Itinerary

“THE YOUNG HARRIS CHOIR IN THE HEART OF MUSICAL EUROPE”

Monday, 09 May 2011

DEPARTURE FROM ATLANTA

Enjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Prague.

18:05   LH 445 departs from Atlanta ATL airport

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

ARRIVE PRAGUE (3 NIGHTS)

09:15   Arrival into Frankfurt FRA

11:55   LH 1396 departs from Frankfurt FRA airport

12:55   Arrival in Prague PRG We will meet our Casterbridge Tour Manager/Guide at the airport, where we will board our own private coach and transfer to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, built on seven hills astride a great river, the Vltava. The beauty of Prague is legendary; Goethe described the city as “the most precious stone in the crown of this world.”

We will meet our Casterbridge Tour Manager/Guide, Ciarán Moss at the airport, where we will board our own private coach and transfer to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, built on seven hills astride a great river, the Vltara.  The beauty of Prague is legendary; Goethe described the city as “the most precious stone in the crown of this world.”  We will transfer to our hotel where an early check-in has been arranged prior to some freetime for lunch.

15:30   We will transfer by coach to central Prague where Ciarán will accompany us on an introductory Walking Tour, during which we will step back in time to explore the tangle of quaint, narrow streets surrounding the castle, crossing the ancient Charles Bridge to arrive at the Old Town Square and views of the historic Town Hall, the famous astronomical clock, and the 14th-century Tyn Church.

18:45   Arrival at Dvorakovo nabrezi, next to the ‘Stafanikuv’ bridge, below the building of ‘Ministerstvo prumyslu a obchodu’

19:00   This evening we will enjoy a dinner cruise on the Vltava River which offers a unique view of many of Prague’s most magnificent and important monuments and buildings (by group’s own arrangements).

21:00   End of river cruise. 

Following the cruise our coach will take us back to our hotel, arriving at approximately 22:00

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

PRAGUE

8:30     This morning we will meet up with two local guides at the hotel reception who will accompany us on this morning’s sightseeing.  We will transfer by coach to the Prague Castle area.

NOTE: As we will not be returning to the hotel after our sightseeing, it will be necessary to take our concert attire/music with us on the coach this morning.

Our sightseeing will commence with a visit the 9th-century Prague Castle that overlooks the city center.  Inside the Castle, we will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the city’s most distinctive landmark, built in 1344 on the orders of Charles IV.  We conclude our afternoon in Prague Castle with a visit to the Royal Palace, the seat of the Bohemian princes.

12:00   Following our tour we will meet up with our coach, collect our concert attire and transfer to St Nicholas’s Church.

13:00   We will have a rehearsal in St Nicholas Church in preparation for our afternoon concert.

Prague St. Vitus 2

The Church of St. Nicholas is one of Prague’s most spectacular Baroque churches, completed in 1761.  Ornately decorated; the church features statues, frescoes and paintings by the leading artists of the day

13:30     End of rehearsal

14:00     Your first concert performance will be today at the Church of St Nicholas, Old Town Square (maximum of 1 hour duration – no interval)

15:00   Following our recital we will drop off our concert attire/music on the coach and then have some freetime to explore Prague.

18:30   We will re-group in the Old Town Square and walk to the restaurant where we will be dining tonight.(Dinner is included this evening)

19:00      Dinner at Kavarna Obecni dum (Municipal Coffee House)

The Art-Nouveau Municipal House Coffee Shop is rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful coffee shops in Prague. It is located on the ground floor of the newly reconstructed Municipal House and its interior is a great experience for all visitors.

21:00     Following dinner, we will meet up with our coach and transfer back to our hotel.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

HALF-DAY TRIP TO THERESIENSTADT

(Total coaching time: approx. 2 hours round-trip)

09:30   Depart Prague.

NOTE: As we will not be returning to the hotel after our sightseeing, it will be necessary to take our concert attire/music with us on the coach this morning.

This morning we will make the short trip outside of Prague to Theresienstadt (or TerezÏÏin), a fortress that the Nazis converted into a concentration camp during their occupation.  Referred to as the “Paradise Ghetto,” Theresienstadt was used as a transit camp en route to harsher camps. While Theresienstadt will not be remembered for mass exterminations, it was the site of a cruel deception.  On June 23, 1944, three foreigners came to view the camp to see if rumors of Nazi prison camps were true. SS chief Heinrich Himmler staged an elaborate “beautification” of the camp to fool his visitors.  His plan worked so well that the Nazis made a film of the camp entitled A Town Presented to the Jews from the Fuehrer.

11:00   Guided tour of the Small Fortress with local English speaking guide

12:00   End of tour. Transfer by coach to the Ghetto Museum and the Magdeburgs Barracks where we will have the opportunity to wander around the exhibitions.

Freetime for lunch either in Terezin or back in Prague.

Upon our return to Prague, we will enjoy the rest of the day at our leisure.  Sightseeing could include an exploration of the Jewish Quarter, including the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Old-New Synagogue.  Founded in 1478, the Cemetery was the only burial ground available to Jews for over 300 years.  Due to a lack of space, people had to be buried on top of each other up to 12 layers deep.  Today there are over 12,000 gravestones crammed into the tiny space, but an estimated 100,000 people are buried there.  The Synagogue, built around 1270, is the oldest synagogue in Europe and one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Prague.

17:30     Arrival at Namesti Miru, Prague 2.

17:50     We will perform a few pieces in front of St Ludmila Catholic Church to promote this evening’s concert.  Today is the last day of a mission week held in the square, an event in which several churches from the Prague 2 to participate.  Today will be the turn of the United Methodist Church to serve at the Square.

17:50     Collect concert attire/music from our coach and walk the 10-15 minutes to the United Methodist Church.

(Dinner by your own arrangement/expense)

19:00     This evening’s concert at the United Methodist Church will commence.

20:00     End of concert.

20:30     Expected time to leave the United Methodist Church and transfer back to our hotel.

Friday, 13 May 2011

PRAGUE – BRNO – VIENNA (3 NIGHTS)

(Total coaching time: approx. 5 hours)

10:00   We will bid farewell to Prague this morning and head for the great city of Vienna.  Before heading for the Austrian border, we will make a stop at Brno, capital of Moravia, where we will visit the Baroque Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

14:30   We will then make our way into Vienna, the capital of Austria and, for 600 years, the glittering capital of the Hapsburg Empire.  Vienna has an incomparable musical heritage as the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms, and Johann Strauss.

17:00   Approximate arrival time in Vienna.  After checking into our hotel, our coach will transfer us to the city centre where Ciarán will be happy to lead us on some introductory sightseeing in the city.  Alternatively, we may spend the rest of the evening at leisure.

(Dinner by your own arrangement)

Return to hotel by public transport.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

EXCURSION TO MELK & KREMS

(Total coaching time: approx. 2 hours 15 minutes round-trip)

This morning we will have some freetime in Vienna, where we may enjoy historic Vienna at our leisure (coach services not included).  You may wish to explore old Vienna, where you can visit the Hoher Markt, home of Virgin Mary’s Wedding Fountain and an Art Nouveau clock; the Altes Rathaus, the former town hall; the old Chancellery of Bohemia; the Clock Museum; and St. Peter’s Church.

12:45   After freetime for lunch we will travel west of Vienna to the historic town of Melk.

14:20   Upon arrival we will take a guided tour visit the Baroque Abbey and Abbey Church, which are built on a promontory dominating the town.

Possible opportunity of performing a couple of short pieces in the Garden Pavilion (by own arrangements/expense) – a wedding taking place this afternoon means that an informal recital inside the church or the Marble Hall will not be possible.

Following our visit we will drive along to Danube Valley to Krems, the location for our next concert.

16:00     Rehearsal at the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Krems-Stein

 (Dinner is included this evening – 2 minutes walk from concert venue)

Our performance will be a joint co-operation with the local folklore-dancing group, which will help to promote the concert.

18:00     Early evening service at the church (scheduled to finish at 18:50)

19:00     Our concert performance commences

 Following the concert, we will be able to spend some time with the local dancing group in an “agape”.  Weather permitting, the locals will introduce us to some dances origination from the area.

We return to Vienna for the evening.

23:00   Latest arrival time back at our hotel by coach.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

VIENNA

This morning we will visit City Park, where we can see the various monuments commemorating the Great Composers of the past.

13:00     Informal recital at St Stephen’s Cathedral (by group’s own arrangements/expense)

13:30     End of recital

13:30     Following our recital we will meet up with two local guides who will accompany us on a tour of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, scene of the double marriage between the Hapsburg, Bohemian, and Hungarian dynasties in 1515 that laid the foundation of the Austrian Empire.

14:50     We will then continue with a visit to the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Hapsburgs.

(Dinner by your own arrangement/expense)

22:00     Latest arrival time back at our hotel by coach.

Monday, 16 May 2011

VIENNA – SALZBURG – MUNICH (2 NIGHTS)

(Total coaching time: approx. 5 hours 30 minutes)

Today we make our way across Austria en route to Munich.  We will make a stop in Salzburg, the Baroque city of music associated with Mozart, where we can enjoy a taste of the city at our leisure.  Sightseeing in Salzburg may begin with a walk through the Old City, a maze of meandering lanes, curious steeples, cobbled streets, and spacious squares.  While here, you may wish to visit Mozart’s Birthplace, view the Old Square and the Residenz.

We will include a visit to Salzburg Cathedral, world renowned for its 4,000-pipe organ. Hailed by some critics as the “most perfect” Renaissance building in the Germanic countries, the cathedral has a marble facade and twin symmetrical towers.

During our visit to the Cathedral we will have the opportunity of performing a couple of pieces to experience the acoustics of this famous venue (own arrangements/expense – to take place between 1230 and 1400).

A highlight of the walk will be the Glockenspiel, an early 18th-century carillon with 35 bells that can be heard from one of the cafes lining the edges of the Mozartplatz.  Later, we will make our way to Munich.  After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy the rest of the evening at our leisure.

(Dinner by your own arrangement/expense)

22:00     Latest arrival time back at our hotel by coach.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

MUNICH

This morning our guide will accompany us on a Walking Tour of the Aldstadt (Old Quarter) of Munich, beginning at the Karlstor, once a gate to the walled city.  We continue with a stroll down Neuhauser Street, Munich’s largest shopping street, with typical 19th century buildings, outdoor cafes and shops.  Next we visit the Frauenkirche, the largest Gothic assembly building in southern Germany and the seat of the Archbishopric of Munich.  With its twin towers and onion domes, the church has become a symbol of the city.

11:50   Arrival at Frauenkirche.

12:00   Midday prayers commence – this will comprise of the Angelus followed by a prayer (approximately 5-10 minutes in total).

Following the prayers the priest will introduce our choir and we will perform Ave Maria by Biebl.

12:15   Our final performance will then take at the Frauenkirche.  This will be a 30-minute a capella performance immediately after the Angelus Prayer service.

After some freetime for lunch, we will explore the area of Munich around the Marienplatz in the heart of the Altstadt.  We will begin at the Neues Rathaus, where we will observe the Glockenspiel on the façade, the fourth largest chiming clock in Europe, which stages an elaborate performance twice a day.  Those that choose will have the opportunity to climb the 55 steps to the top of its tower for a wonderful view of the city center.

19:30     This evening we will convene for a special Farewell Dinner, a time to celebrate and reflect upon our memorable tour of the musical heart of Europe.  We will enjoy dinner and attend a traditional Bavarian music and dance show at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus.

Return to hotel by public transport.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

DEPARTURE FROM MUNICH

Breakfast will be served from 06:00 this morning.

Our enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as Ciarán accompanies us to the airport for the return flight home.

09:55     LH 107 departs from Munich MUC airport

11:00     Arrival in Frankfurt FRA

12:10     LH 444 departs from Frankfurt FRA airport

16:15     Arrival into Atlanta ATL

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