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1-800-CATHOLIC

regina@groupist.com

Dates

Air & Land

Land Only

Sep 22, 2022

Reserve Online

From $4,998From $3,998

Footsteps of St. John Paul II with Oberammergau & The Passion Play

Trip Length

11 Days

Current Weather

Trip Type

1-800-CATHOLIC

Trip Overview & Highlight

On this 11-day tour, follow in the footsteps of Saint John Paul II, beginning our journey in Warsaw with a Welcome Mass, followed by a tour of the Old Town, rebuilt after WWII. Visit Poland’s greatest pilgrimage site, Our Lady of Czestochowa. Continue through Krakow, Budapest, Salzburg and Vienna, each offering remarkable sites for us to visit. And, finally, witness the remarkable Passion Play to cap off this inspiring journey for the spirit.

Highlights

  • Immersion in three romantic European capitals: Budapest, Vienna & Prague
  • Visit the palaces and castles of the Hapsburgs and King Ludwig II
  • Take in the awe of the Mathias Coronation Church and St. Vitus Cathedral
  • Enjoy bucolic scenery of the countryside while visiting  medieval towns and historic sites
  • watch the Passion Play at Oberammergau, a truly unforgettable experience

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What’s Included

  • International airfare from New York gateway
  • 8 nights hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Ground & Air Transportation
  • Sightseeing & Entrance fees
  • Professional English Speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Private motorcoach & driver
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person

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Prices & Dates

 

Prices are based on double occupancy: all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: USA

Today we depart the USA on our transatlantic flight for Poland. Dinner and breakfast served on board.

DAY 2: Warsaw

Upon arrival, we are greeted by our tour escort, board our deluxe motor coach and transferred to St. James Church for a Welcome Mass. It is at this church Helena Kowalska, known as St. Faustina, attended Mass and prayed for guidance and advice on entering the convent. We transfer to our hotel and the balance of the day is at leisure to explore this lovely city on our own. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (D)
Scenic summer view of Castle Square ancient architecture with Sigismund column in the Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

DAY 3: Warsaw

After breakfast, we will have a full day of touring to visit all the landmarks of Warsaw: The Old Town, which was totally rebuilt after the destruction of WWII; Market Square, with its exciting shops, cafes, and restaurants; St. John’s Archcathedral, built in the 14th century; The Barbican; the Warsaw Ghetto monument, commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Other sites include Holy Cross Church, severely damaged in a German strike in 1944 and where Chopin’s heart is entombed, beautiful Lazienki Park with its Chopin statue, and the magnifi cently restored Royal Castle. (B,D)

DAY 4: Warsaw/Czestochowa/Auschwitz/Krakow

After breakfast, we will travel to Czestochowa, with a stop in Swinice Warckie, to visit the parish church St Casmir, where St. Faustina was baptized Helen Kowalska and received her First Holy Communion. Continue on to Czestochowa, the site of Poland’s greatest pilgrimage shrine, Our Lady of Czestochowa. Visit Jasna Gora Monastery, one of the most important places of religious worship in the Christian world, with a tradition of pilgrimages that date back to the 14th century. St. John Paul II frequently visited Jasna Gora, known as the Shrine of the Black Madonna, in honor of the beloved Icon. We will celebrate Mass at the Pauline Monastery and view the priceless treasures contained within, including the Miraculous Icon. Then travel to Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp. We will see the cell that imprisoned St Maximillian Kolbe and the Martyrdom Museum recalling the horrors of the Holocaust. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 5: Krakow

After breakfast we will have a city tour focusing on the life of St. John Paul II, who spent many years in Krakow. Visit St. Mary’s Church at the main square and listen to the silver trumpet of the bugler from its tower. Inside the Cathedral we will have a chance to pray before the extraordinary Wit Stwosz Altar. Then tour the surrounding square, which has remained mostly unchanged for almost 700 years, with its historic Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall and the Burgher’s Houses. Then to Wawel Hill to tour the Cathedral, Coronation Chapel and the Royal Chambers, where a superb collection of Arras tapestries is on view. Then visit St. Florian’s Church, where St. John Paul II served after his ordination. Our next stop is the Franciscan Church which has a pew dedicated to St. John Paul II. He prayed every day at this pew while he was studying to be a priest. Afternoon is at leisure to explore Market Square on our own. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 6: Krakow/Wadowice/Budapest

After breakfast, we will travel to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). Visit the house where he was born, now a museum. We will visit the church where he was baptized and attended Mass as a child. We bid farewell to Poland as we travel to Budapest, often compared with Paris. This glamorous city has something to offer every visitor. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 7: Budapest

After breakfast we will tour the older section of the city. Celebrate Mass at the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Matthew, see the Citadel on Mount Gellert, the Royal Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Parliament, Heroes’ Square and the Basilica of St. Stephen, named after the first King of Hungary. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 8: Budapest/Vienna

After breakfast we will motor through the lush Austrian countryside to Vienna, the country’s capital. This morning we will celebrate Mass at St. Stephens Cathedral dating back to the 13th century, with the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapocs and its catacombs. We will tour the important buildings along the city’s famed Ringstrasse, including the State Opera House, en route to the Habsburg’s Schonbrunn Palace. We will explore this sprawling, royal summer house with 1,441 rooms, including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young Marie Antoinette. This afternoon visit Melk Abbey and take a scenic Danube cruise. Return to Vienna for dinner and overnight at our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 9: Vienna/Salzburg/Oberammergau

Our morning drive will take us to Salzburg where Mozart was born. Experience this lovely city full of Baroque churches and St. Peter’s Churchyard.. Continue to Oberammergau for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

DAY 10: Passion Play

The entire day is devoted to attending a performance of the world famous Passion Play, which is held once every ten years in this charming small Bavarian village. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)

DAY 11: Oberammergau/ Munich/USA

After breakfast we transfer to Munich Airport for our departure flight. arriving home the same day. We take with us memories and blessings to last a life time.(B)
*(B,L,D) = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner**A day to visit the Divine Mercy can be added at a supplemental cost.

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Essential Information & Weather

Weather

Germany weather is a mix of two major climatic conditions – the continental (in the south) and the maritime (in the north). Overall, it is a country of good climate over all, with the best time to visit Germany is in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Spring begins on the colder end of things, with March still cold and stiff, but the end of the month brings some life back to the land. The real spring season begins come April and trees start to blossom. May is at its best spring behavior and the weather is never better. Hence if you wish to visit Germany and avoid crowds, April-May make for a great time. Spring season also marks the celebration of Easter and many business and trade fairs take the country by storm.

Summer makes for the peak tourist season in Germany, as it does in the rest of Europe. Weatherwise, expect highs in the 80’s — perfect for exploring the outdoors, as well as the many music festivals that come through.

Autumn is a shoulder season and a good time to visit to avoid crowds. October is the time of drying leaves and everything green is overnight turned to gold. The average day temperature stays in the 60’s and drops to low 50’s come nightfall. Autumn is also the major season of rain in the country so please come prepared.

Wintertime in Germany can get brutal. The major northern chunk of Germany, due to close proximity to the sea, is a windy green landscape, while southern parts see freezing temperatures that sometimes dip to -4°F. The season is not for ideal for travel, but those who brave the cold can enjoy beautiful Christmas markets and Carnival in February.
For a real-time weather report: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/germany

Packing List

The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten days’ trip in Germany. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust, given the significant difference between warm summers and fiercely cold winters.

• 7-9 x pairs of underwear, sock
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal
• 2-3 x shorts (if in warmer season)
• 2-3 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops (think layers in wintertime)
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
Scarf – Men and women wear scarfs throughout the year, especially in fall and winter.
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• European adapter
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Passports

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the Schengen area, and that you have at least two blank pages available for the entry stamp.

Visa

Visas are not required for stays less than 90 days.

Currency & Exchange

The currency of Germany is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Cash is truly king in Germany, and many smaller businesses may not be too obliging if you use plastic, particularly for smaller purchases. That said, most major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express to certain extent) are accepted, and ATMs are ubiquitous. The cash machines are also often your best for lowest exchange rates, so try to skip the exchange houses at first.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Phone & Internet Connectivity

Wifi access in Germany can be tricky, given a ruling by the German civic court on public providers’ responsibility for unlawful actions taken by customers using their services.

As such, Free wifi at cafes and hotels can sometimes be limited if available at all. Public wifi zones are often accessed at cost, which can run up a hefty tab after days of use.

Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with. Local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function.

Electricity and Adapters

In Germany the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Dress & Modesty Norms

Germany is a land of contrasts when it comes to dress. On the one hand, Germany is a liberal democracy with growing ethnic diversity and cosmopolitan attitudes. Yet German culture is historically more conservative and still holds on to its rigid characteristics. Travelers won’t be bothered for their dress, as long as you keep to modest clothes when entering religious sites. But to blend in remember that , as in the rest of Europe, Germans dress more formally. Particularly in major cities, fashion-forward clothing is ubiquitous.

Food & Water

Tap water in Germany is among the safest and cleanest in the world. However, locals may still opt for bottled water when dining out. Food hygiene matches water safety, but please take the usual precautions when eating out.

Timezone

Germany is +2 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/germany

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From The Pilgrimage

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