In 2018 the German National Tourist Office is celebrating 'Culinary Germany'. Rob studied German and lived there in his youth, whereas Dave lost his heart to the beautiful Harz. So here is their love letter to Germany, on the face of it a tour of German beers, from Düsseldorf's Altbier to Cologne's rival Kölsch, with Gose, Bockbier, Rotbier and even smoked ale. Yet delve deeper to discover a country with colourful regional differences of taste, language, culture and lifestyle. Prost!
Sunday 29 April 2018
Begin with an Altbier tour of Düsseldorf
Steam to the top of the Brocken Mountain
Enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Goslars half-timbered centre
Tour & Tasting of Gose beer at Goslars Brauhaus
Visit the home of Bock beer in Einbeck
Guided tour of Nurembergs historic centre
Tour, tasting and dinner at Nurembergs labyrinthine Alstadthof brewery
Tour the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg
Experience Schlenkerla smoked beer with dinner at the brewery restaurant
Uncover Munichs brewing heritage at Oktoberfest Museum
Enjoy dinner at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus
Final evening Kölsch Beer, Language & Lifestyle tour
Farewell dinner at a Cologne Brewery Tavern
We depart London St. Pancras International and travel by Eurostar to Brussels and onwards to Düsseldorf for a night at the Inter City Hotel adjacent to the station. This evening we learn about the city's Altbier tradition on a tour of its charming brewery taverns, with dinner included.D
Crossing central Germany, we arrive in half-timbered Wernigerode in the beautiful Harz Mountains and three nights at the HKK Hotel.B, D
Today we enjoy an exhilarating ride aboard the Brockenbahn, a steam-hauled journey from Wernigerode through lush landscapes up to the summit of the Brocken mountain to Germany's highest narrow-gauge station and the Harz region's highest peak. Returning to Wernigerode, the remainder of the day is free to discover the market square in front of the picturesque town hall. Wander amidst the quaint half-timbered buildings overlooked by Wernigerode's stunning castle.B, D
A short local rail journey brings us to Goslar for a guided walking tour of the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site of half-timbered houses and also home to the Kaiserpfalz Imperial Palace. As well as being the birthplace of German kings, Goslar is also the home of Gose, a top-fermented beer with high wheat content, which we discover on a tour and tasting at Goslar's Brauhaus.B, D
A visit to Einbeck uncovers a handsome town whose 600 year old brewery is famous for strong Bockbier. Brewing tradition here dates back to the 14th century, when every citizen had the right to brew beer. With 700 brewers in town, the city council would purchase the excess, exporting it far and wide, leading to Einbeck's international renown. After a brewery tour and tasting - hopefully their seasonal Maibock will be ready - we transfer to Northeim to begin our rail journey south to Nuremberg. After checking into the InterCity Hotel, a guided walking tour of Nuremberg ends in style with a tour of the old cellar labyrinth of the Alstadthof brewery including dinner, 3 types of beer and also beer schnapps.B, D
Today we visit the delightful city of Bamberg, whose cityscape is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bamberg is famous for its small breweries, arguably the most famous being the renowned Schlenkerla smoked beer. During our visit we enjoy a guided tour and lunch with a smoked beer at Schlenkerla's quaint restaurant, before returning to Nuremberg for a free evening.B, L
Heading southwards for the day, we arrive in Munich, learning about the city's brewing history at the Oktoberfest Museum. After free time to explore the attractive centre around Marienplatz we enjoy a highlight with lunch at the famous Hofbräuhaus. In the 16th century Wilhelm V of Bavaria used to import Einbeck beer that he considered superior to the local brew, but eventually decided to found his own brewery in Munich, the Hofbräuhaus.B, L
Leaving Nuremberg, we head westwards to Cologne for a final night at the Maritim Hotel. This evening we enjoy a 'Kölsch - Beer, Language & Lifestyle' tour with a local guide, ending with dinner at a traditional Kölsch brewery tavern.
We depart Cologne, changing at Brussels for our onward Eurostar service to London St Pancras International.B
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
HKK Hotel, Wernigerode
This stylish 4 star hotel is close by the historic Old Town, and features modern, comfortable en-suite rooms. Enjoy culinary delights in the buffet restaurant and relax in the Berliner Ziller bar or Top Fit Club.
Inter City Hotel, Nuremberg
A modern 3 star hotel situated adjacent to the station and city centre. All rooms are en-suite with individually controlled air-conditioning.
From London St Pancras International:
Standard Class rail travel to / from Germany including
Single Room Supplement
Fare inclusive of:
8 nights bed & breakfast, 5 evening meals, 2 lunches
Standard Class rail travel and seat reservations where available (subject to selected rail travel option)
All transfers, excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
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