Alpine Fugue: UAH Music Tours Europe

Neuschwanstein

May 6-14, 2012

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DAYS 1-2: Arrival

Depart U.S. for Europe via scheduled carrier. This is the big day! Watch the morning light gather slowly, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's the next day, and Germany!
You'll be struck by your first impression of the city and its landmarks, which have been beautifully restored to their pre-war conditions.









Meals
Dinner
Overnight
Munich

DAY 3: Munich City Sightseeing, Excursion to Dachau, Optional Hofbrauhaus Dinner and Show

A sightseeing tour of the city takes you around the impressive Theresienwiese, site of the famous annual Oktoberfest. In the center of the city discover the grand set-piece boulevards of the Ludwigstrasse and Maximillianstrasse with their Neoclassical palaces, and the monumental Feldherrnhalle where, in 1923, Hitler failed in his attempt at the coup d'état known as the Munich Putsch. See the student area of Schwabing, Königsplatz, the Residenz, the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the Munich skyline, and the historicMarienplatz. The tour ends with a performance of the red-coated mannequins in the Town Hall Glockenspiel.
Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Munich, will accompany your group.

Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens

Entrance is included to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens, once the summer residence of the Bavarian sovereigns. See the rooms decorated in their original Baroque style from the 17th century, as well as Rococo and neo-Classical decor.

The gardens were redesigned in the 18th century by Charles Carbonet, who was an employee of André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens of Versailles.

Excursion to Dachau
Dachau Memorial

You will visit the somber Dachau concentration camp, which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Nazi horrors.

The town of Dachau itself, paradoxically, has long been renowned for the beauty of its scenery and the gaiety of its summer festival.

Hofbrauhaus dinner and show  OPTIONAL

This evening enjoy dinner with entertainment at the Hofbräuhaus. See colorfully-clad waitresses hustle about, balancing armloads of litre steins brimming with German beer, as the band plays on. This, they say, is the soul of München.



Highlights
Half-day city sightseeing in Munich
Services of a specially-trained half-day local guide in Munich
Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens
Half-day coach excursion to Dachau
Visit to the Dachau Memorial
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Overnight
Munich

DAY 4: Neuschwantsein, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruck

Travel to Innsbruck via Neuschwantsein, Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Today, follow a scenic route into fantasyland.

Neuschwanstein

Enjoy a guided visit to the dream castle built by Bavaria's "mad" King Ludwig II. For Neuschwanstein, the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle, it is said that Ludwig employed a stage set designer rather than an architect. The result is pure fantasy, stimulated by the King's fancy for Wagnerian music: from artificial grottoes to ornate rooms to dazzling views of the Alps from the belvedere.

Travel to Oberammergau

Travel to the town of Oberammergau, surrounded by lofty Alpine summits and known for its woodcarving industry. You'll admire the Parish Church and the many ancient houses adorned with frescoes painted on their exterior walls by the well-known local artist, Franz Zwink.

Oberammergau

Arrive at the "Passion Play" town of Oberammergau.

This town is known around the world for its Passion Play, a re-enactment of Christ's Passion that is the fulfillment of a vow made after the village was spared an epidemic plague in 1634. The play has been produced every ten years ever since. The entire town's population participates in the play, which is re-enacted in the Passion Play Theater, large enough to accommodate 4720 spectators. The open stage incorporates the natural setting into the backdrop.

Travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Travel to Germany's top ski resort, Garmisch-Partenkirchen at the foot of Germany's tallest summit, the Zugspitze.

Round-trip cable-car ascent at Zugspitze

Enjoy a cable-car ascent of the 9,718-foot-high summit of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, for a spectacular 360º panoramic view of four countries: Germany, Austria, Italy and even Switzerland!

Travel to Innsbruck

Travel onward to Innsbruck, a scenic Alpine city that hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in 1964 and 1976.



Highlights
Travel to Innsbruck via Neuschwantsein, Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Guided visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, including shuttle
Sightseeing stop in Oberammergau
Round-trip cable-car ascent of Germany's highest summit, the Zugspitze
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Overnight
Innsbruck

DAY 5: Innsbruck Walking Tour, Hallein, Salzburg

The city's historic center is concentrated in a few small blocks. Your courier will introduce landmarks such as the Hofburg Palace (summer residence of the Hapsburg monarchs), the cathedral, the Little Golden Roof, Marie-Theresienstrasse and the rococo-style Helblinghaus.

Travel to Salzburg via Hallein

Travel to Hallein, a small town at the foot of the Untersberg mountains. Evidence of salt mining dating back to 600 BC has been found in this region, which is also a center of Celtic culture.

You will visit the Durrnberg salt mine. Have fun as you dress in miner's clothes and slide down a chute into the salt mine to explore its dark underground chambers and cross the mine's subterranean lake. Multimedia installations complete the entertainment.

Travel to Salzburg, the city of The Sound of Music!

This evening, a stroll along the Salzach River, or a cup of Kaffee mit Schlag with friends caps a perfect day.



Highlights
Courier-led walking tour in Innsbruck
 
Travel to Salzburg via Hallein
Visit to the Durrnberg salt mine
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Overnight
Salzburg

DAY 6: Salzburg Guided Walking Tour, Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace

Get acquainted with the historic city center on a walking tour led by a local guide. Landmarks include the cathedral, regarded as the first Baroque cathedral built north of the Alps, the unforgettable Getreidegasse, the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the sculptured Horse Trough once reserved exclusively for the horses of the Archbishop of Salzburg.

Mozart's Birthplace

Visit Mozart's Birthplace, where he composed most of his child-prodigy works. His house has been a museum since 1880, where you can see personal documents, pictures of his family and his original instruments.

Free time in Salzburg

Enjoy some free time to explore today or consider the following optional excursion.

Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace  OPTIONAL

Visit the grounds of the 17th-century Schloss Hellbrunn, summer residence of Salzburg's visionary but somewhat daft ruler Marcus Sitticus. The park contains the gazebo where The Sound of Music teenagers Liesl and Rolf danced. Watch out for the famous Wasserspiele, an amazing series of whimsical trick fountains designed by Marcus Sitticus himself for his amusement, as he inflicted his unique sense of humor on his unsuspecting guests. Visitors enjoy that same delightful torture as they dodge the showers that come from nowhere in this quirky repository of fantasy and fun.



Highlights
Professionally guided walking tour in Salzburg
Visit to Mozart's Birthplace
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Overnight
Salzburg

DAY 7: Melk, Wachau Valley, Vienna

Enjoy your ride in waltz time along the River Danube and through the scenic valley known as the Wachau. There, dotted among the vine-clad slopes and fields of corn and fruit trees, are innumerable picturesque villages and medieval castles looming in romantic ruin above the river.

Melk

Enjoy a brief stop in Melk, at the head of the Wachau Valley, where a famous abbey overlooks the Danube from a height of 150 feet.

Travel to Vienna

Travel to Vienna, where you may want to stroll in the Old Town this evening. Hearken to the music, which floats everywhere in the air.



Highlights
Travel to Vienna via Melk and the Wachau Valley
Sightseeing stop in Melk
Meals
Breakfast
Dinner
Overnight
Vienna

DAY 8: Vienna City Sightseeing, Heuriger Dinner

A wealth of sights is yours to discover today. See the Opera House, the Houses of Parliament and Emperor Franz Joseph's Hofburg Palace. A city within a city with more than 2,600 rooms, the Hofburg also houses the Imperial Treasury and theBurgkapelle, which features the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. See theHeldenplatz where Hitler announced the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich in 1938.

Schoenbrunn Palace

A visit is included to Schönbrunn Palace. Schönbrunn was a royal hunting lodge transformed by Empress Maria-Theresa into the magnificent summer palace of the Hapsburgs. Outside and inside, the buildings form a dizzying display of Baroque and Rococo art, and the park with its fountains is one of the finest examples of 18th-century landscape architecture, much influenced by Versailles.

Free time in Vienna

This afternoon is free to plan as you wish.

Visit Freud's house or the House of Music, a museum opened in 2000 which uses the latest in audiovisual techniques to offer unequaled, hands-on encounters with music making.

You could climb the 345 steps of the Old Steffel, the south steeple of St. Stephen's Cathedral, to catch a bird's eye view of the city.

You may wish to check out the Prater Amusement Park, immortalized in Orson Welles' film The Third Man and known for its Ferris wheel, the Riesenrad. A single revolution takes ten minutes and the view is grand!

Heuriger dinner
Heuriger Dinner

Tonight's Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods will be a fitting tribute to this joyful city of castles and music.



Highlights
Half-day city sightseeing in Vienna
Services of a specially-trained half-day local guide in Vienna
Visit to Schönbrunn Palace
Heuriger dinner
Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods village of Grinzing
Round-trip transfers
Meals
Breakfast
Heuriger Dinner
Overnight
Vienna

DAY 9: Departure

Auf wiedersehen! Bid farewell to Europe at Vienna's airport. You'll arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.



Meals
Breakfast
Overnight
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