16952
Germany
Berlin: Two Pasts, One Present
Gain a comprehensive understanding of Germany as you learn about the Bundestag, speak with Berliners about reunification and discover renowned monuments of culture, heritage and art.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16952RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,599
Flights start at
1,050
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9 days
8 nights
14 meals
7 B 4 L 3 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Berlin, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Berlin
D
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Luggage can be stored at the hotel if you arrive early.

Afternoon: Orientation: 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. Please note that in Germany it is expected to pay for using public restrooms with small change; we advise carry 50c pieces with you during field trips. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. This is a Road Scholar FLEX program. It offers a more flexible schedule than our traditional programs with ample time for personal independent exploration and several meals on your own to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a neighborhood restaurant, enjoy a plated meal featuring a starter, main course of meat, fish, or vegetarian options, and dessert, plus a welcome drink and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Berlin Past-Present-Future, City Motorcoach Field Trip
Berlin
B,L
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach several times; short walks to and standing at field trip sites; cobblestones. The specific sites seen during our motorcoach field trip will depend on schedules and local conditions at the time of the program.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as breakfast meats, egg dishes, fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, croissants, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Our Group Leader will continue the program introduction as we’re joined by an expert local historian who will give a presentation on Berlin’s problematic past, it’s vibrant present, and potential future. We’ll then board a motorcoach with our expert for a field trip to see some of the city’s highlights including the Berlin Wall monument, Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt Square with the restored Konzerthaus and the French and German churches, Paris Square and the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamer Square (the new and old), Memorial Church, and new architecture.

Lunch: At a pleasant spot during our field trip, we’ll stop and have packed lunches with sandwich, yoghurt, fruit, and beverage.

Afternoon: Our expert-led field trip continues aboard the motorcoach with stops at key sites.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Bundestag, Palace of Tears
Berlin
B,L
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 1.6 miles at different sites; standing, climbing flights of stairs. Please bring a warm jacket for the boat.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take a walking field trip this morning to one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the former Reichstag building that is now the seat of the Deutscher Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament. As we see and appreciate the magnificent architecture, we will also learn more about Germany’s turbulent political past — and that mysterious 1933 fire! — before ascending to the recently rebuilt glass cupola. From here, you can enjoy spectacular views of the parliamentary and government district and Berlin’s sights. We’ll then have an opportunity to venture behind the scenes of German politics and discuss current issues with a Member of Parliament’s staff.

Lunch: At a characteristic restaurant where also many politicians like to have their lunch break, we’ll have a 2-course plated meal including water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: On our guided tour at the “Palace of Tears” we’ll experience leave-taking and longing, resentment and despair. The emotional experience of leaving East Germany for West Germany is never as intense as at Berlin’s Friedrichstraße Station border crossing point, called the Tränenpalast – "Palace of Tears". Here, people directly experience the impact of a divided Germany on their personal lives.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. There is a variety of restaurants around the hotel: German cuisine as well as Arabian, Indian, Italian or Japanese.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Museum Island, Free Time
Berlin
B,L
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile; cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A knowledgeable local resident will join us to provide an overview of Berlin's famous Museumsinsel — Museum Island — at the northern tip of Spree Island, where the settlement that became Berlin began. We’ll then take a short bus transfer to Museum Island to see one of the current exhibitions with a local expert. The Altes Museum houses treasures from ancient Greece and Rome. The Alte Nationalgalerie, in a magnificent classical temple, has one of the largest collections of 19th century sculpture and paintings in Germany. The Bode Museum features sculptures, paintings, and a numismatic collection. The Neues Museum holds works of art from pre-history through Egyptian, including the world famous bust of Nefertiti. The Pergamon Museum is renowned for its extraordinary Babylonian, Greek, and Roman antiquities.

Lunch: At a restaurant on Museum Island, we will have a 2-course plated meal with soup and salad, water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most. You are welcome to remain and continue exploring the treasures of Museum Island. Please note: At the Pergamon Museum, the hall containing the Pergamon Altar, the North Wing, and gallery of Hellenistic art are closed for renovations. The South Wing, featuring the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon, and Museum of Islamic Art remain open.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like and sample local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, Free Time, Performance
Berlin
B,D
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile extensive standing at Hohenschönhausen.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Led by an expert, we will board the motorcoach for a field trip to the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial. In 1945 the building was converted into a Soviet Secret Police prison for detention and interrogation in East Germany. In 1951, the East German Ministry of State Security (Stasi) took over the prison, added a new prison building in 1961 and, until 1989, used the site as its main remand center. Thousands of political prisoners passed through this jail, including nearly all the prominent figures opposing the GDR regime. The site formed a kind of headquarters of communist repression in East Germany. We’ll return to the hotel after the field trip.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like and sample local fare.

Afternoon: On your own to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: From the hotel, we’ll take the motorcoach to a restaurant near our concert venue for a 2-course plated meal including water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Performance. Our program was planned far in advance when performance details were not available. The information will be posted on our website when released and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

DAY
7
Potsdam, Sanssouci Palace, Cecilienhof Palace
Berlin
B,L
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking up to 2 miles, standing around Sanssouci Palace and gardens, climbing stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll board our motorcoach with a local expert for a field trip to the city of Potsdam, capital of the German federal state of Brandenburg. We’ll also have experts lead us through the palaces. First is fabulous Sanssouci, one of the most important Rococo works in Germany, built above a terraced vineyard from 1745-47 following the ideas and sketches of King Frederick the Great. Potsdam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the summer home of the Royal Hohenzollern Family since the 17th century. King Frederic the Great was particularly interested in art, architecture, and music and commissioned several palaces, including Sanssouci, which means “without a care.”

Lunch: We’ll ride to a local restaurant in Potsdam for a 2-course plated meal with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our explorations at the Cecilienhof Palace, the last palace built by the ruling Hohenzollern family from 1914-17 for Crown Prince William and his wife Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin. World history was forged when Allied leaders Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met here for the Potsdam Conference in 1945 to discuss the partition Germany. We’ll then return to Berlin.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like and sample local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Allied Museum, Berlin Neighborhood, Farewell Dinner
Berlin
B,D
Maritim Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Learn how friends became enemies during our field trip via motorcoach to the Allied Museum, where an expert on German-American relations will lead us through the exhibition. Dedicated to the 50-year Allied presence in Berlin, we will explore the museum’s permanent exhibits and the collections. The first part of the exhibition in the former Outpost Theater is dedicated to the period from 1945 to 1950. Numerous documents, photos and objects tell the checkered history of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany up to the early occupation period in Berlin. Next, we’ll assemble in a room at the museum for a presentation on German-American relations during the Cold War. We’ll then return to Berlin Mitte.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: One of the oldest districts of Berlin, the ‘Spandauer Vorstadt’ (suburb Spandau) has a lot of Jewish history to offer. A Jewish high school was reestablished in 1993, commemorative plaques in many places and following Jewish traditions, stones that were placed in locations where people died. A breath-taking walk.

Dinner: We’ll take a short walk from the hotel to a popular restaurant in the vibrant center of Berlin and enjoy a 3-course plated meal, plus a farewell drink and water; other beverages available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Say farewell and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. See the Travel Information section regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our 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!






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