Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Photo: The Crucifixion Passion Play Oberammergau 2010

Hello friends...I'm finally trying to get back to my blog and I'm happy to have you checking out my lastest entry (I promise I won't wait so long to make another)...and hey, since it has been so long, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I'm pleased today to write and tell you all about one of CSA's tours this summer (the other is, of course, our annual European Summer Study Program in Salzburg, Austria). It is called A SLICE OF HEAVEN and will feature going to the world famous Oberammergau Passion Play! What is that? Well, I have video posted at the end of this entry which will inform you all about it. Now here is the information on the tour...I have a few spaces still available, so if you want them, CALL IMMEDIATELY TO MY OFFICE (1-800-443-8687). The play only takes place every 10 is filling up fast and this is a once in a lifetime experience. Join me in Bavaria this summer!


A delightful, spiritual, first-class tour planned to the last detail of Germany’s Bavaria & Austria's Salzkammergut Lake Region, focusing on getting closer to Nature, the Heavens and God. The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. During the Thirty Years' War, after much suffering and also many deaths caused by plague, the surviving population of the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau vowed that they would perform the play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ every ten years, if they were spared from extinction. They kept their promise for the first time in 1634! As early as the middle of the 18th century, spectators came to Oberammergau attracted by the great power and mystique of the play. In 2010 Oberammergau, home to skilled wood carvers since the 12th century and known for beautiful scenes from the scriptures and fairy tales painted on the walls of its traditional buildings, will perform the play for the 41st time, maintaining the continuity of this unique world-famous event.CSA has escorted tours to see the Oberammergau Passion Play six times, in 1960, '70, '80, '84 (the 350th year anniversary), '90, 2000AND will go again in 2010 to this beautiful land at the foot of the Alps, the cross roads between East, West, North and South, which offer traditional Hospitality, Peaceful Ambiance & an Enchanting, spiritual way of life. Come join us....

July 20-29, 2010.

The A SLICE OF HEAVEN TOUR includes...

  • Roundtrip International Airfare via Lufthansa German Airlines in/out Boston, MA or Newark, NJ
  • Ground Transfers via private Mercedes Benz five-star motorcoach (equipped with A/C, WC, and beverage service) and area-wide city bus passes in Oberammergau & Salzburg
  • First Class Hotel Accommodations for 8 nights & European Buffet Breakfasts (2 in downtown Oberammergau, in the Hotel Alte Post with its frescoed facade or the chalet-style Parkhotel Sonnenhof; and 6 in the splendid Hotel Untersberg = all delightful 4 Star Superior hotels featuring Satellite-TV, mini-bar & other special in-room amenities).
  • Delicious Meals: 4 lunches, 5 dinners, daily full breakfast buffets / featuring full-course, local renown cuisine that reflects the culture (also selected meals on flights)
  • Comprehensive Sightseeing City Walking Tours of Munich, Oberammergau, Innsbruck, and Salzburg
  • Day Excursion Tours & Entrance Fees to attractions as mentioned in the itinerary: Oberammergau Museum, Neuschwanstein Castle, Swarovski Crystal Works, Kehlsteinhaus, Dokumentation Museum, Königsee Boat Ride, Hallstadt Bone Chapel, Maria Gern and Maria Plain Pilgrimage Churches and the Salzkammergut Region
  • Ticket to Oberammergau Passion Play 2010 in Category 1 Seating & Official Passion Play 2010 Program Book
  • Concert in Salzburg's Schloss Mirabell Palace
  • Austrian Folk Dance & Music Program
  • Invitation to the CSA Summer Study Program’s Finale Performance Program (music & entertainment)
  • CSA Escort, Bill Schneberger throughout tour.
  • All Tourist US & German & Austrian Departure and VATtaxes, all custom fees, all tips and service charges at hotels (except for individually requested personal services, such as room service, mini-bar usage, laundry, etc.)
  • All road/Autobahn/bridge service charges, taxes & tolls and all border crossing fees.
  • Portage of 1 suitcase per person in/out of all hotels.
  • Automatic $100,000 Flight Insurance Coverage.
  • Travel Documents, CSA Luggage Tags, and Informative Pre-Departure & Return CSA News Letters.

NOT INCLUDED: Passport fees, Visa fees (there are no Visa requirements for passengers traveling on a U.S. or Canadian Passport), Accident, baggage & trip cancellation/interruption insurance and/or insurance of any kind (highly recommended – travel insurance forms sent in advance of departure, costs range from $164+ depending on age of participant), Connecting flights/transportation to/from gateway city (arranged on request), 4 lunches & 3 dinners, beverages during meals (standard beverages always included for all breakfasts), items of a personal nature (such as but not limited to room service, valet costs, use of in-room mini-bar contents, telephone, fax, internet, laundry charges, beverages, fees), single room supplements, room upgrades, rooms other than noted, etc.). Although very rare, the price of the tour does not cover any cost or expense associated with your return home, should you leave the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to illness or as a result of official action by the government of any country visited.


  • Day 1 - Tuesday - July 20 Our Tour departures are from Boston's Logan & Newark’s Liberty International Airports, where we board the comfortable and convenient Lufthansa direct flights to Munich, Germany. Meals are served during flights. Beverages, Music and Movies are provided for our enjoyment. D/B
  • Day 2 - Wednesday - July 21 Welcome to Bavaria! After our morning arrival, we board our private motorcoach along with our CSA Escort, Bill Schneberger, to start our very own Slice of Heaven Tour. We travel nearby to downtown Munich for a leisurely city walking tour of the downtown area (schedule to depend on punctual arrival of flights) with a visit to the gothic Frauenkirche (Cathedral of our Blessed Lady): a major city landmark with its Twin Towers; then the old parish Church of St. Peter; and Marienplatz, the heart of the city, to see the neo-Gothic Rathaus with its world famous Carillon (Glockenspiel). We enjoy a traditional Munich lunch of Rostbratwurst with Sauerkraut and herbed-potatoes in the Ratskeller (concealed in the basement of the Rathaus, a true Bavarian Beer-Cellar restaurant complete with beamed, vaulted & frescoed ceilings, medieval lanterns and Fräulein waitresses in costume!). Time after lunch to visit the Viktualeinmarkt, then we ride through the beautiful Bavarian countryside to the festival town of Oberammergau. En route we make a stop at the Benedictine Monastery Ettal, founded in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian. Upon arrival we make our hotel check-in then enjoy relaxed dinner in hotel and overnight. Sweet dreams! B/L/D
  • Day 3 - Thursday - July 22 After a good nights rest and delightful breakfast, we enjoy a walking tour of the picturesque and quaint Oberammergau with a local guide, make stops at the Museum and several famous wood-carving shops; with plenty of opportunities for shopping and photos in this amazing village. Every inch of this place oozes Charm and History. Return to hotel for lunch, then spend the afternoon and evening in the magnificent Passion Play Theater viewing the spectacularly moving Passion Play production depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ. During the two hour intermission our dinner is served at the hotel. Return to hotel for overnight. B/L/D
  • Day 4 - Friday - July 23 We begin our magical day by traveling nearby to the 700-year-old town of Fussen, situated at the southern end of the Romanic Road; set before the impressive backdrop of the Alps and the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain). We enjoy an almost Royal horse-drawn Carriage Ride up to King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein to take a guided tour and an intimate look at this Fairy-Tale Fantasy castle. Next we meander on via the scenic, snow-capped mountain road en route to Innsbruck, Austria for a city walking tour with time provided for lunch and shopping on our own. Once on our way to Salzburg we make a stop in Wattens at the Swarovski Crystal Works to tour the international showroom, museum, gardens and factory shop and see the world through Crystal Eyes, a fascinating experience. Arrive in the evening at Salzburg’s perfectly located Hotel Untersberg, nestled at the very foot of Austria’s magnificent Untersberg (mountain). Hotel check-in, dinner in the hotel’s locally celebrated restaurant, overnight. B/D
  • Day 5 - Saturday - July 24 After some peaceful rest and perhaps a morning glimpse of seeing the neighboring cable car climb up into the clouds, we go into the simply wonderful downtown Salzburg, where our comprehensive walking tour includes: the Dom Cathedral (774 AD), 13th century St. Peter’s Church and Cemetery, & the world famous pedestrian shopping street – the Getridegasse – with Mozart’s Birthhouse, the Residence Square and grandiose fountain, the Festspielehaus (International Festival Hall) and uber-manicured Mirabell Gardens. Afternoon free for touring and sightseeing on own, return to hotel to dress for our delicious Feinschmecher (gourmet) ‘Dinner & Concert’ in Schloß Mirabell (the Mirabell Palace, a Baroque masterpiece built under the reign of Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau in 1606). The Salzburger Schlosskonzerte, held in the most resplendent of concert halls, the Marmorsaal (Marble Hall), belongs to one of the world’s largest concert series. Needless to say, the hills are alive with the sound of music. Private bus transport return to hotel, overnight. B/D
  • Day 6 - Sunday - July 25 This calm and serene Sunday morning we go into the city to attend Church. You may remain in one Church for an entire service or 'church hop' with your tour escort, providing an opportunity to see and hear several incredible Masses... in the Dom Cathedral, opulent St. Peter's and the stately, ecclesiastical Franziskanerkirche… truly a Glorious Morning. Afternoon free; touring and sightseeing on own (tour the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Schloß Hellbrunn, Residence State rooms; enjoy a performance at the Marionnetten Theater or the 5 o'clock concert at St. Peter's; rent a bike for the afternoon; tour the Stiegl Beer Brewery; visit the Haydn/Baroque/Modern Art or Toy museums or just spend the day in the city strolling along the Salzach river and roaming the city.) We are Salzburg specialists at CSA! Ask and Ye Shall Receive recommendations aplenty on what to See & Do!! Return on own to hotel, overnight. B
  • Day 7 - Monday - July 26 We take an exhilarating excursion to Berchtesgaden and Königsee, Germany today. First we drive (via private motor-coach) a stunning route through lush Alpine meadows, craggy mountain peaks, and green forests into the charming town of Berchtesgaden to visit the educational Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum and gallery which offers a thorough examination of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Then we take private buses up the Kehlstein (mountain) enjoying truly spectacular panoramic views to the Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler’s holiday retreat, The Eagle’s Nest). Next we venture through a tunnel lined with panels of natural rock, continuing on to ride Hitler’s grandiose brass-plated elevator up into the nest! Upon our descent, we progress once again up into the mountains as far as the roads will permit, to behold the discrete & divine pilgrimage church, Maria Gern, which offers a wealth of breathtaking scenery. Every glance around the hills will make you want to yodel! Next, our lunch stop just minutes away is at the marvelous mountain guest house, Gasthof Duerrlehen, where we feast on the local delicacy, Baurenschmauß (Farmer’s Delight), fresh local sauerkraut, home made Semmelknödel (bread dumpling), Kochwurst, smoked pork loin & roasted pork shank, followed by Hausgebacht Topfenstrudel (homemade sweet cottage cheese strudel) for dessert. Perhaps wash it all down with locally brewed Wheat beer…or Farmer’s Schnapps to experience true Gemütlichkeit!? After this sumptuous meal, we continue our journey to the crystal-clear glacial Lake Königssee (King’s Lake) dwarfed by Mount Watzmann and situated in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park. There we take a tranquil electric motor boat ride on the shimmering emerald-green waters to the architectural jewel, St. Barthololomä (patron saint of alpine herdsmen & milkmaids), a Catholic pilgrimage chapel on the Hirschau peninsula dating back to the 12th century which features two Onion domes, a red domed roof and beautiful stucco-work. Neighboring the chapel stands the former hunting lodge of Berchtesgaden's Prince-Provosts and Bavaria's Kings. This haven of peace and quiet is truly Heaven on earth. Return in evening, dinner on own, overnight. B/L
    • Day 8 - Tuesday - July 27 Our adventure leads us today to the breathtaking Salzkammergut region (Estate of the Salt Chamber) stretching from Salzburg to the Dachstein, a magical world of fresh air, unspoilt nature, evergreen forests, deep lakes and landscapes full of joie de vivre! Our first stop is at the hilltop shrine Maria Plain pilgrimage church, home to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary which was crowned in 1751 (for which Mozart composed his Coronation Mass Krönungsmesse). Then on to nearby Mondsee (Moon Lake), a small picturesque village on the northern tip of a crescent-shaped lake, to promenade along the picturesque market square lined with colorful buildings to the parish of Pfarrkirche St. Michael, formerly a monastery church of Benedictine monks (also the wedding church used for the filming The Sound of Music). Next, to the ancient town St. Wolfgang along one of Austria’s most romantic lakes, Wolfgangsee to see the famous polyptych by Michael Pacher; the intricate and masterfully carved altarpiece in the Pfarrkirche St. Wolfgang…a site to behold. We enjoy lunch by the lake at the Gasthof Pension Falkenstein, where the Hödlmoser Familie will prepare a menu full of culinary delights from the region: Frittatensuppe (crepe soup), Mostbratel (beef filet cooked in cider casserole), gemischter Salat (mixed salad) and Upper Austria’s specialty dessert, Hausgemachter Linzertorte (yum!). After lunch we continue to one of Austria’s World Cultural Heritage sites, Hallstatt, squeezed into a narrow tract of land between the cliffs and alluring Lake Hallstättersee. This quaint town is considered to be Salzkammergut’s “Cradle of Civilization” and captures the hearts of all who see it! Here we stroll the compressed passageways lined with charming shops and cafes. Our purpose here is to visit the “Beinhaus” (bone house), part of the Catholic parish church since 1720 and created because cremation was not allowed in former days. We see in person why this town is truly a World Heritage site. A day well spent in this treasury of heavenly life. Return in early evening, dinner on own, overnight. B/L

    • Day 9 - Wednesday - July 28 This morning, attend CSA 2010 Summer Study Program's student performance Concert in the nearby Grödiger Hauptschule or enjoy this last day on your own, exploring the enticing and numerous offerings abound! This evening, we celebrate with a Farewell party complete with traditional Austrian food, music and folk dancing in the popular Ceremonial Hall of the enchanting Gasthof Schorn, owned and operated by the Familie Ziegler since 1880. Return to hotel (across the street), overnight. B/D
    • Day 10 - Thursday - July 29 After an early morning breakfast, we board our motorcoach (alas!) and travel to the Munich International Airport for our return to USA, where we arrive stateside on the same day with lifelong memories of our own personal Slice of Heaven.Danke schön und Auf Wiedersehen! God Bless and Enjoy Your Slice!
    • A SLICE OF HEAVEN TOUR ESCORT:. William ‘Bill’ Schneberger, Art History Professor at Bergen Community College and recently retired Fine Arts/Art History teacher at Northern Valley Regional High School, has taught Fine Arts and Art History for over twenty years at both the high school and college levels. Bill holds B.A. and M.A. degrees and studied in a doctoral program at Columbia University. He is a Fulbright scholar (Belgium/Netherlands), a Bard Fellowship Recipient and has studied in Italy as a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar. Bill is also a recipient of the R.I.S.D. Honors Program for Excellence in Art Education Award, the Baltimore Institute College of Art Teaching Award, the New Jersey Governor's Teaching Award, and has been named ‘Northern Valley Teacher of the Year’ and ‘Bergen County Teacher of the Year Award.’ He has also been honored at the White House as Advisor to the Northern Valley Academic Decathlon Team. Bill has a passion for travel and foreign study and has many years of leadership experience in European travel. Bill has been a Staff Member of CSA’s European Summer Study Program in Salzburg, Austria and associated with CSA since 1991. Bill’s affable nature, commitment to learning and zest for life virtually ensures all participants of a quality travel experience filled with enjoyment & lasting memories.

      TOUR COST:

      $4995 per person adult/double
      $4795 per person child (11 years or under on 7/20/10 with accompanied adult)
      $500 Single Room Supplement (limited & offered on a 1st request/receive basis)
      $200 Optional Flight Deviation Fee (depart earlier or stay longer, call CSA for details).
      [$500 per person deposit due with all reservations - Payment in full due 5/1/10]


      To reserve space on this tour, complete the reservation form & mail it to the address indicated with a $500 deposit to “CSA Tours”. Deposits and payments can be paid by check, money order or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). Since the tour is limited in size, interested persons should apply as soon as possible to begin processing and confirm availability.Reservations are accepted as long as vacancies remain.For immediate reservations via credit card, call 1-800-443-8687.The deadline for accepting reservations is March 26, 2010.All reservations will be acknowledged in writing.