Swiss and Austrian Alps with Oberammergau and Munich
Spiritual Director: Fr. Timothy Farrell
July 30 - August 11, 2020
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodation at centrally located hotels as follows: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: Jul 31 - Aug 1: Zurich
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 1 - 3: Lucerne
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 3 - 5: Zermatt
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 5 - 6: St. Moritz
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 6 - 8: Salzburg
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 8 - 10: Oberammergau
- ~ 2 nights: Aug 10 - 11: Munich
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of Christian guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Tickets to the Passion Play
- Official Passion Play Program in English
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Beverages, Meals not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of personal nature.
Thursday, July 30: Depart USA
Depart USA for your overnight flight to Zurich. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Friday, July 31: Arrival Zurich
Upon arrival at Zurich Airport make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the Arrival's Hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Zurich, you will be escorted to your transportation and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll the quaint streets of Zurich before meeting your group for a welcome dinner and a show at a local restaurant.
Saturday, August 1: Zurich - Lucerne
After breakfast at your hotel we will enjoy a tour of Zurich, including a visit to Grossmunster Cathedral, and the Fine Lake Shore District. After lunch we travel to Lucerne, and enjoy a guided tour of Lucerne. This central Switzerland city is known for its miraculous views of Mt. Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps. While in this breathtaking city. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Sunday, August 2: Lucerne - Einseidlen - Lucerne
Begin the day with a guided tour of the city including the inspiring Lion Monument, one of the best known monuments in the country, created in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guard killed in 1792. Continue to the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, forming the centerpiece of Lucerne's townscape. This afternoon enjoy a scenic ride along Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug to Einsiedeln. Upon arrival, celebrate Mass at Einsiedeln Abbey. Visit the Benedictine Monastery of Einsiedeln dedicated to Our Lady of the Hermits. The abbey received this dedication due to its first inhabitant of the region around the year 850 A.D, a monk named Meinrad (St. Meinrad). set in an indescribably beautiful mountain and lake setting. Return to Lucerne for dinner and overnight.
Monday, August 3: Lucerne- Zermatt
After breakfast, we will board the motor coach and travel towards Zermatt, with a visit of Interlaken along the way, a lovely town beneath the towering Jungfrau. Continue to Zermatt with its breathtaking view of the Matterhorn. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Tuesday, August 4: Zermatt - Matterhorn - Zermatt
Breakfast in hotel. This morning we will take a cable car to Matterhorn, the highest cable car station in Europe. From there you can admire the breathtaking views of the highest mountains in Italy, France and Switzerland. Enjoy free time for lunch while taking in phenomenal panoramas. Return to your hotel in Zermatt for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, August 5: Zermatt - St. Moritz
After breakfast we will transfer to the trains station to board the famous Glacier Express train from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The Glacier Express, connecting the two major mountain resorts in Switzerland, passes along the World Heritage Site. Despite the train is called an "express", the journey takes approximately 8 hours. During this time the travelers may admire breathtaking and varied panoramic views during your train ride over 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels, and over the Oberlap Pass through the Nikolaital, the deepest valley in Switzerland. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for enjoy dinner. Overnight.
Thursday, August 6: St. Moritz - Salzburg
After breakfast, we leave Switzerland behind as we enter into Austria. We will visit Innsbruck, enjoy a short city tour, featuring the old town with the Golden Roof, Hofkirche, Old Federal State Parliament and other remnant buildings. After some free time for lunch, we continue to Salzburg, home of the Sound of Music and birthplace of Mozart. Enjoy a sightseeing tour, featuring the Cathedral, Getreidegasse pedestrian shopping street, views of the Mozart's birth house. Dinner and overnight.
Friday, August 7: Salzburg
After breakfast, your full day tour begins with Mass at St. Peter's Abbey. Following Mass, explore the historic center of Salzburg on foot. Its narrow streets and secluded passageways are evidence of its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church is evident in the Archbishop's Residence at DomPlatz. Visit Mirabell Palace with its beautiful gardens. Mirabell Palace, is one of the most important shooting locations from the famous Hollywood musical "The Sound of Music" - Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace, singing the song "Do Re Mi". Experience the unique views across Mirabell Gardens towards the Hohen Salzburg Castle. You will have a chance to visit the mighty Romanesque Cathedral as well as the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns. In the Getreidegasse, view Mozart's birthplace, now one of the most visited museums in Austria. Make a stop at Hellbrunn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains. Enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring for your last evening in Europe.
Saturday, August 8: Salzburg - Alotting - Oberammergau
After breakfast, depart for Altotting, one of Germany's most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage. Upon arrival we'll celebrate Mass at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, you will have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion and St. Konrad's Monastery. Continue to Oberammergau. The beautiful village of Oberammergau, is home of the famous Passion Play of the life of Christ. The play dates back to 1633 when the plague, the "Black Death", took a severe toll of lives in the small village. In their distress, the inhabitants turned to God and vowed that if the pestilence was taken from them, they would perform a play every year, depicting the suffering and death of the Savior. Their plea was heard and there were no further plague victims in Oberammergau. The first performance of the Passion play took place in 1634 in the village cemetery. As the Passion Play gained popularity more performances were implemented and in 1680 is was the start of the first ten-year to host the Passion Play. Dinner and overnight.
Sunday, August 9: Oberammergau - Passion Play: Performance Day
Celebrate Mass at local church. Enjoy some time to explore Oberammergau's colorful frescos known as "Luftlmalereien" on house facades and to visit wood carving shops with amazing array of nativity scenesand religious figures. Following lunch, we will make our way to the world famous theatre to attend the performance of a lifetime, the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. The sleepy village springs to life every ten years to put on a play that draws the world upon it! We, too, will become part of mission of the Passion of Christ, the greatest story ever told. We all share His message of faith and love! The Oberammergau Passion Play tells the story of the Passion of Christ, beginning with His entry into Jerusalem, followed by His trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The play is held in a beautiful open air theatre that is praised for its superb acoustics. There are 2,000 actors (and live animals), they include local wood carvers, hotel owners, students, teachers, children, all of them interrupt their schedules to become actors, singers, orchestra members and stagehands. Requirements are strict: all actors must be born in Oberammergau, or have lived there 20 years, or be married to a villager and a resident for 10 years. All natural makeup, such as men let their hair and beards grow a year before the play. Female roles are limited to single women under age 35.
The Play is approximately five and a half hours long and is performed in two acts.
Act I : 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Intermission: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Act II: 8:00pm - 10:30 pm
Monday, August 10: Oberammergau - Munich
After breakfast, we will leave Oberammergau behind and drive north to Munich (city of the monks), the capital of Bavaria. Upon arrival, your local guide will take you on a guided tour which will include: visit the twin-towered Frauenkirche where we will celebrate Mass today. The Frauenkirche; the Church of Our Lady, is the most familiar landmark of old Munich. Step foot on Marienplatz with its world famous "Glockenspiel". Continue on to view the town hall, and the magnificent boulevard Feldherrenhalle Ludwigsstrasse Siegestor, created by King Ludwig I in the middle of the 19th century. Pass by the Residenz, the palace of the kings of Bavaria, and the Hofgarten. Enjoy some free time for lunch, shopping or perhaps enjoy a stein of bier at the famous Munich Hoffbrau. Dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, August 11: Return from Munich to your hometown
Today we fondly say Auf Wiedersehen to Germany, say farewell to your fellow pilgrims and new friends! Although it's an end of this journey, graces and blessings from our pilgrimage will last a lifetime.