HEIDELBERG

A STRONGHOLD OF ASTRONOMY

SCIENCE & HISTORY - SHORT TOUR

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S8

DATE

Free of Choice

DURATION

4 D. - 3 Nts

P.P. PRICE

On Request

MIN-MAX

8 - 15

HEIDELBERG - A STRONGHOLD OF ASTRONOMY

Science and Culture - SHORT TOUR

INTRODUCTION

Heidelberg, in the idyllic Neckar Valley with the charming panorama of the Baden-Württemberg mountain landscape, is our astronomical travel destination in April. Heidelberg was already a magical place for the great romantic poets, and the myth that arose in this way is still going around the world today. When the university was founded in 1386, the first and now oldest university in Germany was established. Numerous Nobel Prize winners have emerged here. The Heidelberg-based Academy of Sciences is one of the most important research and development centers in Germany. The Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University (ZAH) is actually the largest university research facility for astronomy. During a visit to the Königstuhl State Observatory, which belongs to the ZAH, we are introduced to the various telescopes and their use in the fields of stellar and extragalactic astrophysics. The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), a leader in the development of high-resolution telescope systems of adaptive optics, is another focus of astronomical research that is recognized worldwide. An exclusively guided tour is planned for us here. The visit and a guided tour in the new house of astronomy on the Königstuhl is completely new. The Speyer Technology Museum, which this year has a permanent exhibition of the Buran, a Russian orbiter, is still on the programme. Another highlight will be the visit to the ESOC (European Space Operation Center) in Darmstadt.

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Your own arrival by train / plane or car to Heidelberg. After checking in at the hotel. Presentation of the programme. Guided tour of the old town with an outside tour of Heidelberg Castle. Design and enjoy the first evening according to your own ideas.
3 nights / breakfast in the 3 * Hotel Molkenkur, Heidelberg

After breakfast, departure with the historic mountain railway up to the 568 m high Königstuhl. After a short hiking trail, we can look forward to a guided tour of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy this morning after the greeting in the SuW editorial office. In addition to a precision engineering workshop, the MPIA also houses a construction department and an electronics department, in which the immensely high requirements for space and equipment that are operated at extremely low temperatures must be met. The data centre of the European infrared satellite ISO and the German interferometry centre FRINGE are located at the institute. In addition to several exhibits, e.g. the infrared satellite ISO, we also see models of the telescopes on Calar Alto (Spain) and the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham (Arizona, USA). After lunch in the Königstuhl inn, the state observatory awaits us for a tour. Founded as the Grand Ducal Mountain Observatory in 1898, today’s university observatory is used scientifically in the fields of stellar and extragalactic astrophysics. Among other things, it is involved in the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona / USA and the H.E.S.S.-Telescope in Namibia. Depending on the weather, solar observation and / or in the evening for star observation with a well-equipped mobile observatory.
Today after breakfast we go to the Technik museum Speyer, where we will see the orbiter “Buran”. A 3D movie “Cosmic Voyage” is also planned here. You can have lunch in the technology museum. Then it goes on to Darmstadt to the European Space Operation Centre at ESOC. Here we are given a guided tour of the surveillance centre’s premises. The building in which the main control room is located, and various satellite models are visited. Part of the 90-minute tour will be a short film about the tasks and goals of ESOC. After returning to Heidelberg, enjoy the evening at leisure.
Breakfast and farewell in the hotel. We also recommend a visit to the more than 400-year-old Botanical Garden in Heidelberg. Founded as a medicinal herb garden in 1593, it is one of the oldest facilities of its kind in Germany. The Heidelberg Zoo is right next to it.

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Optional Day Tour to Vevey and Montreux with Chillon Fort

In the morning after breakfast, the coach takes you to the French part of Switzerland to Vevey to the Chaplin Museum. Charlie Chaplin lived here with his family from 1953 until his death in 1977. On a guided tour, we visit the manor house, which has been restored and restored to its former glory. This is where Chaplin’s private and family life comes back to life. The studio-museum, newly built in 2016, is dedicated to Chaplin’s films and his impoverished childhood in London, which influenced his work. At the foot of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps, you can stroll through the landscaped garden that Chaplin was so delighted with. Visit Montreux for lunch and enjoy the view of Lake Geneva. Exclusive lunch in a selected restaurant directly on Lake Geneva. The third part of the day tour takes us to Chillon Castle, also located directly on Lake Geneva. A visit to the castle gives us an overview of eight centuries of architecture, history and culture. (8-9 hour day tour):

Picture gallery for The Optional Day Tour

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ITINERARY

Scheduled flight with Icelandair from Frankfurt to Iceland at noon (departure 2 p.m., arrival 3:35 p.m.). Get a first impression of the volcanic island with the 45-minute transfer from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík. During a city tour we visit the most important and at the same time most photographically attractive buildings in the capital: Perlan, Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa. Dinner in the hotel and brief presentation of the travel program. 1 night / half board in the Hótel Cabin in Reykjavík.

Today we take the ring road from Reykjavík to the northeast of the island to Mývatn, where we stop on the way. Which route to take in the west of Iceland is decided spontaneously based on the weather and light conditions. A longer stop at Skagafjörður, the epitome of rural Iceland, is firmly planned. Glaumbær’s church and historic peat yard offer attractive photo opportunities.

In the late afternoon we finally reach the Mývatn. In the middle of the North Atlantic, we are in one of the regions with the lowest rainfall in Europe and often with clear skies. Since the aurora oval is almost always above this region, the chances of observing the northern lights after dark are extremely good.

5 nights / half board in the Hótel Gígur or Sel Hotel.

The course of the program today and for the following 3 days is primarily based on the weather and light conditions with regard to photography. This can lead to adjustments and changes in the process shown here.

On the first morning (14.09.18) there will be an introduction to the wonderful world of the northern lights. Further lectures and seminars will be held by Stefan Seip after breakfast or before or after dinner.

In the evening it is dark enough from 8:30 p.m. to see the northern lights.

In and around the Mývatn, almost all known volcanic forms on earth can be found in a very limited geographical area. Mývatn’s surroundings were largely created by the active volcanic system of the Krafla. An asphalt road leads into the central caldera, under which there is a magma chamber at a depth of only 3 km. We walk to the lava flows that flowed in the 1970s and 1980s and to Maar Víti. Even before the last series of eruptions, NASA was so fascinated by the strange environment that it sent its future lunar pilots there for training. From a photographic point of view, the bizarre constructions of a geothermal power plant and the solfataras field at Námafjall a little further south on the ring road are particularly attractive.

In the afternoon there is the option of visiting the Mývatn Nature Spa (entry ISK 4300, -). If you don’t want to swim, you will find attractive photo opportunities in the immediate vicinity or you can take a look around the town of Reykjahlið, which is located on the lakeshore.

Today’s tour takes us around the Mývatn on a distance of around 50 km. In the unique area there are numerous strange lava formations, attractive bays, pseudocraters and rare bird species. Among other things, we can admire the pseudocraters of Skutustaðir right next to our hotel on a peninsula, which were created by the collision of lava and water. The lava formation Dimmuborgir (the dark castles), the bizarre rocks on Kalfaströnd and the rapids of the Laxá are further highlights in today’s program. En route stops will again be decided spontaneously.

The waterfall of the gods, the Goðafoss, is our first destination today. The historic waterfall in the Skjálfandafljót River is one of the most beautiful and famous on the island. According to legend, the god þorgeir is said to have thrown the last pagan images of gods into the Goðafoss around the year 1000 after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion.

The further route leads us more or less along the Skjálfandafljót to its confluence with the Atlantic. There is the pretty town of Húsavík by the bay of Skjálfandi. It has become famous for the whales, which can be found in the bay with a high degree of certainty. In addition to dolphins and humpback whales, blue whales are also spotted time and again. You have the opportunity to take part in a whale watching tour (optional, 3 hours, approx. ISK 10,500, bookable on site). The whale museum (ISK 1800, -) and the harbor front with a view of the year-round snow-covered mountains beyond the bay are also worth a visit.

On the way back to Mývatn we visit the geyser Ystihver, whose eruptions occur every few minutes.

The endless lava deserts Oddáðahraun and Mývatnsöræfi extend east of the Mývatn. The only body of water in this bone-dry environment is the mighty glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. In its lower reaches it falls over several waterfalls into the deep canyon Jökulsárgljúfur. We visit the Dettifoss, Iceland’s most powerful waterfall, as well as the somewhat smaller Hrafnagilsfoss. The further organization of the day is decided spontaneously.

Today we leave the Mývatn. First stop is Akureyri, the capital of Northern Iceland. Here is the largest population center in the country outside of the capital district. We take a tour of the sympathetic city, which, thanks to its favorable climate, is astonishingly green despite its northern location. Among other things, we visit the botanical garden, the Akureyrarkirkja(Akureyris Church) and the cozy city center.

From Akureyri there is a short stop in Blönduós to Víðidalur in the north-west of the country. The Kolugil Gorge invites you to stop here – because of the photogenic waterfall, maybe we will see also around 600 – 700 Icelandic horses are herded together from the high pastureshere. From the Kolugil it is only a short drive to the Hotel, where we will spend the night.

2 nights / half board Hotel near Laugarbakkinear

The accommodation / lodge Laugarbakki is one of the most famous Reirerhöfe in Iceland. Today we are allowed to take part in a horse demonstration at the nearby Gauksmyriequestrian center and visit the stables. Then we pay a visit to the Vatnsnes peninsula. You can see a seal colony at the famous elephant-shaped rock Hvitserkur. We get even closer to the marine mammals at a farm on the other side of the peninsula. Finally we make a stop in the village of Hvammstangi. There you have, among other things, the opportunity to buy typical wool products directly from a manufactorer.

With several short stops we drive to Reykjavik after breakfast, free time and transfer to the hotel.

In the morning transfer to the airport and flight back to Germany

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Your Science historian and lecturer:
with various Scientists and Lecturer along with the Team Leader

HOTEL

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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TOUR COST

Tour date:
Free of Choice 

Tour Price:
On Request 

Individual tour can be organised on Request

INCLUDED

Overnight stays with breakfast in a 3 * hotel, Heidelberg
Local astronomical support
Visit and guided tour of the state observatory on the Königsstuhl
Visit and tour of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Visit and tour of the ESOC (European Space Operation Center in Darmstadt)
Visit to the Technik Museum Speyer (Buran exhibition with guided tour)

NOT INCLUDED

 Optional excursions, as shown in the travel programme 
 Other meals and drinks
 Tips
 Arrival and Departure
● Any International airfare

INFORMATION

We recommend that you take travel cancellation insurance (RRV). This should be completed immediately after booking. We strongly recommend that you take international health and ambulance insurance, ideally as a complete insurance that also includes, for example, travel accident, luggage and travel liability insurance. In contrast to the RRV, all of these insurances can be taken out immediately before the start of the journey. We would be happy to book your desired insurance for you.

In Heidelberg, the summers are warm and partly cloudy and the winters are very cold, windy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from -1°C to 27°C and is rarely below -7°C or above 32°C.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Heidelberg for warm-weather activities is from mid-June to mid September.

EQUIPMENTS

Binoculars and spotting scope if available
 Walking shoes for the walking tours
Rain cover / jacket, Sun protection
Daypack
Folding stool (if needed)
(The specified list is not intended to be exhaustive. More details will be shared about 4 weeks before the tour)

GENERAL INFORMATION

●  We reserve the right to change the schedule of excursions, sightseeing and observation programmes – even at short notice due to natural events such as volcanic activity.
The tour can be cancelled by the tour operator, if the minimum number of participants is not met. In this case, Wittmann Travel e.K. can withdraw from the contract 28 days before the start of the journey. As a rule, however, we inform all participants earlier.

PAYMENT MODE

● 20% of the tour price (billing amount) has to be paid at the time of confirmation.
● Balance payment is to be made 28 days prior to departure.

TRAVEL ADVICE

Travel documents:
Since Heidelberg – Germany is the part of the Schengen area, German and Austrian citizens only need a valid identity card or passport to enter the country. Citizens of other nationalities should contact your Foreign Office or the respective embassy for information about the entry regulations that apply to you.

FEEDBACK

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HEIDELBERG - SHORT TOUR

A STRONGHOLD OF ASTRONOMY

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S8

DATE

Free Of Choice

DURATION

4 D. - 3 Nts

P.P. PRICE

On Request

MIN - MAX

8 - 15

Online Request

* Link to data security page www.wittman-travel.de/datasecurity/.

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HEIDELBERG - A GERMAN STRONGHOLD OF ASTRONOMY

Current Status

Tour Active

Booking Status

Minimum participants booked

Eligibility

RTPCR test required (24 hours prior to travel) even for vaccinated (Covid19) and recovered participants

Theme Leader

Name of theme leader

Language

English and German

Please Note

Program can be changed without prior notice
Also possible to book half double room