Prague to Munich

Faculty: Seth Sikkema and Ryan Halley
Class meeting time: Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Trip Dates: May, 2025



This tour will highlight the Nazi and Communist Resistance movements as they occurred throughout central Europe.  To start the tour, we visit the culturally, historically and artistically-rich city of Prague where we will visit castles, cathedrals, drink heavenly coffee, interact at town markets and take in a concert.  Then we travel to the Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Moving back west, we will enter the Austrian Alps and visit the visually stunning towns of Salzburg and Innsbruck.  While here we will take a bicycle ride through the story of the Von Trapp family, hike up to the Eagle’s Nest and experience a day of canyoning in the Alps.  During our final days we stop in Fussen to see fairytale castles before ending in Munich, where we contrast the evil of a Nazi concentration camp with the excesses of former German barons. 

We plan to visit 3 countries (Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany) and about 7 cities, of which 3 are considered crowded cities.  Please note that this will be an active trip including long days walking (usually 10 to 12 miles), several mountainous hikes (up to 8 miles at elevation), and adventures sports such as canyoning or rafting. Thus, you will need to be in good physical condition to participate in this trip.


There are two focal points to emphasize the theme of peace, justice, and reconciliation.  The first is obvious: traveling to Europe provides a natural discussion point around WWII and Communism.  We intend to utilize first-account readings (The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom – Dutch Resistance; Helga’s Diary – Helga Weiss – Czech Jew sent to Terezin and Auschwitz) to highlight the seriousness of extremism and WWII.  These accounts inspire natural discussion points on peace, justice, and reconciliation.  The second focal point is in the context of historical Christianity.  What role did the Reformation play in Europe, and how do we balance the tension between a fight for change against a desire to retain tradition?  And what role do we have as Christians to reconcile with those who fight for change, under the same Christian banner?

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1 Portland to Prague
Day 2 Prague: * Travel to Prague * Old Town Square *Jewish Quarter
Day 3 Prague:

* Tour *Prague Castle *St. Vitus Cathedral *Charles Bridge

*String quartet
Day 4 Prague: * Terezin Concentration Camp *Free time
Day 5 Prague/Cesky Krumlov: *Travel to Cesky Krumlov *Night boat trip
Day 6 Cesky Krumlov: *Cesky Krumlov Castle *Free afternoon
Day 7 Cesky Krumlov/Salzburg:  *Travel to Salzburg (4 hrs) * Old Town * Fortress/Church
Day 8 Salzburg: Day trip to Eagle’s Nest
Day 9 Salzburg: Sound of Music bike tour *Free afternoon
Day 10 Salzburg/Halstatt: Tour of Salt Mine * Hiking
Day 11 Halstatt/Innsbruck:Old town * Cable Car * Hiking
Day 12 Innsbruck: Day trip for canyoning/rafting
Day 13 Innsbruck: Hiking *Free afternoon
Day 14 Innsbruck/Fussen: Old town * Bavarian dinner
Day 15 Fussen: Day trip to Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castles
Day 16 Fussen/Munich: Marienplatz * Glockenspiel * Tour Residenz 
Day 17 Munich: Day trip to Dachau * Viktualienmarkt * Classical concert
Day 18 Munich: Free day
Day 19 Return to PDX

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