Thursday, June 2nd
As we headed toward Germany, we shared wonderful stories of our individual experiences during our homestays with lovely hosts. Many great memories & friendships made here! We enjoyed a beautiful canal cruise through the scenic village of Giethoorn, Netherlands (which sees very few cars as there are few roads).
We then arrived in Munster, Germany and enjoyed an informative walking tour of many historical buildings relevant to the Anabaptist movement. Travelled to Koln, Germany for the night, enjoying a walk along the Rhine River to the Koln Cathedral to view this incredible landmark.
Friday, June 3rd
Making our way from Koln to Rottenburg, we enjoyed an incredible 3-hour cruise on the Rhine River, viewing incredible scenery (vineyards, castles, villages) with sunny skies and beautiful breezes.
We stopped in the semi-communal village of Weierhof which houses Germany’s only major Mennonite archives. We ended our day in Rottenburg for the night.
Saturday, June 4th
With a very early (but necessary) departure, we were thankful for the hotel’s provision of a bag breakfast/lunch as we made the long trek towards our destination: Oberammergau! Prior to this amazing passion play, presented and performed by local villagers, we explored this quaint town and lovely people. Midway through the performance, we enjoyed a delicious dinner served in a local establishment, having a great time together. The passion play affected all of us greatly, moved by the music, the old testament stories, the commitment of the actors, but mostly by the portrayal of Jesus’ life, death, & resurrection.
Sunday, June 5th
Today was a nice, leisurely day! After a mid-morning departure, we headed towards Innsbruck, Austria where we heard the Jakob Hutter Anabaptist story.
We visited Hutter Park to see a memorial honouring Anabaptist martyrs. There was a lovely covered bridge and then we enjoyed some free time to wander at our leisure. Many enjoyed horse & carriage rides around town where guides provided much historical & insightful information. Many sweets & treats, predominantly strudel & ice cream, were enjoyed! (Apparently, for some of us, our clothes are shrinking in our suitcases 😉). After a wonderful dinner at our hotel, we were shuttled to a Tyrolean folk show which featured local music and dancing from very talented and entertaining performers. A fantastic evening!
Monday, June 6th
We left Innsbruck for our journey to Switzerland. Our fearless bus driver suggested a visit to Einsiedler to see the most ornate cathedral/monastery in Europe, and to enjoy lunch at one of many outdoor cafes in this quaint town. A lovely outing! We then travelled to the beautiful city of Lucern where we were able to walk across a beautiful covered wooden bridge and view the picturesque hotels and cafes along the stunning waterfront. After that, we continued on our way toward Bern, stopping for a beautiful scenic view of the town of Lungern. Our bus driver JP brought us safely through the weekend holiday traffic to our destination in Bern for the next few days!
– Angela Shantz