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On arrival at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 10:30 & 12:30. This afternoon, perhaps visit the KaDeWe department store, the shopping center of West Berlin - which during 40 years of division, became the shop window of the West. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Marvel this morning at the landmarks of the old East and West sections of Berlin during your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert. See the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden and the Reichstag Building which were all major points of focus in 1990 during the reunification of East and West Germany. Also see the Tiergarten and Kurfürstendamm famous for its shopping and entertainment. Stop a while on Museum Island before enjoying an afternoon at leisure in this once divided city.
A short drive south brings you to Dresden - known as ‘Florence on the Elbe’. Join a Local Expert to see the splendors of the city. From the Frauenkirche, which has risen again from the destruction of World War II, walk past ‘The Procession of the Dukes’, a mosaic of colossal proportions on the Royal Palace facade. See the enormous cathedral, Semper Opera House and Baroque Zwinger Palace. Tonight we’ll go to historic Eckberg Castle. Built in 1861, the Castle is home to one of the most exclusive restaurant/hotels in Germany. You’ll dine like Queens and Kings in the famous Garden Hall and enjoy stunning views of the gardens and the uniquely beautiful Elbe valley.
In Nuremberg witness the charming blend of stone and timbered dwellings in the Old Town as well as the massive ramparts, perhaps shop for delicious Lebkuchen (gingerbread)? Continue across the Danube to Munich, the capital of the state of Bavaria, lying near the feet of the German Alps. At night, perhaps consider dinner at one of Munich’s famous ‘Bier Kellers’?
Be welcomed into fun loving Munich for an orientation tour which shows you the Feldernhalle on the Odeonsplatz, the Palace of the Dukes of Wittelsbach, English Garden, Hofbrauhaus, St Peters Church and the famous Marienplatz. Munich hosts the most famous beer festival in the world – Oktoberfest! The beer festival has been running since 1810 and now sees over 6 million visitors each year. This afternoon enjoy the festival atmosphere, amusement rides, entertainment, beer and local Bavarian specialties for dinner! With tables reserved in the Ochsenbraterei Tent, your dedicated host will ensure a memorable time is had by all.
After a relaxed start, take the opportunity to travel through time and experience the fascinating world of BMW, with a history spanning 9 decades. See some of the most famous and valuable automobiles, motorcycles and engines during a tour of the museum. In the evening, join special guest - Patrick von Richthofen, a descendant of Manfred von Richthofen otherwise known as ‘The Red Baron’, for an unforgettable dinner.
A short drive over the Austrian border leads to Salzburg. A city steeped in musical history, a Local Expert will introduce you to the city renowned for Mozart and not forgetting the Sound of Music. The gardens of the Mirabell Palace, the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, the cathedral in the old town, Mozart’s birthplace and the locations which bought the city alive ‘with the Sound of Music’. Later the city is yours to explore.
Our day trip today takes us into ‘real’ Alpine Bavaria. Drive over the German border, past picturesque farmhouses and villages to Obersalzberg. Nearly 75 years ago, this small mountain paradise was the summer playground for top Nazi brass. Here we will transfer to special coaches for the scenic drive up the mountain to Hitler’s notorious “Eagle’s Nest”. Used as a restaurant since the 50’s, there are splendid views through the arches up to the ‘Hohen Goll’ and across the snow capped peaks. A breathtaking drive to appreciate the picturesque scenery of the region takes past hill tops and mountain villages. We stop at the Maria Gern Church and take a look inside before looping back to Salzburg.
Cross the Austrian border and head east through the rolling countryside to stop in the shadow of the great Monastery of Melk. Join a river cruise along the stunning Wachau Valley, where the Danube meanders below forested cliffs, topped with picturesque churches and ruined castles. Pass the fortress of Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart languished in prison until discovered by his faithful Welsh minstrel, then alight beneath the vine laden cliffs of Krems. Immerse yourself in the vineyards and cellars of the local winery to learn about and sample the unique Wachau style wine. Finally head for the Austrian capital, and to our central hotel.
Much of Vienna’s present day charm is due to the long reign of the Habsburgs, so in the morning, join a Local Expert for a guided visit of Maria Theresa’s Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Then get your camera ready for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital’s architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament Building. Demel is a well-known Viennese institution for its cakes and pastries. Previous noble costumers include Empress Elizabeth and Princess Pauline von Metternich. Enjoy coffee and cake in one of the splendid dining rooms to begin your leisurely afternoon in this imperial city. As night falls, experience an extraordinary concert of Viennese classical music. The best-loved works of Johann Strauss and Mozart, performed by highly acclaimed soloists and dancers, are combined with a delicious meal of traditional Austrian fare, with drinks included.
Your journey concludes after breakfast with transfers arriving at Vienna Airport at 7:00 am and 9:00 am.
15 Meals: 10 Buffet Breakfasts, 3 Dinners with Wine, 1 Welcome Reception and Dinner, and 1 Celebration Dinner
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