August 26-27: With great anticipation this afternoon, we’ll gather for our flight to Berlin, Germany (with one stop in route). We’ll arrive around mid day on August 27 and transfer to our hotel. A fabulous journey awaits. We will arrive in time to see some of the highlights of Berlin like the famous Brandenburg Gate, Jewish Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, and have a chance to stroll in beautiful Tiergarten (to keep us awake!). We’ll have a nice welcome dinner at the hotel and retire early. In flight meals and dinner on August 27.
August 28: Today our private coach takes us on a journey that will end in Rome. The first leg of our journey takes us on a two hour drive to Dresden where we’ll show you a couple of things. After lunch, we have an early afternoon session in the Freiberg, Germany Temple. Few temples, if any, have a story like this to tell. The history of the church behind the Iron Curtain is interesting to revisit. After the session, we’ll continue on to Eisenach, where we will spend the evening. Breakfast and dinner included today
August 29: After breakfast, we’ll visit famous Wartburg Castle where Martin Luther was exiled in the early 16th Century. It was here that Luther translated the Bible from Latin to German. It is a very interesting place to see. We will then continue two hours into Frankfurt where we’ll show you some highlights of this interesting and historically significant city on the Main River. After checking into our hotel, we’ll enjoy dinner and a session in the Frankfurt Temple. Breakfast and dinner included today.
August 30: This morning we have included a visit to the Gutenberg Museum in nearby Mainz and review the incredibly important events that changed the world forever. We are then off to France! After lunch, we’ll make an afternoon stop in the town of Reims where we’ll visit the monstrosity which is the gothic Reims Cathedral. It is definitely worth a look. We then continue into Paris where we’ll stay for TWO nights in the suburbs, not far from the temple. Breakfast included today.
August 31: We’ll get an early start today as we have an 8;30 AM session scheduled at the new Paris Temple near Versailles. We’ll then visit the famous Versailles – the opulent palace and lavish gardens that were home to the French Monarchs for centuries. Its unusual luxury led to the French Revolution that doomed the French monarchy. We’ll spend the afternoon and evening with a local guide that will show us the highlights of the “City of Lights”, including a lovely dinner in Paris. We then return to our hotel. Breakfast and dinner is included today.
September 1: Today we travel through rural France enjoying the sweeping vistas, quaint towns and rolling hills that make rural France famous. We’ll be on lovely country roads for most of the day, making some interesting stops along the way. Our destination takes us back across the border into the famous Black Forest which is a MUST SEE if you’re anywhere near it. We’ll stay at the famous Hofgut Sternen Hotel, famous for its setting, cuckoo clocks and some very interesting history that we’ll share. Dinner is included at the hotel. Breakfast and dinner are included today.
September 2: We’ll show you some more of the Black Forest before continuing south and crossing the border into Switzerland. By lunchtime, we’ll be in the Swiss capitol of Bern which is a delightful place to visit. A local guide will join us this afternoon and show is this medieval town from the famous Rose Gardens to the Bear Pits to the centuries old streets (including Einstein’s house). We’ll stay at the Holiday Inn outside of the city. Breakfast and local tour included today.
September 3: Another fabulous day in store. We will begin with an 8:00 AM session at the beautiful Bern, Switzerland Temple – the first temple in Europe. We then drive an hour and enjoy lunch in charming Interlaken. Just 20 minutes south of Interlaken is (in my opinion) the most beautiful valley in Europe! It’s called the Lauterbrunnen Valley and it is spectacularly situated with steep mountains on three sides, flanked by the majestic Jungfrau Massif, three of the most famous mountains in the Alps (Monch, Jungfrau, Eiger). While in the valley, we’ll take you to the stunning Trumelbach Falls which is a series of 10 waterfalls that cascade INSIDE a mountain. It is a spectacular natural wonder. We then continue our journey about two hours south to the town of Tasch where we leave our coach for a day and take a short 15 minute train ride into Zermatt – one of the world’s greatest towns. We’ll stay here two nights. Breakfast included today.
September 4: There is simply no place on earth like Zermatt and no mountain like the Matterhorn. This is a pedestrian town and the only place you can see the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Our morning excursion takes us on the Gornergrat, Europe’s highest railway, which takes us closer to the base of the Matterhorn. The views can’t be overstated. You have free time this afternoon to enjoy Zermatt as you wish – there is lots to do. Dinner is included tonight. Breakfast and dinner is included today.
September 5: This morning we depart early for Tasch to meet our bus. We then continue over the fabulous Simplon Pass into Italy where we spend the rest of our trip. By late morning, we will arrive in the town of Stesa on the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore. This is the famous Italian Lakes District with mountain scenes, lakeside towns and hillsides dotted with private villas. After lunch, we have included a boat ride to Isola Bella, one of the Borromean Islands in the middle of lake Maggiore. The island is quite small and split between a fabulous palace, manicured Italian gardens and a quaint fishing village. You’ll have time to explore it as you wish. We then continue on this afternoon into Bologna for the evening. Breakfast and dinner are included today.
September 6: We’ll show you some highlights of Bologna (Fountain of Neptune and Main Square) before driving on to Florence where we will enjoy a 3 hour walking tour with a chance to see the iconic places in this great city – like the Duomo, the Baptistry, the River Arno (Ponte Vecchio), Palazzo Vecchio, and a chance to see The David in the Academy. (Note: A fair amount of walking is required to see Florence as coaches are not allowed into the center of the city). It’s just a 90 minute drive into Rome where we will spend our last two evenings. Breakfast included today.
September 7: WELCOME TO ROME! Today is Saturday and we’ll begin our day at the fabulous Rome Temple, dedicated in March, 2019. It is exciting to see one of our temples in the shadow of the Vatican. In the afternoon, we will show you the most famous sites of Rome including the Colosseum, The Forum, Circus Maximus, St. Peter’s Square, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and more. We have a lovely dinner tonight near our hotel. Breakfast and dinner are included today.
September 8: This morning we transfer to the Rome Airport for our flight back to the USA. It’s a travel experience we’ll never forget. Breakfast included today.
OPTIONAL SPAIN EXTENSION – September 8-11
September 8: For those who wish to include a visit to SPAIN in your southern European tour, read on. This group will attend sacrament meeting this morning before continuing to the airport for our afternoon flight from Rome to Madrid. We’ll arrive in time to transfer to our hotel where we’ll enjoy dinner together. Breakfast and dinner are included today.
September 9: Welcome to Madrid! A local guide will join us this morning and show us some of the highlights of this elegant city – like the Royal Palace (with a tour inside), Plaza Mayor, Parque del Buen Retiro and more. After lunch, we’ll go an hour south of the city to visit the medieval town of Toledo which dates to Roman times – and it is fascinating. The narrow streets, well preserved architecture and more make this a UNESCO city that is fabulous to see. We stay in Madrid again tonight.
September 10: Today we enjoy our sixth session of our trip in the beautiful Madrid Temple in a beautiful setting. After changing clothing, we’ll take you an hour north of the city to the charming town of Segovia where we’ll visit the famous Alcazar that dates from the 12th Century. The architecture, setting and history make this a MUST SEE while in Spain. We’ll also show you the famous Roman Aqueduct that is still in tact from the Roman times. We’ll stop at a beautiful overlook as we make our way back to Madrid. A farewell dinner is included tonight as we come to the end of our epic journey.
September 11: Today we transfer to the Madrid Airport for our flight home.