Heritage Tour 2014 – Post #1

We had a smooth and tolerable flight! Everyone we expected was waiting at Newark airport for the Schwenkfelder Heritage Tour. Two couples were flying separately to Berlin – one from Florida through France and our Kiwi friends from New Zealand.
When we arrived and passed through passport control – very simple and efficient procedure through Tegel airport in Berlin, we walked into the corridor outside our gate and immediately found our awaiting travelers – the group was complete – tired, but complete!
After a bit of sorting out – finding our bus, figuring out where we were in the airport, getting some Euros from ATMs or money-exchangers, using the WC’s (as they were now to be called) we trekked through the busy airport to our bus – Hooray for Udo, our bus driver!
Udo drove the bus for our 2010 Heritage Tour and was a great driver and a very personable guy. He quickly loaded everyone up, called in our lunch reservations and off we went – at 10:00 am sharp – we are timely group!
Lunch was wonderful at the Strandcafe in Lueben along the Spreewald. The waitress was very helpful with the latest technical gadget to make ordering and paying a breeze.
A quick wander through this vacation – and gerkin – focused locale (there was even a gift shop to explore!), we loaded up and left precisely at our scheduled time of 1:30 pm – what a wonderful group!
Now the next adventure began: the bus pulled up at the base of the Kreuzbergbaude – a Reformed church retreat center – but couldn’t get us to the door. After talking to the man at the center, some began pulling their bags up the 3 block, cobblestone hill climb, others opted to leave their bags and walk the climb themselves.
The man quickly arrived, however, loaded up a couple bags and people in his car and drove them up the hill – off he went to retrieve the remaining bags and, soon enough, we were all checked in – despite the confusing directions he tried helpfully to provide in German to us English only speakers! We figured it all out.
A brief rest, quick shower for some, climb to a beautiful lookout for others, and then off to dinner at Landeskrone – where early 20th century Schwenkfelders on a Silesian pilgrimage climbed to admire the view.
Some walked and others, me included, opted to get a ride up the volcanic summit for the view. Fantastic – if a bit overcast. The walkers got a bit of rain, but also were accompanied by Margrit Kempgen, our effervescent Goerlit guide and good friend to the Schwenkfelders. She lives nearby the Landeskrone and joined the climb and the rest of the tour-group for dinner.
Dinner was excellent – one dish, Schlesisches Himmelreich (Silesian Kingdom of Heaven) was amazing! “A traditional German recipe: pork chops (we would call it ham) that are fried and then stewed with dried fruit that have been soaked in cold tea.” Fabulous!
Also popular was the Puppen-Schultzen Schwarze bier – a dark beer, malty, not heavy, with a delightful sweet finish – excellent!
The group was getting to know one another, talking and bonding and dividing up in different groups – a great first day was had by all!

About schwenkfelder

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the Schwenkfelders and the history of southeastern Pennsylvania and the Perkiomen Region. The Heritage Center offers educational programming and tours, exhibits, workshops, and events throughout the year. Our blog is maintained by museum educator, Rebecca Lawrence, SLHC staff and guest bloggers.
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