Lower Rhineland, Germany – April 2018

“Thanks so much for another wonderful trip.  We saw so many things, everything beautiful and very interesting                       and what a great group of travelers! L. Jones

“Thank you to you and Glenn for a most delightful trip to Germany” M. Neal

“Thank you so much for the lovely trip to your ‘neighborhood’ in Germany.  All the stories and                                           information you shared added a lot to the journey.  It made me see things in a whole new light.
 I have a whole set of new memories. J. Howard

“Thanks again for the great tour, and for your kindness and assistance. A learning experience for sure!”  R. Barrett

“It was fun and I hope we can go with you next year!”  G. Garbutt

         Itinerary

Monday, April 2:
We meet in the afternoon as a group at the Düsseldorf Airport and travel by bus to our hotel in Krefeld. We unpack and unwind before meeting for dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Tuesday, April 3:
Our first day tour brings us to Kevelaer, a small pilgrimage town with a famous chapel that will introduce us to the area and the deep spirituality of the mainly catholic population. We will have lunch along the way and stop just across the Dutch border to marvel at actual inland Sand dunes in the Maas Dunes National Park before continuing on to visit the old trading town of Venlo in the Netherlands for the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 4:
Today’s tour brings us to Aachen where we will visit the magnificent cathedral with its architecture that is more reminiscent of Arabic traditions than a Christian church, the ‘Kaiserdom’. After touring the cathedral and the Treasury chamber we continue on to visit the factory outlet of Lindt Chocolate and stock up with goodies at unbeatable prices.
We will return to the hotel in time for dinner.

Thursday, April 5:
Today we cross the River and visit a former Coal Mining Industrial Complex. Zeche Zollverein, once the largest coal mine in the world, has since been transformed into culture-filled park and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We learn more about what fueled the Industrial Revolution (literally) and see what consequences this enormous development had for the formerly agrarian region. Lunch at a nearby Water castle afterwards brings us back to a more idyllic surrounding and appreciate the dichotomy.

Friday, April 6:
Back on the left side of the Rhine we head into Cologne for a guided city tour by bus followed by a tour of the Cathedral. So much sight-seeing begs for lunch at the famous brew pub “Frueh” in the shadow of the Dom. Time permitting we will also tour the Synagogue and finish with a visit to the 4711 shop, the very place ‘Eau de Cologne’ was invented in the 18th century. We conclude the day by visiting the unique Chocolate museum.

Saturday, April 7:
It’s all Roman to us as we visit Xanten. After a turn through the picturesque downtown we visit the Roman open air museum,the Archaeological Park and have lunch like the Romans at an authentic Roman restaurant on the museum grounds. “Numidian chicken“, anyone? We don’t want to rush this experience and plan on a full day here.
Today’s dinner option is an authentic Spanish Tapas Dinner in the town of Moers.

Sunday, April 8:
Sunday is a day of rest to process all that we have seen and experienced. There is an opportunity to go for a bike tour on rental bicycles or play a round of golf on the adjacent golf course. We visit Burg Linn in Krefeld and its extensive gardens in the afternoon and from there go to dinner at a local Farm-to-table restaurant.

Monday, April 9:
Starting the week with another trip across the River today as we visit Schloss Benrath, the largest baroque castle north of the Alps. The castle park offers fabulous walks and sights. We will spend the afternoon walking through downtown Düsseldorf to explore, relax and shop and close the day with another dinner at Duesseldorf’s oldest brewery pub, the “Schiffchen”.

Tuesday, April 10:
Going way back in time we head into the woods to the Neanderthal valley to visit the founding site and museum for Neanderthal man. From there the bus brings us to Wuppertal, where we will try out the world’s only suspended tram, the “Schwebebahn” for a few stops before continuing on to Schloss Burg, a reconstructed mediaeval fortress on a hilltop for a special afternoon coffee treat with breathtaking vistas across the region known as ‘Bergisches Land’. On our way back we will make one last stop and visit the site of a concentration camp in Wuppertal, Camp Kemna.
We will enjoy one last dinner at the hotel.

Wednesday, April 11:
We check-out and say our Good-byes. It’s back to the airport to begin the long journey home.