East Germany 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall!

View of Colditz Castle
View of Colditz Castle

On Saturday 9th November, Germany marked 30 years since the Berlin Wall was brought down, heralding the end of both Communism in Eastern Europe and the isolation of the Cold War. Since then Eastern Germany has been slowly emerging as a tourist region and is full of hidden treasures. We designed our “Exciting Eastern Germany” tour to give you the opportunity to discover this region and visit historic cities, superb castles and palaces set amongst spectacular scenery and numerous beautifully preserved medieval towns.
 
The tour starts in Potsdam, a short train ride from Berlin where you can visit the Reichstag, seat of the German Parliament, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie or the Glienicker Bridge, where captured spies were exchanged during the cold war. Berlin’s Museumsinsel (Museum Island) is also worth a visit. It is a unique ensemble of five museums, including the Pergamon Museum, all built on a small island in Berlin’s Spree River and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will also spend time in Dresden, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It was all but destroyed by Allied Bombings in 1945 but since restored in historic detail to its former glory. There are plenty of palaces, churches and stately buildings to visit, including the Zwinger, the Semper Opera House and the world-famous Church of Our Lady. The best way to enjoy the striking silhouette of this beautiful city is from a steamboat on the River Elbe. 
 
During the tour you will also see some spectacular landscapes, including the fascinating Spreewald Biosphere Reserve with its enchanting green wetland and thick forests and where the group will enoy a traditional punting boat ride through an intricate network of romantic streams. We will also visit the Saxon Switzerland National Park with the famous rock formation “Bastei”. It has stunning sandstone formations that look quite unlike anything else in Europe and 400 sq km of hiking routes.
 
A highlight for many of the group on the tour last year was the tour of Colditz Castle, where our guide detailed the legendary escapes made by Allied PoWs imprisoned here from 1940 to 1945, from a prison considered by the German military authorities at the time to be escape-proof.  In the museum you can see the actual escapes artefacts and uniforms produced by the creative POWs, and in the Loft there is a full size replica of the glider built as part of a an ingenious escape plan although never used.
 
There is so much to see and do for everyone in East Germany and in this post we have only described  a small part of it! However we hope to have wet your appetite and may have inspired you to come with us on a tour of “Exciting Eastern Germany”!