2012

A very successful first tour! It is amazing how much detail goes into each step of a trip. The main goal for the participants or travelers is to enjoy and not worry about the details of the day.

I was nervous and I figured if I could lead 49 High School Students and Adult leaders across the United States I could handle 18 people traveling in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Starting with the first trip, I have been blessed with wonderful hosts and partners at hotels, bus drivers, local tour guides, restaurants, museums and local tourist information centers. It takes a while to sort it all out and the best ones are very proactive and willing to help you out in many ways.

Some of the tour highlights in Germany were Nürnberg, Regensburg, Bavarian Country Side, Villages and a family operated spa resort in the Bavarian Forest. In the Czech Republic, formerly Bohemia and under Austrian rule when the participants ancestors lived there, we relished the ancestral villages in Western and Southern Bohemia, Sumava (Bohemian) mountains and forest, Cesky Krumlov and Prague.

Planning and running a heritage type tour is tricky, as one needs to make sure everyone gets to the places which are most important to them. It is crucial to have great team of local people to take smaller groups to their ancestor villages. Everyone was very satisfied with places visited and unexpected connections made with local inhabitants.

In addition, Wade set out to do more research on places to visit and stay in the Czech Republic. A visit to Nepomuk to review old Land records was also in the itinerary. It was amazing to handle and read through very old land records with information about ones ancestors. The oldest records I have searched in started in 1570. Some of the families, who later immigrated to Minnesota, were living in these German Bohemian villages in the Sixteenth century.

There was also time to make new connections in Germany before exploring Denmark, and the Netherlands.