Invitation to Conversation... ...in Germany
The final itinerary for your journey will vary from the sample itinerary below. Fellow travelers of 12-24 who journey on mutually agreed upon dates, may depart from a major airport other than O'Hare Airport in Chicago. There may be a need to tweak the timing of a visit or change the date of a visit as another example the may impact the details of the sample itinerary below. In general, the sample itinerary below should be very close to what you actually experience on your journey. To learn more about the places you will visit and things you will see,
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Wheels up! Flight to Germany
You and your fellow travelers will depart from the most convenient and cost effective major airport for your group; usually Chicago, O'Hare airport. We will preferably to Berlin, Germany based on cost and availability. Occasionally, we will land in Frankfurt.
Drive Airport in Germany to Weimar
The drive from either the Berlin or Frankfort airport to our beautiful base location in Weimar is usually just over two and half hours. If we land in Berlin, we will make every effort to take a brief driving tour so that you can become familiar enough with this fascinating city to choose where you may spend your free afternoon in Berlin on the last day of your journey.
Lutheran Tea and a Treat!
After a long, overnight flight and our adjustment to a new time zone, we will take the morning to relax, and perhaps, explore Weimar on your own, if you choose. We will gather mid-afternoon in the Rasputin Keller for a keynote presentation before departing for a local brewery tour where you can enjoy a Lutheran Tea and the treat of dining on locally grown and produced bread, cheese, and a spectacular presentation of sausages. Fascinating sites will keep our conversation rich. A fun activity like a day at Ehringsdorfer Braueri will keep us fresh.
The Augustinian monastery where Martin Luther lived and worked as a monk more than a half millennia ago will surely stimulate consideration of our own lifestyle. In the powerful presence of this historically significant monastery, the thoughts of most fellow travelers turn to the practice of their own faith today. Weather permitting, we will visit, and for groups of fellow travelers who desire, worship in the place where Martin Luther was caught in a thunderstorm in June 1505. The perspective offered by this place so significant in the life of Luther adds an experience that is quite unique to our journey.
We devote a full day to Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and worked as a young man until his death in 1546. There are numerous sights to see in this interesting town. We will visit the Lutherhaus and the Melanchthonhaus. Depending on the time of year, we will worship in either the Schlosskirche (All Saints Church), famous for its historic association with the 95 Theses, or the City Church (Church of St. Mary), best known as the church where Martin Luther preached most often. You will have ample time to walk the mile length of this city where Martin Luther, his associate Philip Melanchthon, and other reformers worked to shape the Reformation and change the world. So much to see in Wittenberg!
You will likely gain sense of what it means to say that Weimar is a "most human" city" fairly soon after your arrival. Analogous to our experience of living simul justus et peccatur, living simultaneously as sinner and saint, Weimar offers a palpable sense of the height of human achievement and depth of human depravity. No words, however, can capture the actual experience of confronting K-Z Buchenwald. Such a beautiful setting for such horrendous evil. The German people have resolved to never forget what happened here. Their presentation of the history of what happened here is powerful, tasteful and effective. On this day, we will confront the writings of Martin Luther on the Jews in ways that will no doubt stimulate our reflection, not only on human actions in the past, but on our actions in the here and now.
Since the sixteenth century, historians have debated the essential character of the Reformation as a religious, political or social event. Our visit to the Wartburg Castle will be sure to stimulate our own discussion of why the ideas and events that unfolded 500 years ago in the European age of reformations remain relevant to our lives in the present. While we are in hometown of Johann Sebastian Bach, we take the the opportunity to visit the Bachhaus to charged by the New Bach Society in 1907 to "collect and preserve everything related to Johann Sebastian Bach and his life's work."
The ideas of Martin Luther traveled where he could not go. Under penalty of death, Martin Luther could not travel to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530. We will visit the Veste Coburg where our conversation will be enriched through an awareness of the implications of global events that influenced life in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century.
Birth and Death Houses
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany in 1483. He died on February 18, 1546 in the same city where he was born. We will visit the museums which commemorate the Geburthaus (birthplace) and the Sterbehaus (death house) of Luther. Our visit to Eisleben will no doubt stimulate conversation on a range of topics about life past and present.
We will depart our hotel in Weimar fairly early on Thursday morning. This accomplishes to important objectives, one eminently pragmatic, the other just plain fun. First, by traveling to a destination near the airport on Thursday, we eliminate the need to rush to the airport on Friday. Second, we will have the opportunity for a full afternoon and evening to Explore Berlin!
Depart for Airport and Flight Home
Friday morning, we will depart our hotel for a short, convenient trip to the airport. We will board our plane home in the hope that our conversation will continue among ourselves and with others who may benefit from our experience together.