Geoff’s Travel Club
Europe 2020

Geoff has offered a number of tours to Europe, but they have nearly all visited one country. Following requests from Geoff's
Travel Club members, this tour has been created to satisfy the interests of club members who would like to re-visit some of
the past highlights as well as dig deeper into the fascinating destinations and train rides that Europe offers. We will
start in Germany, travel through the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary before ending in Austria.

See some amazing sights, have a train-load of fun, meet old friends and make some new ones - All aboard!

Pre-tour nights
Your Hamburg hotel reservation can be extended if you wish. Alternatively, fly via England and travel to Germany with Sheelagh and Geoff
Cooke, your hosts. Talk to Geoff if you would like to spend a short while in Britain with him prior to the tour.

Monday, 15 June 2020
Travel independently to Hamburg today and check in to the four star "Europäischer Hof" hotel opposite the main railway station (Hamburg Hbf).
A three-day public travel card is included with your hotel reservation.
Meet the group this evening with an included dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Hamburg. Dinner.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020:
After breakfast, we will hop on our very own red double decker bus for a 2 hour city tour. This will be followed by a 2 hour boat trip through the
"Speicherstadt" (the old commercial area dating back a few centuries), the "Harbour city" and a short visit to the harbour itself. The boat trip will
end at the Miniatur Wunderland, possibly the most impressive miniature railway in the world and a must for any visit to Hamburg.
Dinner will be on a 2 hour luxurious boat cruise on the Elbe river.
Overnight Hamburg. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020
This morning, ride a train from Hamburg Hbf to Wernigerode. Transfer to the hotel Travel Charme Gothisches Haus at Wernigerode with free
time for lunch and a rest before a walking tour of the attractive old town.
Dinner will be at the Altora restaurant where you overlook the steam shed and your beverages are served on a train.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and a feature dinner

Thursday, 18 June 2020
Ride a train from Wernigerode to Brocken in a carriage reserved for our group, an English-speaking guide will explain the scenery and history
of the area. Most trains on the metre gauge Brocken railway are steam operated, but this cannot be guaranteed.
After time for lunch on the mountain, return in our reserved carriage. For those interested, we can leave the train at Westerntor station for a
guided tour of the railway workshops. If you are interested in engineering and steam locomotives on the Harz Railway, you will enjoy this
experience. Alternatively, continue to Wernigerode station and your hotel.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and dinner included.

Friday, 19 June 2020
Travel this morning by train to Leipzig, where we will enjoy a 2 hour sightseeing tour by preserved tram.
The tram ride will end at “Thomaskirche” - the famous church where J.S. Bach worked and home of the “Thomaner” boy choir. We could visit
the church and then have lunch at “Auerbachs Keller” (meal not included) where famous German writer “Goethe” was a regular visitor. From
there we can walk to the main station or take the S-Bahn. There will be time at Leipzig station to visit the preserved steam and electric trains
standing on one of the platforms or a break for coffee before boarding our train to Dresden.
Transfer from Dresden station to the Dorint Hotel by tram, a public transport ticket for the duration of your stay is included. There will then be
free time to relax or explore the nearby park and museum before dinner at the “ Helene” tram restaurant in the main square.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.

Saturday, 20 June 2020
After an early breakfast, we will have some fun with a private charter train at the “Parkeisenbahn” in the nearby park. Included will be a visit to
the shed with the locomotives being prepared (steam or diesel, depending on availability). If your bed seems more attractive, you can join the
railfans when they return from the park in time to catch an old bus for a sightseeing tour of Dresden. The bus tour will be followed by a ride on
an aerial tramway with an included lunch at the viewpoint restaurant before returning to the hotel.
You have an option of a free afternoon, or a guided visit to the “Frauenkirche” church. Dinner is not included today, an opportunity to spoil your
loved one.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and lunch.

Sunday, 21 June 2020
Travel by S-Bahn train to Freital-Hainsberg, with time for a workshop visit or relaxation before joining a steam train to Kurort Kipsdorf. We will
have a reserved carriage, an English-speaking local guide and an opportunity to sample the local herb liqueur and a typical local bread, the so
called “Speckfettbemme”.
Later this morning, transfer by bus to Glashütte to visit the watch factory before continuing to Pirna, an old town, with time to explore and enjoy
lunch. This afternoon, ride one of the Elbe paddle steamers up the river to Bad Schandau. A train will take us back to Dresden.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast, dinner

Monday, 22 June 2020
We leave Germany this morning as we travel by train to Prague in the Czech Republic. Our four-star hotel is opposite the station and a short
walk from the old town centre. There will be time to relax and have lunch before touring the city on a historic tram. Included is a stop at the
legendary Prague tram museum.
Overnight Prague. Falkensteiner Hotel Maria. Breakfast and dinner
While the baggage is normally taken between hotels separately from the group, we need to carry it with us on the train today.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Today is Czech train day! We will take a train ride Lužná u Rakovníka to visit the railway museum there, the original roundhouse is filled with an
impressive collection of Czech mainline locomotives. After an included lunch at the hotel opposite the station, enjoy a steam charter train and a
visit to the KHKD railway museum at Kněževes. We will then return to Prague by train.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, lunch

Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Today is a free day Prague. All guests will receive a “Prague Travel Card” that allows a free entry to 60 attractions of the city, including Prague
Castle, Jewish Museum, Synagogues, National Museum, National Gallery, Petřín Tower, Prague Zoo. Also included are free sightseeing bus
tours and a free river cruise.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, dinner

Thursday, 25 June 2020
This morning, we will visit one of the best narrow-gauge railways in the country at Mladejov. The industrial railway at Mladejov was built in 1924
to transport coal from Hřebeč to Mladejov na Morave. Regular traffic ended in 1991 when the coal company replaced the small steam
locomotives by more powerful diesel engines. Unfortunately, those were too heavy for the 600mm track and the entire 11 Km line was closed.
It is now a museum, one of the few that has not been modernised. The workshop and the small shed are a 1924 time warp.   
After an included lunch we will continue by private railcar on the scenic standard gauge branch line to Skalice nad Svitavou, about 50 Km
distant. There we will meet the bus that has carried our luggage from Prague and motor to Bratislava, crossing the border into the Slovak
Overnight Bratislava. Our hotel will be the Crowne Plaza, very centrally located with just a few hundred meters from the historic old town.
Breakfast and lunch included.

Friday, 26 June 2020
Today we first motor to the small town of Nitra, about 90 Km east of Bratislava. Nitra was founded about 1.200 years ago and has a lot of
wonderful medieval buildings. For those who are interested in railways, we will continue to the former Soviet style agricultural combine
“Agrokomplex”, that has now been transformed into a fairground, including a steam operated railway. Our charter train will run around the vast
area of the former combine – far too big to be explored on foot!
We then continue to Trencin, about 60 Km north of Nitra, to visit the castle (the third-largest castle in Slovakia with extensive fortifications) and
the synagogue. After an included lunch we will visit the nearby narrow gauge electric overland tram from Trenčianska Teplá to Trenčianske
Teplice. The tram runs on Bosnian gauge (760mm) track over a 5 km section. Regular traffic ceased several years ago when a group of tram
enthusiast took over and repaired the line, enabling us to run a charter today.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast, lunch.

Saturday, 27 June 2020
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in Bratislava, including some historic tram rides and a visit to the well-known railway museum at Vychod.

Sunday, 28 June 2020
Time to visit our third country! Travel to Hungary to ride the narrow gauge railway at Széchenyi Múzeumvasút Nagycenk, followed by an included
lunch and a sightseeing tour to the old town of Sopron. This afternoon head back to Bratislava.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast and lunch.

Monday, 29 June 2020
This morning, we enter our fourth country as we head to Vienna. Board a Vienna tram (called a Bim after the sound the bell makes) for a trip
around the famous ring road, stopping off for coffee and cakes in a traditional Viennese coffee shop (refreshments extra). Later today, catch a
Railjet train to Salzburg and check-in to our hotel.
Overnight Salzburg. The Wyndham Grand and Salzburg Conference Centre. Breakfast and dinner.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020
This morning, take a bus to the SLB station for a short depot visit and a charter trip with one of the historic railcars to Ostermiething and
Oberndorf before heading back to Salzburg. This afternoon, join a tour of Salzburg with a local guide.
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and dinner.

Wednesday, 01 July 2020
This morning we will visit the railway museum (including a model railway layout) at the small town of Mondsee before motoring along the
shore of the “Mondsee” lake, one of the few privately owned larger lakes in Austria. The private owner wants to sell it and if you have 15 million
Pounds ready, it can be yours!
The area is full of traditional (and sometimes very popular) villages and small towns where we can stop at our convenience, with an included
lunch. Continue by bus to the next lake, the “Attersee”. The very scenic road along the shores of these lakes offer stunning vistas of the lakes
and the alpine mountains. From the northern end of the Attersee it is just a small hop to Ampflwang, home of a railway museum owned and
operated by the Austrian society of Railway History ÖGEG. They also run a steam excursion train and we hope to ride one of their regular tourist
trains to Timelkam. The museum itself is home of the standard gauge fleet of the ÖGEG with numerous locomotives, railcars, freight wagons
and passenger coaches. The area was dominated by the coal mining industry over several centuries and the museum tries to reflect the link
between the mining and the railway.  
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and lunch.

Thursday, 02 July 2020
After breakfast we head east and travel by bus via lake “Wolfgangsee”, home of the rich and famous, and on to lake “Traunsee”. Here we board
the oldest operating steam ship in Austria, built in 1871 and named “Gisela” (eldest daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I) to sail
from Ebensee to Gmunden.
At Gmunden, an historic railcar on the private Stern + Hafferl railway will take us to Kirchham. Your included and very traditional Austrian lunch
will be at “Gasthof Pöll” before we return to Salzburg by bus for a Railjet train to Innsbruck.
Overnight Innsbruck. Hotel Central (Four star), Breakfast and lunch
The hotel is a five minute walk from the station, and a further five minutes to the middle of the old town.

Friday, 03 July 2020
After breakfast, join a guided walk with an English speaking local guide through the old town of Innsbruck. You will see the famous “Golden
Dachl”, the Cathedral and other important places in the old town. Sprawling beneath the Nordkette mountain ridge, Innsbruck is Austria's only
major urban centre within the high Alps. With a great diversity of culture, scenery and history, this compact city is a great destination to dwell for
a while as the city centre - a classic Austrian hybrid of the Gothic and Baroque - invites aimless strolling.
After lunch we will aboard a private chartered vintage tram for a spectacular trip up the Stubai valley to the small town of Fulpmes. A few photo
stops should be possible, and as this is a working tramway we will also have to wait as modern scheduled tram services. Our journey should
take about 90 minutes each way.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.

Saturday, 04 July 2020
Take a train to Jenbach this morning to travel on the rack (cog wheel) steam train to Achensee. The Achensee Steam Cog Railway makes its
way up to the Tyrol’s largest alpine lake, driven by Europe's oldest steam cog locomotives. The metre gauge railway is 4.2 miles long. Within
this length it rises some 1,444 ft in height, with the steeper sections using the Riggenbach rack system. On arrival, enjoy a scenic boat tour on
Lake Achensee with a break for lunch at Achenkirch.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.

Sunday, 05 July 2020
Your tour ends after breakfast today.
EC-trains travel to Munich airport every 2 hours via Munich Hbf, We can book this or other onward travel options such as journeys to Switzerland
or Italy if you wish.
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