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Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: If you arrive before rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the concierge and go out for a walk or relax in the public areas of the hotel. The hotel is centrally located with direct access to Frankfurt Congress Centre. After getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session later this afternoon. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Each day will begin with a brief overview of the schedule when the Group Leader will answer any questions. Breakfasts will offer a typical European-style buffet with breakfast meats, hot egg dishes, fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, croissants, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. Unless noted otherwise, lunches and dinners will typically be two-course set meals; water is included at all meals. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, we will have a two-course welcome dinner hotel with a glass of wine or lemonade plus coffee, tea, water.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking about 3 miles; city streets and sidewalks, some cobblestone areas.
Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the buffet offers breakfast meats, hot egg dishes, fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, croissants, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We will gather with our Group Leader for an overview of the day’s schedule, then set out on an introductory walking field trip with a local expert. At the center of the city, crammed into a very small area are the Römer (the city hall for over 600 years), the Goethe House museum, and more. We will explore the Frankfurt Cathedral – where Roman emperors were crowned – and the Paulskirche (St. Paul's Church). We will also walk along the riverbank with the Museumsufer, a landscape of museums on both sides of the River Main.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a two-course set meal with water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We will hop on a motorcoach and ride to the nearby town of Hanau — birthplace of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm — for a field trip that will take us inside the Philippsruhe Castle. There, we will visit the GrimmsMärchenReich (Grimms Fairytale Realm) to see and experience interactive exhibits such as fairy tale play stations, a laser skill game to free a princess, costumes of the most famous fairy tale characters, a fairytale hedge, and digital books. Then, we’ll take a horse-and-carriage ride like folks in fairytales. We’ll also enjoy a good German tradition with a tasty treat along the way — cake with hot chocolate or coffee — before returning to Frankfurt.
Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 160 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 2 miles; streets and sidewalks, some cobblestone areas.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room buffet.
Morning: We will check out of the hotel, board a motorcoach, and begin our journey to the Black Forest, one of the most idyllic landscapes in Germany. On the way, we will stop in Heidelberg, an old city nestled on the banks of the River Neckar, famous for its university that was founded in 1386! A local expert will lead us on a walking field trip through the city and up to Schloss Heidelberg — Heidelberg Castle — the most famous ruin in Europe. The first structure was built more than 800 years ago but no one has lived here for centuries, partly because of changes in ruling dynasties and partly because the castle was hit by numerous natural disasters throughout its history.
Lunch: At a restaurant in the old town of Heidelberg.
Afternoon: We will reboard the motorcoach and continue our ride to the Black Forest and our hotel on Lake Titisee. To understand why it is called the Black Forest, we have to go back to the time when Roman armies were trying to conquer Germania. The deeply forested region was so thick and dark that the Romans called it Silva Nigra — black forest. In the German language, it’s Der Schwarzwald, which means the same thing. But today, it is one of the most beautiful and popular places in the whole country. After checking in to the hotel and getting our rooms, we will go with our Group Leader for a walk to get to know the picturesque town of Titisee-Neustadt. The remainder of the afternoon will be free to take a swim (in the lake, if the weather is fine, or the hotel pool), or explore independently to see and do what interests you most.
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. Enjoy the hotel’s amenities or just relax.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; on/off a train. Walking about 2 miles; city streets and sidewalks. Elective hiking up to 4 miles; hiking trails.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room buffet.
Morning: We will ride in a private motorcoach to Triberg, the epitome of a picturesque Black Forest village with one of Germany´s highest waterfalls. We´ll visit the Baroque Pilgrimage Church and see the magnificent wooden carved Town Hall, masterpieces of construction and craftsmanship. Elective: The Group Leader will accompany those who would like to hike to the top of the Triberg waterfalls. From the main entrance, we walk past a viewing platform uphill to the mountain pier. There, we will follow the comfortable cascade path and reach the mountain lake. On the way back, we will pass by the pilgrimage church Maria in der Tanne and return to our starting point. The distance is about 1.3 miles and should take about an hour. Later, we will walk to the Schwarzwaldmuseum — Black Forest Museum — and see more than 1,000 cuckoo clocks. The museum traces local history, culture, and life back through many centuries. We will learn more about historic Black Forest clocks, mechanical orchestras, and other specialized crafts.
Lunch: In a traditional local restaurant, we’ll have favorite Black Forest dishes.
Afternoon: A short walk will bring us to the Triberg train station. We’ll be joined by a local expert for a ride aboard a historic steam locomotive that will take us through beautiful scenery of mountains and valleys in the Black Forest before returning to Triberg. Along the way, we’ll stop to see the largest cuckoo clock in the world, 50 feet tall and large enough to walk in. The cuckoo that chirps every hour and half-hour weighs more than 300 pounds!
Dinner: At a restaurant in Triberg.
Evening: We will return to the hotel by motorcoach. After some time to freshen up and relax, we’ll be joined by a storyteller who will treat us to a session of Grimm's fairytales, learning once more “why the good guys always win.”
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 36 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking about 3 miles; city streets and sidewalks, some cobblestones. Elective hiking up to 4 miles; hiking trails, 251 steps to top of Schlossberg observation tower.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
Morning: We will hop aboard a motorcoach and ride to the city of Freiburg. It has the most hours of sunshine a year in Germany, is the home of a leading university founded more than 500 years ago, and is notable for its cathedral and traditional market. During a walking field trip with a local expert, we will see an unusual feature: dozens of small streams that flow through and across the streets. We’ll also learn about the jobs of people who lived in Freiburg during medieval times, such as tower guards, glassblowers, and stonemasons. We will then ride up the Schlossberg (Castle Mountain) by cable car.
Lunch: At the Schlossberg restaurant.
Afternoon: With a local expert, we will hike along trails around the Schlossberg to spots with fantastic views. An elective challenge for the fittest, there are 251 steps to the top of the Schlossberg observation tower. Those who choose not to hike can take the cable car back down to Freiburg for free time before we all regroup and ride back to the hotel.
Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Evening: At leisure. You might like to take a dip in the pool, take a walk, play a game in the meadow, or just relax.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 20 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking about 3 miles; even, fortified paths. Hiking about 4 miles; wilderness trails.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach for a full-day field trip to the picturesque Münstertal Valley, sometimes called the valley of 100 valleys. It was named for a 13th-century village called Münster that was destroyed during one of the many wars between rival rulers. Today, there are about 65 villages and farms scattered throughout the valley’s forests and meadows. The center of the Münster Valley, the monastery of St. Trudpert, has been around for a millennium. It is not open to visitors but we will see the impressive exterior. We will take a walk around the little town of Münster with a local expert and hear some of the local legends along the way. Grandparents and grandkids will then join up in teams for a geocaching “treasure hunt” — going “deeper and deeper into the woods” like Hansel and Gretel. Geocaching is a game using a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. In the company of local geocaching experts, we will walk along wilderness trails, using a GPS to locate the hidden caches.
Lunch: In a cozy restaurant, we’ll have local fare.
Afternoon: Next, we will board a motorcoach and ride to Glocknerhof, a renowned, 300-year-old cheese dairy farm in the Münstertal Valley, still run by the family of the owner. As we explore the farm, we’ll see how they work, feed, and keep the cows and produce cheese the old traditional way. We’ll also taste some of their homemade cheese.
Dinner: At the farm, we’ll have a picnic with bread and butter, cheese, and bacon like German farmers eat in the field during the day or after work. Kids will have a glass of water with fruit syrup and adults can have a glass of wine.
Evening: Returning to the hotel by motorcoach, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 55 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. Walking about 3 miles; streets and sidewalks. Elective activities such as riding roller coasters and carousels according to personal choice.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, our luggage will be transported separately to the hotel in Frankfurt. We will board a motorcoach and ride about 50 miles to Europa-Park in Rust, Germany's largest theme park, for a full-day excursion. Admission to the park is included; rides and other attractions are according to personal choice and at personal cost. The park covers more than 230 acres (95 hectares). There are about 15 countries represented in themed areas, high energy rides including the second highest rollercoaster in Europe (and a dozen others), shows for kids of all ages, water activities, and many interactive exhibits. We will have an introduction to the park — maps provided — then take our time to see and do what interests us most.
Lunch: On your own to have what you like at Europa-Park.
Afternoon: Would you like to visit Grimm’s Enchanted Forest? There, you can step into fairytales such as Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Rapunzel, The Golden Goose, Little Red Riding Hood, the Frog King, and more. You could also visit Adventureland, or experience everything from London's double-decker buses to the spinning “koffiekopjes” ride in the Dutch area. After an exciting day in the park, our motorcoach will take us back to Frankfurt and we’ll check in to our hotel where the journey started with our luggage waiting.
Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a three-course dinner with lots of ice cream. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
Morning: We will depart to the airport by bus. This concludes our program. 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!