NÖRDLINGEN

ON THE TRAIL OF THE RIES METEORITE

ASTROGEOLOGY - SHORT TOUR

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S9

DATE

Free of Choice

DURATION

5 D. - 4 Nts

P.P. PRICE

On Request

MIN-MAX

8 - 15

NÖRDLINGEN - ON THE TRAIL OF THE RIES METEORITE

ASTROGEOLOGY - SHORT tour

INTRODUCTION

A study experience of a very special kind with astro-geological hikes in the National Geopark Ries and Geopark Swabian Alb leads us in the spring month of May to Northern Bavaria, to the historic city of Nördlingen. A cosmic catastrophe, the collapse of an approx. 1 km large stone meteorite about 15 million years ago, formed a geologically unique landscape in this region. Due to the uniqueness of this meteorite crater, NASA trained its science astronauts here in Ries at the end of the 1960s in order to be geologically well prepared for the Apollo 14 and Apollo 17 moon landings. Not the moon, but a world-class museum, the “Rieskrater Museum”, invites us in Nördlingen to an extensive visit with a guided tour. From here we start our astro-geological journey through time on the trail of the Ries meteorite, which also leads us to the globally unique meteorite crater Steinheimer Becken in the Swabian Alb. A guided city tour through the former free and imperial city of Nördlingen and a wonderful view from the 90 m high city tower, the Daniel, should of course not be missed. A special feature of this city located on the romantic street is the only completely preserved and completely accessible ring of fortifications in Germany with its mighty towers and gates. Due to the protection of this city wall, the picturesque old town has retained its medieval appearance to this day.

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Arrival by train / plane or car to Nördlingen. After the check-in in the guest house you will be welcomed. Then enjoy a guided city tour through the medieval streets of the old town to get to know each other. It is the beginning of a romantic journey into the past. After dinner there will be a discussion of the travel programme with an introductory lecture by Dr. Tilmann Althaus on the topic of travel.
4 nights / half board in the 4 * guest house, Nördlingen

After breakfast we visit the Rieskrater Museum in the heart of the city, which is probably unique of its kind. Here, on a special tour, we learn how the Ries disaster unfolded, what happened afterwards and how the landscape became what it is now. The Nördlinger Ries is one of the best preserved and researched large meteorite craters on earth. Today’s astro-geological explorations take us by comfortable coach to the Riegelberg and the Ofnethölen, as well as to at least two of the nearby quarries, which we visit depending on the weather. On the way there is also the manor Villa rustica, which has been carefully restored in its foundations and is of considerable dimensions, which testifies to the presence of the Roman Empire (built at the end of the 1st century AD). After a break with a packed lunch, our bus trip takes us into the special landscape of the meteorite crater Steinheimer Becken. The geological history of the Steinheim Basin is so unique that it can be said that the history of science was written here. The Pharion sand pit is the largest outcrop in the Steinheim Basin and the most important fossil point of the tertiary layers that line the crater. After an eventful day and the knowledge gained about the different types of rock and their history, we can look forward to the return trip and to a free evening.
Today we visit the Benedictine Abbey of Neresheim. which is 582 m above sea level above the village of Neresheim on the Ulrichsberg. According to old monastery tradition, the branch is said to have been founded in 777 by the Bavarian duke Tassilo.
In the morning there is the opportunity to visit the interesting city wall and city museum. A stair climb to the lookout point from the city tower, the Daniel, offers a wonderful view and orientation over the Ries. For lunch, take the bus to the neighbouring town of Wallerstein. The Princely Brewery-Restaurant Wallerstein is located here (since 1698). On the high coral rock with the wall rings of the castle, which was built in the 12th century, there is a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape as far as Nördlingen. Depending on the weather, we visit various geotopes after lunch, such as the Aumühle quarry, where we use a hammer and chisel to get to know the rock masses that formed 15 million years ago (during the so-called Ries impact). These are deposited on top of each other in the form of colourful breccia and tufa-like suavity. The evening is free to look back on what has been experienced today. Or let yourself be enchanted by the flair of the medieval town of Nördlingen in the lantern light on a romantic tour.

After breakfast, farewell meeting in the guest house. There is, among other things, the opportunity to visit the railway museum in Nördlingen or to hike the planet path.

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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 Astro-Geologiest and lecturerer:
different Lecturers and the Tour Leader

HOTEL

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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TOUR COST

Tour date:
Free of Choice

Tour Price:
On Request

Individual tours can be organised on request

INCLUDED

✓  4 nights with half board in the 4 * guest house, Nördlingen
 Welcome to the 4 * guest house with a welcome drink
 Guided tour of the old town in Nördlingen
✓  Astronomical and geological guided hikes and bus tours in the Ries crater and Steinheim basin
✓  Visit and guided tour of the Nördlingen Meteorite Crater Museum

NOT INCLUDED

 Optional excursions, as shown in the travel program
 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 Noerdlinger, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are very cold, windy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 27°F to 75°F and is rarely below 13°F or above 86°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Noerdlinger for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.

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 INFORMATIONS

●  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 Noerdlingen – Germany is the part of the Schengen area, German and Austrian citizens only need a valid identity card or passport to enter Bern. 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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NÖRDLINGEN - ASTROGEOLOGY - SHORT TOUR

ON THE TRAIL OF THE RIES METEORITE

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S9

DATE

Free of Choice

DURATION

5 D. - 4 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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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