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Welcome to Frankfurt and savour an opportunity to see the sights on your own before meeting your Travel Director this afternoon for an orientation of the medieval Römerplatz and dynamic financial district. This evening, we enjoy a Welcome Reception with our fellow travellers, including a light meal and welcome drink to kick off our discovery of the best of Germany.
Resist the alluring calls of Lorelei and board your leisurely cruise along the Rhine. Glide past vineyard-clad hills, stopping to Connect With Locals over lunch at a Be My Guest experience in a 13th-century castle perched high above the river valley. Share stories of knights and feuding lords and ladies over lunch before continuing to Cologne, where we'll view the Gothic spires of its magnificent cathedral during our orientation of the city, then continue to Düsseldorf.
Journey through the lush green landscape of Lower Saxony as we make our way to the international trade centre of Hamburg, where we'll join our Travel Director for an orientation tour of the city's iconic sights. Spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the city's seafaring heritage. Wander along the trendy Mönckebergstrasse, visit one of the city's brewhouses or consider a guided cruise along the city's waterways and discover why Hamburg is called Germany's 'Gateway to the World'. Tonight, we will dine at our hotel.
Follow the picturesque Elbe Valley from Hamburg, crossing the former 'Iron Curtain' to the historic city of Berlin, whose once-turbulent history has shaped its rebirth as a charismatic capital city. Join your Local Specialist to explore the iconic landmarks of a unified Berlin. See the neo-Renaissance Reichstag, the Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden. Enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon to explore the city on your terms.
Ascend the iconic Berlin TV Tower for 360° views of the city and Spree River. You'll learn how this landmark changed from being a symbol of the communist regime of East Germany to a symbol of a reunited Berlin before enjoying some time this afternoon to explore Berlin your way. You could choose to join an Optional Experience to delve into the secrets of Berlin's past, including a visit to the site of Checkpoint Charlie.
A short drive south brings us to Dresden, the 'Florence on the Elbe', where we'll hear about the city's restoration following its devastation during World War II as you admire its beautiful Baroque façades. See the Semper Opera, Zwinger Palace and the fully reconstructed Frauenkirche. Consider delving into the treasures of Dresden, joining an Optional Experience to explore this elegant city.
Visit the village of Mödlareuth, which inherited the moniker of 'Little Berlin' due to its wall separating 'east' and 'west' Germany. Gain insights into a divided Germany at its open-air museum and see a section of the original wall with its security features. This afternoon, arrive in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, once the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire and today the economic, social and cultural capital of Franconia. During your orientation see the mighty castle ramparts and stand in the Hauptmarkt main square which is dominated by the impressive Frauenkirche, a great example of the Gothic brick-style architecture of the region. Spend the rest of your evening at leisure indulging in grilled Nürnberger Rostbratwurst with sauerkraut.
Embark on an orientation walk past the half-timbered houses of Rothenburg, perhaps the most well-preserved medieval town in Germany. Shop for wooden Christmas ornaments, before following parts of the Romantic Road through villages and countryside to Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alps. Dine at your hotel tonight.
Witness a Trip Highlight and display of unwavering faith as you take your premium seat for a poignant afternoon spent watching the Passion Play. The villagers of Oberammergau give thanks to God for sparing them from the ravages of the plague in the 17th century. Their gratitude is reflected in this dramatic depiction of the life and death of Jesus Christ. Dine at a local restaurant this evening before returning to your seat for the captivating second half of this performance as night falls.
From the grace of God to the fairy tale land of King Ludwig II, we journey to Neuschwanstein castle, a hilltop retreat built as an homage to Richard Wagner. Continue through the hills and past lakes as you admire the scenery on your way to the Black Forest.
Witness a Black Forest treasure as you Dive Into Culture and learn about the centuries-old craft of cuckoo clock making. Later, travel into the Rhineland to view the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, one of the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps, as well as the Baroque-style Old Town with its bustling market squares and colourful façades. Spend the rest of the afternoon finishing up some last-minute shopping before continuing on to Frankfurt. Tonight we enjoy a Farewell Dinner with our newfound friends, reminiscing over the iconic and unexpected highlights of our trip.
After breakfast, we say a fond farewell after a memorable holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
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