European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 13

    On the final day of our Heritage tour we explored Salzburg, Austria. We had a 4 hour bus tour with our guide Roman who gave us the inside scoop on the Sound of Music which was filmed in Salzburg […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 12

    Today we toured Dachau concentration camp. Dachau was the first concentration camp built by Nazi Germany, opening in March 1933. A place with a history of blatant injustice, medical experiments, and murder, some words that attempt to describe the […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 11

    Schleitheim, Switzerland – we walked 2 miles into the woods to witness an Anabaptist marker stone. This is where the Anabaptists hid in the Randen Hills. We took a few moments to honor those that came before us through […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 10

    Zurich, Switzerland – we had a walking tour & increased our knowledge of the Anabaptist birthplace of 1525. In Zurich the first death sentences were given & marked the beginning of Anabaptist martyrs. 1640 marked the end of martyrs […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 9

    We stopped in the city of Steffisburg, Switzerland & visited the Steffisburg Reformed Church. This is where the Yoder family originated. The Yoders were village people, not Mennonites. In the church, 2 Yoder family shields were located on a […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 8

    Trachselwald Castle- we visited this sombre sight which was used as a prison from the 10th century up to the 19th century. Jacob Haslibacher lived in a nearby village & converted many Anabaptists. He was arrested & jailed in […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 7

    We explored & lunched at Triberg, Germany located in the Black Forest. The village is known for its cuckoo clocks, and has the smallest, largest and most expensive ($25,000). There is a cuckoo clock museum. A gushing waterfall & […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 6

    We are in the Alsace region of France. We stopped and enjoyed lunch in the beautiful village of Riquewihr. It seemed like some of the villagers might be related to the Yoder sisters. Numerous villagers had similar features of […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 5

    In Cologne, Germany, we visited the renowned Cologne cathedral. A unique combination of Gothic & Catholic styles, it is considered an architectural masterpiece. Construction began in the 4th century and was completed in 1880. It is one of the […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 4

    This morning, we woke up with our homestay families. Berlikum is the Dutch province of Friesland which has its own culture, language & food. This area is also known for its extensive dike system and the graceful Friesland horse […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 3

    Today’s first stop was Edam, Netherlands where we visited our second hidden Mennonite church, built in 1702. The hidden churches had a house in the front & a church in the back. This church has an organ that was […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 2

    Today was a full day! We started at 7:00am at the Flower Auction in Alasmeer, Netherlands, the largest flower auction in the world: a pallet of bright & diverse flowers & plants. We were mesmerized by the bustling forklifts […]

    European Family Heritage Adventure DAY 1

    Our group of 12 Canadian and American travellers arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Our first stop was Asperen, Netherlands where we learned about the Dirk Willems story. Dirk Willems was an Anabaptist martyr, who in 1569 was arrested by […]

    Farewell, Alpine Adventure

    It’s Tuesday and I’m typing this from England where Mary and I are spending a few days before our return to Canada. This truly spectacular TourMagination trip is over. Done. Finished. How did that happen? (In our long experience […]

    Last day in Switzerland

    There are many travel companies out there and therefore lots of options to consider. But for us – and we know we’re biased – there is nothing like TourMagination for its ability to take you off the beaten track […]

    Grindelwald Part 2

    It’s the start of our last full day in the Swiss Alps. Amazing! Yesterday started off rainy but it cleared by 9 a.m. and left us with some cloud cover off and all on day; and rolling mist. Put […]

    Singing in Steinsfurt

    After reflection and singing at the Steinsfurt cellar and after viewing the fertile fields (once farmed by Mennonites) from the Steinburg tower, we made our way through too much road construction, to Augsburg in Bavaria. Wolfgang Krauß, MJ’s former […]


    We made the shift from Mürren to Grindelwald yesterday. These two villages are in adjacent valleys but to get from the other you take a train, a gondola, another train, and another train. By train I mean almost a […]

    From Mürren in the Lauterbrunnen valley

    It’s our final morning in Mürren, this great Alpine cliff-perched car-free village. Speaking of car-free I had this funny sensation as I awoke and stepped out onto our balcony, looking down about 1200 feet into the valley floor below […]

    Highlights in Netherlands & Münster

    Our September European Heritage travellers have had a full few days exploring history, heritage, and scenery. Here are some highlights of their journey so far:          

    On Top of the World

    We started out on top of the world yesterday and it went from there. After a scrumptious breakfast at the cliff-perched Hotel Alpina we caught the two-stage gondola to the top of Schilthorn. The setting is so dramatic that […]

    On to Mürren

    We woke up in Zurich yesterday and went to sleep in Seventh Heaven. After a healthy Swiss buffet breakfast – coffee-infused – we set out for the train station. There are wonderful tours out there that take you door-to-door […]

    Off to the Alps

    We’re off and running for this Swiss Alps Tour, which might go by a few other names but is basically about this: the magnificent Swiss Alps! We gathered together in Zurich yesterday from many directions: Canada, the United States, […]

    Bethany Church Group Update: June 10th, 2022

    museum in Schleitheim Friday, June 10th Today we headed out to Schleitheim, where we visited a museum in town, featuring a room that chronicled the beginnings of the Swiss Reformation Movement in 1523. Lots of artifacts to view as [...]

    Bethany Church Group Update: June 9th, 2022

    Thursday, June 9th Today we headed out towards our final destination on this amazing Reformation Tour. Absolutely incredible journey through the mountain passes, as we made our way to Zurich. In the afternoon, we met up with Peter Dettweiler, […]

    Bethany Church Group Update: June 8th, 2022

    Wednesday, June 8th We travelled to Brienz to take a one-hour cog rail train ride up Rothorn Mountain to view absolutely breathtaking views of the Alps! We were blessed with beautiful, sunny skies and warm temperatures. An incredible experience. […]

    Bethany Church Group Update: June 7th, 2022

    Tuesday, June 7th Today was a busy day, first visiting Trachselwald Castle, a fortress once used to imprison Anabaptists. We then visited many churches and heard stories of our Anabaptist heritage. We enjoyed free time in Thun, exploring this […]

    Anabaptism in Friesland & Austria

    The Bethany Church group has made stops at several Anabaptist landmarks. Highlights include the Menno Simmons monument, which was erected on the site where the meetinghouse of the Witmarsum Mennonites once stood, the hidden church at Pingjum, and the […]

    Bethany Church Group Update: June 2nd-6th, 2022

    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 […]

    Last Supper

    After almost two weeks of pilgrimage and learning, this TourMagination group feasted for a “last supper” in Jerusalem. We celebrated safe travel, new friendships, bonds of Christian love, and abundant new insight into the biblical world. – Nelson Kraybill

    Cruising on the Rhine

    Kaub castle on the Rhine Flexibility is the operative word on any tour, but this day required more than usual. On Friday morning, we learned that our Rhine River cruise was cancelled because the crew was infected with Covid. [...]

    Visiting a Tomb in Jerusalem

    Allen and Ginny Liechty and Robb Esh wait their turn to see an empty first-century tomb at Jerusalem—possibly where Jesus’ body lay. Our group celebrated communion, prayed, and sang in the adjacent garden. – Nelson Kraybill

    Jordan River, Jezreel & Jericho

    Journey of Hope pilgrims Esther and Ernie Reesor cool their feet in the Jordan River at Yardenit Baptismal Site near the Sea of Galilee. From this cool start to our day, our group went on to see the ancient […]

    The Temple Tax

    Look closely at this picture and you’ll see that Martha and Thom Moore found a coin in the mouth of their fish by the sea of Galilee just like Peter did for paying the temple tax (Matthew 17:24-27). – […]

    Bethany Church Tour: Clogs, Canals, & Community

    Our group of 23 Canadians has been warmly welcomed to the Netherlands! The past three days have been busy & full of fun & knowledge. On arrival, we visited the historic Dutch village of Zaanse Schans, enjoying the traditional […]

    Travelling Again — in Style

    Elsie Martin and Roseanne Frey chose to tour the amazing ancient city of Petra by camel today. Others in our group climbed 700 steps to the top of a rocky mountain that served as a “high place” of worship […]

    A Mountaintop Birthday in Jordan

    Talk about a mountaintop experience for your birthday! Today is Marlys Tieszen’s birthday, and she hiked with her husband Duane to the top of the mountain of Herod the Great’s Machaerus Fortress in Jordan, where (according to Josephus) John […]

    First Post-COVID tour begins in the Holy Land!

      Twenty-two TourMagination pilgrims have arrived safely in Jordan and are enjoying our first day of travel together. The group is in good health and great spirits despite being a bit jetlagged! We have an outstanding national guide, Elias […]

    The Magic of a Spontaneous Visit in Alwinz, Romania

    Walking through an “Empty Church” leads to reciprocal gifts and unique experiences. Reflection by Tour Leader ROD HOFER from October 2019. There is no remnant of the Hutterite colony in Alwinz remaining as the site was very flood-prone and […]

    TourMagination 50th Anniversary Celebrations June 15-19

    June 15-19, 2020 TourMagination is celebrating 50 years of helping people of faith explore, experience, and expand their worlds. The company began in 1970 to help North American Anabaptists explore their heritage in Europe. See a timeline of important […]

    South Africa Tour, District 6, 23 February

    Forgiveness.  Reconciliation.  The urge to destroy and kill, and the commandment of love. One would not expect that such words would be the centerpiece of a tour, but that would be the wrong assumption in South Africa.  For this [...]

    South Africa Tour, Visiting Winelands

    Today we visited South Africa's renowned Cape winelands of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.  Less than an hour from Capetown, these lands are really relatively small valleys ringed with mountain ranges.  It is immensely picturesque, even if a person is a [...]

    New Zealand Cruise, Final Days

    On the final days of our tour as we cruised from New Zealand back to Sydney, Australia, we enjoyed lovely food—including the delicious chocolate dessert (above). We also spent time doing various activities on board the ship. Ed joined [...]

    South Africa, The Cape of Good Hope

    On February 20, we took a day trip from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope to what almost feels like the bottom of Africa (even if it is not--that honour belongs to Cape Argulhas). We stopped at [...]

    South Africa Tour, Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    On February 19, we took a cable car up Table Mountain and enjoyed incredible view of the city and peninsula. Here is our group at the top. Walking around Cape Town we saw City Hall with a statue of [...]

    New Zealand Cruise, Wellington

    Today, we explored in and around Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, first settled in 1840. Above, Rich B. is standing on Mount Victoria with the harbour and the city of Wellington in the background. We visited the Wellington City [...]

    South Africa Tour, First Days

    We all safely arrived in Port Elizabeth in South Africa after a variety of flight connections. A restful "kombi" (mini-bus) ride took us to the Kariega Game Reserve a couple of hours away along the Indian Ocean and past [...]

    New Zealand Cruise, Akaroa

    While visiting, Akaroa the only French-founded community in New Zealand, tour members enjoyed fish and chips. This local meal was recommended by their guide and storyteller Annette (pictured below). At dinner, our waiter surprised Rich and Gloria with a [...]

    2020 New Zealand Cruise, Fiordland National Park

    Those of us who are travelling on the 2020 New Zealand Cruise after enjoying the Australian Adventure Tour, embarked our ship in Sydney. We relaxed during the two-days of ocean travel between Australia and New Zealand. Food onboard the [...]

    Australian Adventure, Sunrise over Uluru

    This morning we watched the sunrise over Uluru. On a tour of the base of Uluru, we saw ancient cave paintings and learned about Aboriginal legends and history. At end of the day, we took a short flight to [...]

    Australian Adventure, Kata Tjuta

    Today we travelled through the Outback from Alice Springs to Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), a site sacred to the Aboriginal people of the area. The scenery was incredible as we hiked the Olga Gorge to see Kata Tjuta (domed [...]

    Australian Adventure, Alice Springs

    The next day, the group took a short flight to Alice Springs in Central Australia to learn more about the beautiful nation of Australia.  In this outback town they visited the historic telegraph station, which was built in 1871. […]

    Australian Adventure, In and Around Melbourne

    Over the weekend, the group took a day trip from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road. They took a hike in the Otway Ranges National Park (photo below). Along the Shipwreck Coast, they saw the famous 12 Apostles rock [...]

    Australian Adventure Tour, Melbourne

    Australian Adventure Tour, Melbourne Captain Cook's cottage We have all gathered in Melbourne and already animated conversation is occurring with much eagerness despite some jet lag. We spent the afternoon touring Melbourne—including Captain Cook’s cottage located in the beautiful [...]

    Peace-building Tour to Cuba, Cienfeugos

    Cienfuegos, Cuba Wednesday, January 21 Today, the group had perfect weather to travel by boat to a Taíno Indian Village. They learned about the traditional lifestyle of the Taíno people, who were once Cuba’s principal inhabitants. Later, they went […]

    Hutterite & Romania tour – Next phase

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader The next phase of the tour emphasized the best of the Saxon German fortified churches, the three fortified cities of Brasov and Sighisoara, sites that had direct connections to the Carinthian Lutheran Hutterite converts […]

    Hutterite & Romania Tour – Alba Iulia

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader We began our day in Alba Iulia with a walk from our hotel to the Jewish synagogue of the oldest Jewish congregation in Romania. They were invited into Transylvania by Gabriel Bethlen, the same […]

    Danube Cruise update

    By Marlin Hershey, Tour Leader We began our second day of the cruise in Mohacs, a quiet Danube town with a countryside ancient restored gristmill from time of St. Nicholas. We also visited a museum displaying the past practice […]

    Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour – final days

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader As our time in Romania draws to an end, I believe the tour went exceedingly well. Everybody was impressed with Chris, our local guide with religious and secular knowledge. Even when the established plan […]

    Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour – Deva & Alwinz

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader We began our day by ascending the Deva mountain by gondola car to the fortress ruins at the top. The fortress caps the mountain and provides a panoramic view of the surrounding area. If […]

    Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour – Sibiu region continued

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader We were greeted by partly sunny weather with brisk temperatures as we began our first bus ride of the tour. On the outskirts of Hermannstadt (Sibiu) we stopped at the Maria Theresa monument in […]

    Romania Hutterite & Cultural Tour – Sibiu

    By Rod Hofer, Tour Leader The Romanian Culture and Hutterite Heritage Tour began by exploring the historic city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt). Hermannstadt is an important site in the history of the Hutterites in Romania but also boasts a rich […]

    Central Asia tour 2019 – Khiva

    Visiting the Mennonite Museum in Khiva, Central Asia Tour We have arrived in Khiva, where the Mennonite museum is now open. It was to open in 2009, but the government shut it down. We were assured by the director [...]

    Central Asia tour 2019 – Samarkand

    Enjoy a selection of photos from the Central Asia tour’s explorations of Samarkand

    Central Asia tour 2019 – First day in Uzbekistan

    We have just completed our third day of this tour to Central Asia. Having thoroughly enjoyed two days in Istanbul, Turkey, we arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, early Wednesday morning. The day unfolded with numerous sites unique only to Uzbekistan. […]

    Central Asia tour 2019: First stop, Istanbul

    Istanbul at first seemed a bit off-topic as an introduction to our Uzbekistan-focused tour of Central Asia, but in a good and useful way. It oriented us to a city and region dominated first by Christianity and then by […]

    Schurch Family Heritage tour – update from the mountains

      Greetings again – Another good day together! We had lovely views of the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eigger mountains last night from Interlaken and again this morning walking to the Castle Thun entrance. The castle has had a major […]

    Schürch Family Custom Tour Update – Switzerland Calling!

    Greetings – I’m writing Monday afternoon from Kleine Scheidegg. We enjoyed two days of sunshine, today partially rainy and mountains hidden in fog but everyone is still enjoying themselves. Zurich was interesting but challenging with so much walking and […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel Tour – Final days

    The restaurant manager in Jerusalem where we had our noon meal on Saturday owned a parrot, and unexpectedly perched it on Brian Zehr’s shoulder. Seems the parrot likes french fries! This light-hearted moment came in the midst of a […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel tour update: Jezreel, Yad Vashem, and Gideon’s Spring

    That’s no ordinary hill behind the TourMagination group. It is Tel Jezreel—ruins of the biblical city Jezreel in northern Israel. Jezreel was the winter residence of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. While at this site, our group heard the […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel Day 4 – Jordan River, MCC, and the Dead Sea

    Monday morning took us to the site where the Israelites were most likely to have crossed the River Jordan. That also probably is where John baptized Jesus. We contemplated these two momentous threshold events, remembering how our own lives […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel Day 3 – Petra

    Our hotel last night was by the entrance to Petra, the ancient stone city with ruins from the first centuries BC and AD. We got an early start this morning and walked into the site through the half-mile Siq […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel Day 2 – From Mt Nebo to Petra

    An early launch from our hotel in Amman set us on course for Mt. Nebo (where Moses got a glimpse of the Promised Land), Machaerus mountaintop fortress (where John the Baptist was martyred), Madaba (where we were invited to […]

    Jordan, Palestine, Israel: Day 1, Jerash

    Kyla and Brian Zehr of Fort Wayne, Indiana look down into the ruins and spectacular mosaics of St. Cosmos and St. Damianus Church at the ancient Roman city of Jerash, an hour’s drive north of Amman, Jordan. Built in […]

    Greetings from Cairo!

    TourMagination’s director of tour development, Anna Dickerson, is visiting Egypt for a few days before participating in the Jordan, Palestine, Israel tour. Anna and her husband are having a great time learning about the history, and even took a […]

    France River Cruise – Barcelona, the end of the tour

    by Terry Petkau, tour leader One of the highlights of our final days on this tour was the scenic drive through the mountainous countryside which took us to the Abbey of Montserrat. From the coach we boarded a special […]

    France River Cruise – Avignon to Arles

    By Terry Petkau, tour leader Before departing Avignon we were treated to a gentle cruise to take in the city lights from a beautiful vantage point. Many of us also walked back into the Old City to view an […]

    France River Cruise – Tournon and Avignon

    By Terry Petkau, tour leader Our morning in Tournon included cycling through apricot and cherry orchards, wine tastin at local wineries, a ride on an old steam train and a visit to the Valrhona chocolate factory that employs almost […]

    France Cruise – continuing to explore Paris

    By Terry Petkau, tour leader Today we ventured to the outskirts of Paris to visit the Palace of Versailles. A very popular stop for tourists which resulted in a somewhat crowded meander through the Palace but the expansive gardens […]

    The France Cruise begins

    By Audrey Voth Petkau, tour leader Everything went very well for our first day here in Paris. We did not waste any time but started out to explore. We are ideally located about 4 blocks from the Arc de […]

    The Alaska Cruise Tour Begins

    By Bernice Kuepfer, Tour Leader Fairbanks Alaska is beautiful! We stayed at the Riverside Lodge which had outstanding service. We took a cruise on the Sternwheeler Riverboat then after the cruise we went on Gold Dredge 8 and panned […]

    Day 5 and 6 of Newfoundland tour

    By Mike Kroeker, tour leader Day 5 started off a little slower than we’ve been used too. As our driver Tony put it, service in the North is something you just have to get used too! We had a […]

    Today in Time: The Leningrad Symphony Premiers, 9 August 1942

    There is a place in St. Petersburg, Russia, where no tourist buses go these days.  Which is why we always go there.  It’s a broad stretch of land in a parklike setting on the northern sections of the city.  […]

    Newfoundland Tour – Second update

    By Mike Kroeker, Tour Leader It’s been a few busy days in Newfoundland. We spent the past 2 nights at the wonderful Shallow Bay Motel in Cow Head, NL.  The afternoon of Day 3 was spent on the waters […]

    Newfoundland tour begins

    By Mike Kroeker, tour leader   Hello from Newfoundland! The weather looked a little ugly this morning but the sun decided to come out! We woke up in Cow Head this morning, after spending the night at the Shallow […]

    Bike & Boat tour – continuing to Malchin

    By Mark Evans, tour leader   On Wednesday we left Szczecin early and sailed across a big lake to the Usedom area, landing in the port of Kamminke.  We then got on our bikes and headed out exploring the […]

    Bike & Boat Tour – Day 4

    By Mark Evans, Tour Leader Today we left Schwedt at 9am to ride to Mascherin, a shorter day for riding as we had to sail on to Schwerin. The ride was more adventurous as we had to detour off […]

    First days on the Bike & Boat tour

    By Mark Evans, tour leader Saturday the group met at our hotel and then walked to the subway to take it to Spandau. We had a surprise when we got off as the doors closed prior to everyone getting […]

    Tour Update: Iceland 2019

    Adieu Iceland This land is continually being born: it ever brings forth new marvels, new vistas, new possibilities. It sings of change, and the power of play. I feel this playful change seeping into me, calling for a molten […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Rattenburg

    The last day of the tour! This morning we went to central Innsbruck, where Jacob Hutter was executed. We also saw the golden roof which Maximilian I had constructed to look out over the square, and then had time […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Innsbruck

    Today we travelled to our last country of the tour, Austria! But our route happened to take us through the tiny country of Liechtenstein for a brief while, so we can say we’ve actually been in 6 countries in […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Bern

    Today we spent much of the day within the city of Bern where we’ve been for the last two nights. In the morning, despite the possible threat of rain, we went on a walking tour of the city centre […]

    Tour Update: Iceland 2019, Borgarfjarðarhreppur

    Last night was spent in Borgarfjarðarhreppur, which derives its name from Álfaborg, meaning “town of elves.” Ancient legend has it that this part of Iceland is ripe with elves, and there is a fairly substantive hill overlooking this quaint […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Emmental

    Today was spent in the area of the Emmental, which contains a great deal of Amish history. Although we could not enter it, we saw Thun castle, where Anabaptists were imprisoned at the top. In Steffisburg, we visited a […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Zurich

    Zurich is an important city for Anabaptist history, as this is where it all began! We started our day today with a walking tour of the centre of town to see various sites related to Anabaptist history, including the […]

    Tour Update: Russia 2019, Memories of St. Petersburg, Round 2

    On our last full day of planned activity our TourMagination tour went to Peterhof in the early morning.  This is justly claimed as one of the great Summer Palaces of Europe.  Beautifully situated on a cliffbank overlooking the Gulf […]

    Tour Update: Iceland 2019

    Greetings friends!  Here is a poetic reflection on our Iceland adventures thus far. These Rocks Ringing Lapping waves have their own sagas. Deep in their memories drift tales of mer creatures, and Behemoth, and Jonah, and water learning to […]

    TM tour update: European Anabaptist Heritage tour, Schleitheim

    The Schleitheim monument commemorates the first effort between Anabaptists to create an agreement about beliefs they all shared in common, in order to create greater unity within the movement. The agreement dates back to 1527, just two years after […]

    Tour Update: Russia 2019, tour leader reflections

    Memories of St. Petersburg Russia is a country that many expect that they won’t like.  That always seems to be the case on tours we’ve lead, in large part because of the negative press that a post Cold War […]