12145
Czech Republic/Germany
A Cycling Journey: The Elbe River From Germany to Czech Republic
On this cycling journey along the Elbe River, discover history and culture at ancient castles, fascinating museums, scenic national parks and Prague’s iconic Old Town.
Program No. 12145RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,249
Flights start at
1,175
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14 days
13 nights
24 meals
12 B 0 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Transfer Dessau, Orientation, Bike Fitting, Dinner
Dessau
D
NH Dessau

Activity note: Biking distance: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Please note that daily biking distances are approximate and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances; Motorcoach time: 2 hours

Morning: We proceed to Dessau by motorcoach and check into our hotel.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Dessau. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during scheduled free time for informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Upon arrival in Dessau, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place. Please be aware that indicated motorcoach times as well as biking distances are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the NH Dessau dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or take a stroll. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Hugo Junkers Museum, Bauhaus Foundation, Free Time
Dessau
B,D
NH Dessau

Activity note: Biking distance: 15 miles

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, choose from a buffet with meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices and hot beverages.

Morning: After a hearty breakfast, we will present a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT Corner System. We’re ready to bicycle and our destination is the Hugo Junkers Aircraft Museum for a lecture and field trip. The museum will give us insight into the versatility of Junker’s works, from home construction to aircraft. After our visit, we’ll continue by bike to the Bauhaus Foundation where we’ve arranged a lecture on the Bauhaus School of Design. The Bauhaus design movement began here in 1925 by architect Walter Gropius.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in the Bauhaus Mensa.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Dessau. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. In the late afternoon, return to the hotel for Group Introductions.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Your evenings are free to spend time with new Road Scholar friends, relax, or go exploring on your own.

DAY
4
Dessau-Wörlitz, Coswig Ferry, Lutherhaus, Schloßkirche
Wittenberg
B,D
Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg

Activity note: Biking distance: 20 miles; Ferry transfer: 15 minutes

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our bicycling route will take us to the tranquil Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, created over 200 years ago by Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt, a social reformer and champion of the Age of Enlightenment. We’ll take a field trip to this beautiful 18th-century English-style park for a lecture on Wörlitz Castle before boarding a ferry to continue onto Lutherstadt-Wittenberg.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Wittenberg.

Afternoon: We’ve scheduled a lecture and field trip to the Lutherhaus and All Saints' Church to acquaint you with this town known as the cradle of the Reformation. It was in Wittenberg that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the All Saints' Church (also known as Schloßkirche), attacking clerical abuses of the Roman Catholic Church.

Dinner: In the Best Western Stadtpalais Wittenberg dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Elbe Radweg, Elster Ferry, Torgau, GDR Lecture
Torgau
B,D
Central-Hotel Torgau

Activity note: Biking distance: 38 miles; Ferry transfer: 15 minutes

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our cycling continues along the scenic Elbe Radweg (bicycle path) through picturesque countryside. We’re never far from the river as we follow the winding paths through pastures and tiny villages. Along the way, we’ll pass a restored grain mill that is seemingly standing guard over an out-of-service cable drawn ferry near the village of Elster.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Elster.

Afternoon: We should arrive in Torgau late afternoon. Before dinner, we have arranged a lecture on life in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Torgau, Hartenfels Castle, Belgern, Mühlberg Ferry
Moritz
B,D
Hotel Moritz an der Elbe

Activity note: Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones; Biking distance: 36 miles; Ferry transfer: 15 minutes

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before departing this morning, we’ve arranged a lecture and field trip of the historic Renaissance town center of Torgau. In the 16th century, Torgau was the political center of the Reformation and the favored residence of the electors of Saxony. Today, it is home to Hartenfels Castle with its famed spiral staircase, the Große Wendelstein.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Belgern.

Afternoon: Our route takes us south to the village of Moritz, where our hotel has a picturesque view of the river. We cross the river (along with our bikes) on the Mühlberg Ferry.

Dinner: In the Hotel Moritz dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Saxon Wine Road, Meissen Porcelain Works
Dresden
B,D
Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden

Activity note: Biking distance: 37 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: The Elbe is to our right as we continue along the bike path to the beautiful city of Meissen, known the world over for its porcelain bearing the trademark of crossed blue swords. We’ll be bicycling through an area known as the Saxon Wine Road, with vineyards lining the slopes of the valley.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Meissen.

Afternoon: Following lunch, you'll have time to explore Castle Hill, Meissen Cathedral and the old marketplace. Then we're off for a lecture at Meissen Porcelain Works, where we shall visit the demonstration workshop and exhibition hall. We continue to Dresden, the capital of Saxony and our home for the next two nights.

Dinner: In the Hotel Elbflorenz dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu buffet plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Dresden, Free Time
Dresden
B,D
Hotel Elbflorenz Dresden

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Often referred to as "Florence on the Elbe," Dresden is a city of Baroque architecture, music and culture. We’ve planned a lecture and walking field trip with a local historian to introduce you to this marvelous city.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Dresden.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Dresden. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore the many architectural treasures of the Old Town such as the Semper Opera House, the Zwinger Palace, the Green Vault or the reconstructed Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a beer or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Bombing Lecture, Saxon Switzerland, Pirna, Bad Schandau
Bad Schandau
B,D
Parkhotel Bad Schandau

Activity note: Biking distance: 30 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before departure, we'll enjoy a lecture on the World War II Bombing of Dresden. We are entering one of the most scenic areas of the Elbe River Valley as our journey continues southeast of Dresden into "Saxon Switzerland," where the scenery is almost as dramatic as the Alps. This area of rugged cliffs and bizarre sandstone rock formations extends along the Elbe River between Pirna, Germany and the city of Dìèin in the Czech Republic. The stone formations are at least 100 million years old and the soft stone has been sculpted over time by wind and water into dramatic columns of stone. Don’t worry about bicycling up mountains; however, as our route follows the flat bicycle path along the Elbe River.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Pirna.

Afternoon: Our destination for the night is the spa resort of Bad Schandau. On arrival, you may want to enjoy a ride on the unique 50-meter high freestanding elevator, built in 1904, for a wonderful panoramic view of the Elbe River Valley.

Dinner: In the Parkhotel Bad Schandau dining room, enjoy three-course set menu of your choice plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Transfer to Saxon Switzerland National Park, Decín
Usti nad Labem
B,D
Best Western Hotel Vladimir

Activity note: Motorcoach time: 1 hour; Biking distance: 33 miles

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Following a healthy breakfast, we’ll take a motorcoach to the Saxon Switzerland National Park for a lecture and field trip to the Basteibrücke, (a bastion cliff formation), high above the Elbe River with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. After returning to the hotel, we’ll mount our bicycles once again and say “Auf Wiedersehen” (goodbye) to Germany and “Dobrý den” (hello) to the Czech Republic. You might want to practice your Czech language before the tour so that you are able to converse with the locals along the way!

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Decín.

Afternoon: We’ll encounter a few "undulations" in this part of the Czech Republic as we make our way to Decín, where the castle overlooking the Elbe dominates the city. The basic unit of currency in the Czech Republic is the koruna (Kc) and it is a good idea to have a few in your pocket. At lunch today, we can exchange your remaining Euros or Dollars into koruna.

Dinner: In the Best Western Hotel Vladimir dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Litomerice, Terezín
Roudnice
B,D
Hotel Vavřinec

Activity note: Biking distance: 32 miles; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our journey continues as we make our way along the Elbe to Litomerice, where we’ll visit the town square to view the variety of well-maintained buildings from the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance periods.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Litomerice.

Afternoon: Just outside the city is the village of Terezín. We’ve arranged a lecture and field trip to the notorious camp Terezín (Theresienstadt in German), the "model" Jewish ghetto, where a cruel trick by Heinrich Himmler duped the world and left thousands to die. Built originally as a fortress in 1780 by Joseph II to defend Bohemia from Prussian incursions, it never served its original purpose. Instead, it was taken over during World War II by the occupying Nazi forces as a transit camp for political prisoners, Jews, Gypsies and, homosexuals. Today, it is the site of two fortresses, numerous memorials, a ghetto museum and a Jewish cemetery.

Dinner: In the Hotel Vavrinec dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Melník Castle, Transfer to Prague
Prague
B,D
Best Western Plus Hotel Meteor Plaza

Activity note: Biking distance: 15 miles: Motorcoach time: 1 hour

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our last day on the bicycle! Our morning ride will take us to the town of Melník, situated at the confluence of the Elbe and the Moldau Rivers, for an excursion to the Renaissance Melník Castle with its 13th-century wine cellar.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Melník.

Afternoon: After lunch (and an emotional farewell to the bicycles), we board a motorcoach for Prague (or Praha, as the Czech call it). We arrive late afternoon with time to explore this magnificent city before dinner.

Dinner: In the Best Western Plus Hotel Meteor Plaza dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Prague, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Prague
B,D
Best Western Plus Hotel Meteor Plaza

Activity note: Biking distance: no biking; Walking distance: up to one mile, standing for up to two hours on uneven terrain, stairs and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We take you on a walking field trip for a lecture on the history of Prague. To describe the capital of the Czech Republic would take a lot of pages. We suggest you obtain a guide book to read about Prague before getting there. It is a city perfectly suitable for walking around.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Prague.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Prague. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore fascinating museums such as the National Museum, Jewish Museum or National Gallery. If you want to relax, seek out one of Prague's historic coffeehouses for a drink and a snack.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner in a local restaurant featuring a four-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Transfer time: 30 minutes

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Václav Havel Airport Prague for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!