Friends’ Tour of Europe, 2015
In 2015, we will undertake our fifth European tour. For the first time, we are inviting you to accompany us for 15 days.
The venues listed for choir concerts are all places where we have sung before and where we have been invited to return. Some venues could change. Register your interest and we will keep you updated. We will shortly publish prices and booking details.
June 25: Depart Melbourne Tullamarine
June 26: Meet your guide and driver at Frankfurt airport and head for Nördlingen (pictured left), where you check into your hotel NH Nördlingen (pictured right). This is a 4-star hotel in a converted monastery, right in the centre of the old town, where you stay for 3 nights. Nördlingen is one of two towns in Germany that are completely surrounded by a wall (The other is Rothenburg ob der Tauber). Enjoy a walk around the fascinating town centre of Nördlingen, with its many historic buildings. Take your time and read about historic buildings in the brochure provided in English by the Tourist Information office next door to the church. A walk on the wall is recommended.
June 27: Morning: Meet Douglas in the historic Georgskirche, a church dating from 1451, which is right at the centre of this walled Medieval town. Douglas will introduce and demonstrate the immaculately copied 1610 Baroque “swallow’s nest” organ, rebuilt in its original position after it was destroyed by fire in 1974. A climb to the top of the church tower is well worthwhile: Nördlingen’s tower is one of only three in Europe that are constantly occupied by a watchman, the others being Münster and Krakow. And from the top, you can see how the town is situated at the center of a crater created by a meteorite. For those who are interested, Douglas will run a “Friend’s Choir” rehearsal in the church following the organ demonstration. This is absolutely optional! In the afternoon, visit nearby Harburg castle. More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harburg,_Bavaria. The choir’s first concert for the tour takes place in Georgskirche at 8.00pm.
June 28: The ACC will sing at a service in Georgskirche at 10.00am. Following the service, you are invited to join the choir for a grill party (German for barbecue) in the church hall and garden, hosted by Georgskirche’s director of music, Udo Knauer. After lunch, our guide will take you on a tour of nearby sights. Return to accommodation in Nördlingen.
June 29: Travel to Tübingen. Visit the old town. Take a Stocherkahnfahrt (like a gondola or punt for max 16 people, pictured right) on the Neckar River. Walk around the Castle (Schloss Hohentübingen), which dates from 1078 and is now a part of the University. In this castle is the laboratory where Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA in 1869. (Free entry to the gardens). Have lunch in one of Tübingen’s historic restaurants overlooking the Neckar River. After the choir’s concert, you are invited to join the singers for supper at the home of Prof Andrei Lupas, Director of Protein Evolution at the Max Planck Institute, Tübingen and his wife, Janice Lupas.
June 30: Meet Douglas in the church for a “Friends Choir” rehearsal for those who are interested. Continue your adventures in Tübingen where you left off yesterday. An optional extra for those who are interested is an excursion to Bebenhausen (pictured left), built as a Cistercian Monastery in 1183. Read more at http://www.kloster-Bebenhausen.de/en/home
July 1: Travel to Bonn. Check in at the Steigenberger Petersberg Hotel 5***. Visit the house where Beethoven was born, now a museum. The ACC sings a concert in the evening. More detail coming soon.
July 3: Travel to Berlin. Check in at Leonardo Royal Alexanderplatz Hotel 4***. More detail coming soon.
July 5: Travel to Copenhagen: by coach to Rostock and then on the Rostock to Warnemünde Ferry, leaving the ferry by coach and travelling onward to Copenhagen. Check in to Skt Petri Hotel 4***. Sight seeing in Copenhagen. From the hotel, you can see the historic Trinitatis Church, where the choir performs in the evening. Adjacent to the church is Copenhagen’s famous landmark, the Round Tower, erected in the 17th Century by King Christian IV. For a small fee you can go into the tower and ascend its spiral corridor. At the top you can visit Christian IV’s astronomical observatory and enjoy an excellent view over Copenhagen. You can also visit the Trinitatis Library hall, located in the roof of the Trinitatis Church and accessible via the Round Tower.
July 6: Sight-seeing in Copenhagen. We will provide you with tickets to Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Park, a historic amusement park in the centre of the city with old fashioned arcades and picturesque gardens.
July 7: Travel to Ystad (one hour) on the Oresund Motorway, which, since July 2000, links Denmark and Sweden via an 8-kilometre bridge (Known to many from the Swedish TV series, The Bridge). The picturesque 11th century port of Ystad (population 18,000) has been popularised by the Swedish TV series, Wallander. Wander the historic streets and dine in one of Ystad’s cosy restaurants. After lunch, take the ferry to Denmark’s holiday island of Bornholm. Check in at Hotel Griffen 4***. The hotel is 400 meters from Nørrekos beach on the Baltic Sea and a 10 minute walk from Rønne’s historic centre. Enjoy a Danish beach experience or explore the town of Rønne. PM ACC concert.
July 8: Return to Copenhagen by ferry and coach and check in to the Skt Petri Hotel for one more night. Spend the day in Copenhagen or travel with the choir to Sorø. The ACC performs in the Klosterkirk (Abbey Church) for the Sorø International Music Festival at 8.00pm. Explore the Abbey, founded by Danish Archbishop Absalon and constructed from 1161 to 1201. The church is constructed from red brick, which was a new material for the time. Before the concert, explore the Abbey, with its royal graves and the extensive surrounding College Gardens. After the concert, return to accommodation in Copenhagen.
July 9: Travel to Hamburg via the tollbridge Fehmansund that links the Danish island of Vaestjaelland with Odense. Check in at Hotel 25Hours 4*** Hafen City, Hamburg. PM concert and dinner with the choir.
July 11: End of services. Our driver will take you to the airport, or continue with your own onward travel.
• All accommodation (twin share basis) and buffet breakfast every day
• A reception/supper, a lunch-time Grill Party and an evening meal with the choir
• a “Friends Choir” for those who are interested. Not compulsory. Just for fun!
• Admission to all Australian Chamber Choir concerts
• Organ demonstrations with Douglas Lawrence
• Entrance to Tivoli Park in Copenhagen
• Harbour cruise in Hamburg
• Tour Manager: Cathy Sullivan, Managing Director of Eastern Hill Travel will accompany the Friends Tour.
Eastern Hill travel will offer competitively-priced airfares with a reputable airline as soon as flight schedules are released.