Discover Germany in the 30th anniversary year after the momentous events of November 9, 1989
Alternative travel dates can be arranged and or customized for a minimum of ten participants. This may affect the tour price
Join us on a special tour to make history personal and examine close-up the legacies of the Berlin Wall and the longer border that divided East and West Germany for four decades. Meet members of East Germany’s democracy movement and visit sites of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989. Find out how the 900-mile-long once deadly border strip between the two German states became a nature preserve and meet the person behind this transformation. Meet with local politicians to learn how their communities are dealing with the profound changes of the last thirty years. Visit Point Alpha, where U.S. and Soviet soldiers stood guard in direct sight of each other. Meet with journalists to learn how Germany’s political landscape has changed since Reunification.
And much more…
Arrive in Berlin. You are greeted by your tour manager. You then take some time to rest and refresh, and get a feel for Germany’s vibrant capital on an orientation walk. Get to know your fellow travelers and get a preview of the days to come over a delicious welcome dinner of German specialties. (D)
Embark on a city tour to get an overview of Berlin’s diverse districts and many layers of history. Visit the Berlin Wall Memorial to see and walk the only remaining stretch of the once-deadly strip of land that divided the city into East and West. Meet with a contemporary witness to hear first-hand about life in the divided city and about successful and failed escape attempts.(B)
Visit Hohenschönhausen, once a secret facility where the Stasi (East German secret police) held political prisoners. See the cells and interrogation rooms, and meet with a former inmate to learn about her experience first-hand and ask questions. The afternoon is free to visit one of Berlin’s world-class museums or take a boat tour on the River Spree. (B)
Travel to Leipzig, the city where the Peaceful Revolution began and where such cultural luminaries as Bach, Goethe, and Clara and Robert Schumann lived and worked. En route, visit the site of the Potsdam Conference, where in July 1945 the leaders of the U.S., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union met to decide how to administer post-Nazi Germany. Enjoy dinner at one of Leipzig’s historic restaurants. (B, D)
Embark on a guided walk of Leipzig to see the sites of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, such as St. Nicholas Church and Augustus Square, and the places where J.S. Bach spent 27 years as music director for Leipzig’s principal churches. Also visit the Runde Ecke, the regional headquarters of the Stasi. Optionally, attend the weekly peace prayer at St. Nicholas Church and an outdoor concert in the St. Thomas church yard. (B)
Travel to Coburg. The picture-book town in Northern Bavaria is home to Coburg Fortress, which gave safe harbor to Martin Luther in 1530 at the height of the Reformation. Join a local guide on a walk through Coburg’s Old Town and the fortress, Veste Coburg. Enjoy dinner together at a restaurant serving Franconian specialties. (B, D)
Visit a section of the former border strip between East and West Germany with Kai Frobel, the “father” of the Green Belt nature preserve. Learn how he first documented the biological richness in the border strip and has worked tirelessly to protect this landscape of remembrance. Visit the mayor of Thuringia’s smallest town to learn about her efforts to cultivate civic life. (B)
Visit Point Alpha, the “hottest spot in the Cold War”. Climb the former U.S. observation tower and meet with a docent to learn more about the time when U.S. and Soviet soldiers stood facing each other here.
Travel on to Frankfurt for your last night in Germany and enjoy a festive farewell dinner. (B, D)
Meet with a journalist to learn how Germany’s political landscape and journalism have changed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Say good-bye to your tour manager and tour leader; then transfer to the Frankfurt Airport and board your flight home or extend your stay in Europe.