine for a trip through the mine. For those of us up to it, we'll dress in our mining outfits and mount the little train to take us into the mine. There's an underground lake to boat, salt to taste, and a giant wooden slide to experience. For those of us not wishing to join this activity, there is a restaurant to sample a snack. After this busy day of sight seeing, we will again return to Prien for the night.

Day 11 will find us driving to Salzburg, Austria for a day of sight seeing and shopping. We'll wander the streets in old town with its interesting shop signs. There sits a white castle high on a hill overlooking the city. Also there is a beautiful residence called Mirabelle. We'll wander the grounds of this interesting little park. The "Sound of Music" movie was filmed in and around Salzburg, so we might visit some of the locations. The monetary unit in Austria is also the Euro so we will not have to change money. We will return to Prien for the night.

The morning of the 12th day will find us starting our journey northward using the Romantic Road. It is so named because of the romantic little towns along the way. Many are the original walled cities built centuries ago. Rothenberg is the premier walled city in Germany. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Rothenberg each year. It is a bonaza of shopping. It's hard to describe the charisma of this picture-perfect city. English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Italian are just some of the languages you'll hear spoken here. We'll spend the night in Rothenburg.

Day 13 will find us checking out Wertheim located on the Main river. The town is a picturesque old town with half-timbered houses and shops. We'll leisurely follow the Main river northward stopping in Klinenberg to sample some wines on our way to Achaffenburg. This is our last stop on our Bavarian tour and we'll spend 2 nights here. We'll explore this town and check out my favorite toy store and the underground shopping mall. There are many interesting vistas from the castle towards the river.

On day 14, we will relax in Aschaffenburg and maybe take a a day trip to Rudesheim on the Rhine river and experience a short Rhine cruise. We will return to Aschaffenberg for the night.

Day 15 will find us driving a short 30 minutes to Frankfurt Airport to catch the flights home. Well, that's a great deal of sight-seeing and traveling in a short 15 days and 13 nights. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. I'm already thinking about how few clothes I can pack to save room in my suitcase for my "treasures".

All the hotels we will stay at will be 3 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 Frankfurt before noon on September 24, 2017.

The price for 15 days and 13 nights is $3695 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 facilites 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.

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