Archive for germany

Thanks for Third Time with European Focus Private Tours

Friday, August 1st, 2014

August 1

Tim S. and his family just returned to Arizona after their third trip with European Focus since 2005. We appreciate our return guests! Here is a small selection of photos from their epic journey, which covered more than 3,000 kilometers in four countries over 12 days. (Not our normal pace, but necessary in order to fit in everything on their wish list)

At the historic Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, the former crossing place for allies into East Berlin.

At the historic Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, the former crossing place for allies into East Berlin.

Amazingly beautiful and getting better with each passing year as they rebuild following the devastation of World War II and then four decades of neglect under Communists. Dresden is one of our favorite places. The view from our usual hotel is inspiring.

Amazingly beautiful and getting better with each passing year as they rebuild following the devastation of World War II and then four decades of neglect under Communists. Dresden is one of our favorite places. The view from our usual hotel is inspiring.

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The best way to see Prague if you are limited on time is by one of the 'classic' jalopies which run around the city. We had a nice tour on the morning of our departure, including a ride up to the castle.

The best way to see Prague if you are limited on time is by one of the ‘classic’ jalopies which run around the city. We had a nice tour on the morning of our departure, including a ride up to the castle.

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We spent three nights just chilling out in Berchtesgaden, where the scenery is spectacular.

We spent three nights just chilling out in Berchtesgaden, where the scenery is spectacular.

We took a break from the dark side of Nürnberg with a lunch break at the Guldenen Stern, one of the oldest sausage kitchens in Germany. Lindsey did her best to try and like the beer. The other three sure didn't mind it!

We took a break from the dark side of Nürnberg with a lunch break at the Guldenen Stern, one of the oldest sausage kitchens in Germany. Lindsey did her best to try and like the beer. The other three sure didn’t mind it!

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Lunch in a special spot above the Mosel River and a visit to Germany's best castle wrapped up the adventure.

Lunch in a special spot above the Mosel River and a visit to Germany’s best castle wrapped up the adventure.

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More than half of the trips that we design and lead each season are with guests coming back for another adventure. We love to spoil our guests! Come and see for yourself and experience the European Focus difference.

Last-Minute Tour Opportunity in Glorious September

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This has not happened in more than a decade – we have an opening in the beautiful month of September! Tour Germany, or Ireland, or Austria or France during this lovely month. Dates of availability are between the 5th and the 21st. Don’t wait! Take this last-minute opportunity and fulfill your European travel dreams now.

Explore historic towns in Bavaria for example

Explore historic towns in Bavaria for example

Welcome Back Third Time

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

July 16

We make coffee stops special. We stopped in the half-timbered town of Alsfeld, Hessen for coffee after leaving the airport this morning.

We make coffee stops special. We stopped in the half-timbered town of Alsfeld, Hessen for coffee after leaving the airport this morning.

Tim S. and his family along with new wife Mary just arrived from Arizona to begin their 12-day adventure in Germany. Mary has never been to Germany, and she has roots here, so this is an extra special trip. Tim and his family last traveled with European Focus in 2005 and 2006. We are very happy to have this wonderful family back on this side of the Atlantic, and look forward to our adventures in Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Berchtesgaden, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Regensburg and the Rhein Valley around Bacharach.

Germany Small Group Tours Available for Booking Now

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

June 24

Thinking of a small group tour to Germany, Austria or the surrounding areas? Book now through our easy online form. It only takes a few minutes!

We take you to the places that the big bus tours skip.

We take you to the places that the big bus tours skip.

Germany Small Group Tours

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Toru guide and owner of European Focus (right) puts on his lederhosen only once per year, at Oktoberfest time. Here he is with his friend Markus Brenner, owner of our favorite restaurant in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Toru guide and owner of European Focus (right) puts on his lederhosen only once per year, at Oktoberfest time. Here he is with his friend Markus Brenner, owner of our favorite restaurant in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

We have a home and office in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany and it makes perfect sense to be headquartered there as this is one of the most famous of the medieval walled towns, and a place where we love to bring guests on our private, custom-designed micro group tours of Germany. To find out more, fill out a tour questionnaire today. It only takes a few minutes and can lead to a lifetime’s worth of memories.

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Christmas Markets Tour Germany 2014

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

May 2

There is one more opportunity for a Christmas Markets Tour starting on or about December 3 and lasting anywhere from a week to ten days. Please submit your application form prior to June 1, which is the cut-off date for tours in 2014. Remember that all tours conducted by European Focus are custom-designed around your wishes, interests and abilities. No cookie-cutter tours, no big buses and no hectic dawn-to-dusk itinerary. We limit our tours to families and groups of friends, with no mix and match with incompatible strangers.

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Categories : Europe Tours

This Couple Lives on Top of Roman History

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

May 2

Roland Geiger holds a tile nearly 2,000 years old found in the parking lot of his home in St. Wendel, Germany.

Roland Geiger holds a tile nearly 2,000 years old found in the parking lot of his home in St. Wendel, Germany.

I was invited to have dinner with Roland and Anne Geiger recently. As we sat in their cozy dining room heated by a wood-burning stove with our nostrils being savagely attacked by the wonderful smells coming out of the kitchen behind the wall, Roland entertained me with stories of what he has found on the property. More than once my mouth fell open, and it was not just from hunger. It was excitement at the thought that we were sitting on top of more than 2,000 years of history.

Roland casually pointed out a broken but still useful pot in the corner. ‘Used for cooking meat,’ he explained. They found animal bones and rocks inside. It now serves as a planter. He brought out a tile with wiggles scratched into its surface. ‘This was used to hold plaster,’ he explained. The Romans made these square tiles and attached them to the walls of houses with a concrete mix. Then they plastered over the wiggles, and the wiggles held the plaster in place. This ingenious system is copied today all over Europe with wallpaper that acts as an adhesive for paint.

Holding a Roman invention for applying plaster to a wall so that it would stick.

Holding a Roman invention for applying plaster to a wall so that it would stick.

But the most valuable thing in Roland’s collection, his ‘precious,’ is a broken tile in two parts with a faint etching on it. It could be a name. Yes, it probably is a name. ‘S, and then a very old e, the kind of letter used in the capital until about the year 1 and then in the provinces until around the year 100 AD,’ Roland pointed out as the wind was sucked out of my lungs by the thought that I was holding a piece of history in my not quite steady hands. ‘Then we have here a v, an i and an r and another i.’ The name ‘Seviri’ etched into the tile by the tile maker who needed to keep track of who had ordered which stack of tiles. Like attaching a sticky note, except one made with materials on hand. For this tile maker, it was a tile.

The name 'Seviri' is easily seen once the tile has been moistened

The name ‘Seviri’ is easily seen once the tile has been moistened

Roland sent images of the tile into the ether and soon had an answer from a professor in Madrid, who confirmed the purpose of the tile and the age.

Later Roland took me up into his barn where there are boxes and boxes of finds, many of them absolute treasures to the history nut. More fragments of the wiggly wall tiles. Pottery fragments from Roman and medieval times. All found in his garden, his parking lot, below his 17th century house which itself is a treasure worthy of another story.

Just a bunch of Roman stuff. Really? The heart starts to beat when one sees boxes of fragments of history in the attic of the Geiger home.

Just a bunch of Roman stuff. Really? The heart starts to beat when one sees boxes of fragments of history in the attic of the Geiger home.

Fittingly, Roland Geiger is an accomplished genealogist and excellent researcher who has helped many of our clients dig deeper into their family histories in the Saarland as well as in Rheinland Pfalz and surrounding areas of Germany.
Roland can be reached at [email protected] or through his web site at www.hfrg.com

Our Schedule for 2014 is Nearly Full

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

January 15

Want to go to Europe on a private tour but depressed to see that your choice of dates are already booked?

Our busy schedule does not mean you cannot have the pleasure of a private, custom-designed tour in Germany, Austria or Switzerland this year. Through our partnership with a reputable company we can offer our services to you in the heart of Europe through these trusted partners. Contact us for details.

Guiding tours in European for over 20 years