A Med &
Nov 30 - Dec
crossing aboard the
Galaxy recalls the
romance of sailing
across the ocean on
a magnificent ship.
In the tradition of
from the Age of
Amerigo Vespucci - this Celebrity Transatlantic crossing
captures the true
exploration. Yet, in
the manner of the
great ocean liners
of the last century,
this cruise tour and
seminar is made in
30 USA /
All participants proceed from hometown to JFK or
directly to Rome, Italy. Enjoy a
complimentary open bar, dinner with wine
and headset for movie and music aboard
our transatlantic flight to Rome.
FRIDAY, DEC 1
Time permitting, we will provide a morning orientation
tour of Rome – view the St. Peter
Basilica and Vatican City, Trevi
Fountain, the Roman Forum, Piazza Cavour
and the other highlights of the Eternal
City. Continue by motor coach to
Civitavecchia, the port of Rome. Embark
aboard the luxurious CELEBRITY GALAXY,
our floating hotel for the next 15 days.
Lunch will be served on board for the
early comers. Settle in your stateroom,
get familiar with the ship and the deck
you are on. Tonight you also get to know
our dining room and our waiters. We will
have the same tables, allowing you to
sit every evening with other group
members if you wish.
This morning we tender in Villefranche. First, we check
Port de la Sante, the weekend antique
and flea market in town. Continue by
private coach to Monte Carlo to visit
the city and the National Museum of
Monte Carlo to see the Mechanical Dolls,
collected by M. Galea. Our guided tour
with Andre Soriano, Curator, clockmaker,
mechanic, photographer and historian
will include demonstrations of the most
complicated automata. Continue the tour
of the city and the French Riviera
before returning to the Galaxy in time
Cruises has been a trendsetter in
providing gourmet cuisine that
consistently wins praise from guests and
food aficionados, earning numerous
culinary awards for outstanding food and
service since the cruise line's
inception. Under the guidance of Master
Chef Michel Roux, our ship’s culinary
delights are made from scratch and
seasoned with fresh herbs.
SUNDAY, DEC 3
we sail along the Spanish Med – first
Costa Brava then Costa de Sol. Our group
will have the use of a meeting room for
morning and afternoon presentations on
horology, computer classes, history,
etc. If you have a special presentation,
you are encouraged to contact Nick or
As we travel from port to port
delighting in our included shore
excursions and the variety of local
pleasures, you'll want to take advantage
of the exciting things to do onboard our
ship on days at sea. If you're looking
for a fun activity to share, Galaxy’s
decks are alive with options, morning to
night. On-deck games and tournaments
give you a chance to join in some
friendly competition and meet new
people. Whether it's enjoying on-deck
activities, shopping in the many
boutiques or partaking in the Casino,
you're sure to find the perfect way to
spend your day.
revitalizing powers of the sea are even
more enticing with the introduction of
Celebrity Cruises' AquaSpa. From deep,
whole-body massages to personal fitness
training sessions, exclusive AquaSpa
programs, treatments and therapies are
offered on every ship in the Celebrity
fleet. And aboard the new Century and
Galaxy, guests may experience one of the
most sophisticated beauty, spa and
fitness centers in the world.
MONDAY, DEC 4
MALAGA - GRANADA
The Galaxy docks in Malaga, capital city of Costa
del Sol. Full day tour to incredible
Granada, the kingdom of 1001 nights.
Granada has everything: beautiful
Moorish buildings, a luminous sky, a
great setting overlooking the
snow-capped Sierra Nevada, this is the
fabled Capital of the Caliphs of
Cordoba. Visit the red stone-walled
castle of Alhambra, the most romantic
building in Europe, with Alcazar (Royal
Castle), King’s Chambers, Emperor’s
Charles V’s Palace, the House of the
Ambassadors, the galleries and the famed
gardens. Continue to the Gereralife, the
summer palace of the Moorish Kings and
the Cathedral Quarter where the Catholic
Monarchs are buried. Return to the ship,
in time for dinner.
TUESDAY, DEC 5
CADIZ - JEREZ
Following breakfast, we dock in Cadiz, on Costa de la
Luz. Travel to Jerez-de la –Frontera,
producer of Spain’s finest sherries,
famous for its bodegas (wine store), the
Andalusian Equestrian School and Moorish
architecture along the charming
boulevards and squares. However, we came
to visit the “Palace of Time” a Clock
Museum housed in Atalaya, one of the
finest bodegas, displaying an impressive
collection of over 300 timepieces. Late
afternoon return to the galaxy in time
for sailing to Portugal.
Our morning tour of the city includes a visit of the
Medeiros and Almeida Foundation – an
incredible mansion-museum whose former
owner collected decorative art and
timepieces. Among its treasures are
watches and clocks by Abraham-Louis
Breguet, Daniel Quare, Patek-Philippe
and other top horologists.
Afternoon self-guided tour of the
Maritime Museum, over a century old; a collection that has grown
to over 16.000 items, not counting the
photographic and other archives that
contain plans and drawings of ships.
There is an extensive collection of
craft, as well as naval artillery and
nautical instruments showing important
events in the history of the Portuguese
navy, not only in the golden age of
Portuguese navigation, but also in the
centuries which followed.
7 AT SEA
evening the sea sparkles with dazzling
entertainment. Designed to indulge your
individual preferences, Galaxy’s
entertainment choices range from
Broadway-style productions, captivating
shows and lively discotheques, exotic
AquaSpa treatments by Elemis, and the
only acupuncture at sea..
Celebrity is pleased to announce the
formation of the GALAXY ART COLLECTION,
an unprecedented collection of
avant-garde art. The Galaxy Art
Collection is being established for
permanent installation on board
Celebrity's Galaxy, which received rave
reviews in response to the extraordinary
collection of artwork presented onboard
a cruise ship.
FRIDAY, DEC 8
The Star docks early in Funchal.
Leaving the pier we proceed towards Pico dos
Barcelos, to see distant Funchal and the
surrounding villages scattered over the
green slopes. Continue towards Cabo
Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe
and the second highest in the world.
Soaring 1,900 feet, its etched face
tells the tale of its volcanic origins.
From this impressive promontory, you
will have breathtaking views along the
island’s southern coast. Passing by
Estreito de Camara de Lobos, known for
its vineyards, we reach Camara de Lobos,
a well-known fishing village used by Sir
Winston Churchill to create beautiful
island paintings. There, you will see
its lovely, quaint setting of red-tile
roofed houses clustered on the rocky
point and the brightly painted fishing
boats anchored in the harbor. The final
stop will be at a Madeira Wine Lodge to
sample some of the local wines.
9 AT SEA
The day is spent at sea, as we begin our westward
Atlantic crossing. It gives you the
chance to relax, catch up on your
reading in the library, writing in the
appropriately cozy room, using the
24-hour AOL-Internet café, bingo or a
card game, chess, backgammon or domino
in the card room. Our ship
also offers world-class casinos for
guests who wish to try their luck. With
European-style ambience, each ship's
casino offers a warm and friendly
environment perfect for everyone who
enjoys gaming, from the most experienced
high rollers to new players.
SUN. DEC. 10
THRU WED. DEC 13 AT SEA
As in the past, for the rest of the crossing we shall
have our Horology and Computer Seminars
aboard; presentations about a special
timepiece, a video or just a question
and answer session on horology.
Or try your luck in the Casino -the guide has been prepared to give beginners a
basic insight into the games available
for your enjoyment, and to provide an
overview for those already familiar with
the games. Celebrity's 5-StaR GALAXY
provides the opportunity for guests to
enjoy casino games like Blackjack,
Casino Stud Poker, Craps, Roulette, and
of course Slot Machines of $.25 and $1.
The Galaxy docks in Philipsburg, St Maartin after
Twisting alleyways lead to hidden
duty-free shops. A lizard runs across a
quaint hand-painted sign. This is Dutch
St. Maarten. Browse Philipsburg for an
eclectic gift. Participate in one of the
many water sports the island has to
offer or simply sip a rum punch and turn
your face toward the sun. The Galaxy
sails in the late afternoon.
FRIDAY, DEC 19
/ MAINLAND, USA
After breakfast, we are transferred by motor coach to
San Juan International Airport to board
our flight back home, arriving in the
USA mainland the same day in the
* * *
EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL CHAPTER
6th Annual Horologic Tour To
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia)
October 2 - 14, 2006
Cruise on the AMADEUS, the "Queen of the Danube"
MONDAY, OCT. 2 NEW YORK (USA) - ALOFT (D)
We depart in the afternoon from JFK International Airport or from other gateways in the USA. Relax aboard our overnight transatlantic flight to Munich, Germany.
TUESDAY, OCT. 3 MUNICH / SALZBURG (B, D)
Everyone arrives in Munich, where we are met by an old friend Peter Filser (our German driver) and transferred to our 4 star hotel in Salzburg, Austria. Balance of the day is left at leisure to relax and get accustomed to the local time zone. Welcome dinner with unlimited wine or beer at the hotel- meet Bill Keller and other tour participants some of whom might have flown in directly.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4 SALZBURG (B)
Following breakfast at the hotel, we tour the highlights of Mozart's city- the fortress of Hohensalzburg, seat of the prince-archbishops. A special arrangement is sought for seeing and hearing the roar of the "Salzburg Bull" -the famed Middle Ages mechanical barrel organ used as a siren and alarm clock since 1500 AD.
Continue our tour visiting the 15C Cathedral (Dom); St. Peter's Church and the Old town with the famed Getraidegasse and Mozart's birthplace. Afternoon visit the clock workshop and store of Bernhard Smallgruber, an expert in Vienna regulators and anniversary clocks.
THURSDAY, OCT. 5 SALZBURG / MUNICH (B, D)
This morning we depart to Munich where to see the highlights of this Bavarian capital - the Frauenkirche, Marienplatz, the Glockenspiel (carillon) playing at noon, and other vistas. In the early afternoon we plan to visit Erwin Sattler, a high end manufacturer of precision clocks.
The Sattler PPC 1958 is probably the most accurate mechanical clock available commercially. Time at leisure for individual sightseeing or shopping. Dinner at historic Ratskeller am Marienplatz a traditional Bavarian restaurant. Late return to Salzburg and our hotel.
FRIDAY, OCT. 6 "SOUND OF MUSIC" - SALZKAMMERGUT (B)
We'll spend today touring the major sites of the movie "Sound of Music" : Mirabell Gardens, Castle Leopoldskron, Castle Hellbrun and the Abbey Nonneburg. Salzkammergut (lit. the salt chamber) the beautiful Alpine lake district in Upper Austria. Bypassing Castle Fuschl, a former hunting lodge of the Prince Archbishops we arrive in St Wolfgang where we stop to view the winged altar. On to The White Horse Inn for a boat ride across the lake to St. Gilgen. Passing castle Huttenstein, we ride along Lake Mondsee and return to Salzburg and our hotel in the afternoon.
SATURDAY, OCT. 7 SALZBG/ LINZ/ STEYR/ CRUISE (B, D)
Morning drive via Linz, the "Daughter of the Danube", to Steyr, a glorious city, once a rival to Vienna and capital of metal and iron processing. Here we stroll through the remarkable Old Town and the Stadtplatz, a street with notable courts. Visit the Museum of Iron Clocks run by one Schmollgruber.
Following the visit we continue into Germany and to Passau, the city where three rivers meet. Embark aboard the luxurious AMADEUS CLASSIC owned by Lueftner Cruises.
Settle in this floating hotel, our residence for the next seven nights. The ship leaves port at 4 p.m. and takes you through a lovely stretch of the Danube known as the Schlögener Schlinge (great loop). After these first scenic impressions of the Danube, the ship's staff will welcome us with a cocktail before the official Welcome Dinner.
SUNDAY, OCT. 8 VIENNA (B, L, D)
Following breakfast the AMADEUS docks in Vienna. The entire day is at your disposal to discover the metropolis on the Danube. The city of music and joie de vivre (joy-of-life) where Sachertorte and Heuriger (wine inns) are just as famous as St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace.We will see all the important sights on our included city tour. Special arrangements will be made for our group to include viewing the Anker Astronomical Clock chiming at noon.
Time permitting, we will also stop at "Vienna's smallest house" in Wien 7, Burggasse 3. It is just a bit more than 1,45 meters wide and fills a tiny spot between 2 houses and the street and dates back to 1872. Inside the building is a famous shop for vintage and new clocks by our old friend Friedrich Schmallgruber, the specialist in old clock-works of all ages.
In the afternoon we have arranged for a special tour of the Vienna Clock Museum, under the expert guidance of Franz Sharinger, its Curator. Established in 1917 in a picturesque building, the former Palais Obizzi, in the Old City of Vienna, the museum is based on the private collections of Rudolf Kaftan and writer Marie Ebner von Eschenbach. It contains approx 3000 timepieces in a huge variety of clocks and watches spanning more than five centuries of horological development. Among the highlights are the highly complex 18th C astronomical clock by Augustine Brother David Cajetano containing more than 250 parts.
Return to the ship in time for sailing downstream for Budapest. Dinner on board.
MONDAY, OCT. 9 BUDAPEST (B, L, D)
Morning arrival in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The magnificent buildings lining the right and left banks of the Danube are an unforgettable sight. Our Budapest sightseeing tour encompasses all the major sights of the city - the Castle District of Buda, Fisherman's Bastion, Hungary's Parliament Building, the Royal Palace and the multi-spire Matthias Church. Afternoon at leisure for antique shopping in this town, formerly in the communist block, block where the dollar is still powerful and bargains can be had. After dinner enjoy an unforgettable evening cruise on the AMADEUS with a glorious view of the beautifully floodlit building on both banks of the river. A Gypsy band, specially engaged for this cruise, entertains you on board with lively music and you also see a performance by a Hungarian folklore group.
TUESDAY, OCT. 10 KALOCSA - HUNGARIAN PLAIN (B, L, D)
Early in the morning, the ship berths at Kalocsa, a charming town in the Hungarian lowlands. Kalocsa is known for its traditional Hungarian embroidery and, above all, for the cultivation of paprika, Hungary's national product.
Join us on the "Kalocsa" excursion where you witness a performance of typical Hungarian horsemanship and visit the only paprika museum in the world. The ship leaves in the late afternoon and heads back, upstream for Budapest. After dinner, let yourself be carried away by the famous music inspired by the Danube and played by excellent Hungarian musicians.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 11 BUDAPEST / ESZTERGOM (B, L, D)
At 7 a.m., the AMADEUS arrives back in Budapest, the "Queen of the Danube". Enjoy the morning at your disposal. You may wish to stroll through the lively shopping malls or visit the "Museum of Fine Arts" with its collection of old masters. Our group has an exclusive horology oriented tour - visit the Museum of Applied Arts to view the mobile mechanical music clockwork attributed to Juanelo Turriano, mechanical genius working for Habsburg Emperor Charles V.
Following lunch on board, we join the trip to "Szentendre-Esztergom" leaving by our private motor coach via Visegrad to Esztergom. The ship sails upstream through the Danube Bend, one of the most beautiful scenic stretches of the Danube, also known as the "Hungarian Wachau". Arrival at Esztergom at 7 p.m. where the AMADEUS waits for those on the tour. The ship sails for Slovakia in the evening
THURSDAY, OCT. 12 BRATISLAVA / VIENNA (B, L, D)
Morning arrival at Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Our Bratislava sightseeing tour will include such highlights as the Old Town gates, walls and City Hall, Michael's Tower, St. Martin's Cathedral, the National Theatre, the Baroque Primate's Palace, etc. Amadeus sails at noon.
In the afternoon, you can relax and enjoy the journey on the Danube. Vienna is our next destination and the arrival is scheduled for about 7 p.m. After dinner, our group is booked on the "Vienna by Night" taking us to the Prater Amusement Park with its Ferris Wheel and a typical "Heurigen" wine tavern. The ship departs from Vienna around midnight.
FRIDAY, OCT. 13 MELK - WACHAU VALLEY (B, L, D)
In the morning the ship passes the world-famous town of Dürnstein and berths at 9.00 a.m. at the idyllic wine-growing town of Emmersdorf. While aboard, one can admire in the distance the impressive baroque buildings of the Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Our excursion "Beauties of the Wachau" include a drive through the scenic, mythical Wachau Valley to Dürnstein. A guided tour of Melk Abbey will reveal this 9 centuries old architectural masterpiece north of the Alps. A wine tasting of the fine selection of local wines will cap the tour. The ship departs in the afternoon. Enjoy the afternoon on the sun deck as the impressive landscape passes by. On our last evening of our Danube journey, the captain of the AMADEUS will be delighted to welcome us to the Captain's Gala Dinner. The excellent orchestra which has been entertaining you in the Panorama Bar throughout the cruise will get you swinging and dancing the night away.
SATURDAY, OCT. 14 PASSAU/ MUNICH/ USA (B, L. S)
Following breakfast, we disembark and are transferred by private motor coach directly to Munich International Airport for our return transatlantic flight to the USA. We arrive the same day in the afternoon. Direct flights to other gateways are also available via Lufthansa or other airlines.
B = Buffet breakfast
* L = Lunch
* D = Dinner (group)
* S = Snack (aloft)
* * *
Mechanical Music Tour and Seminar
In connection with the 56th Annual Meeting of the MBSI in Guildford, England.
Tour 1 (England): Aug. 29-Sep. 5
Tour 2 (+ Scotland): Aug. 29-Sep. 11
Mon, Aug 29: Guildford - Croydon - Guildford (B)
breakfast at the hotel, we depart from
Guilford to visit Ted Brown’s collection
of mechanical music. Ted has offered to
have an Open House for those who did not
see his collection during our Annual
Meeting. If our group participants have
seen Ted’s collection, we shall visit a
private collection of music boxes outside London. Here we will have to split in two groups; while one visits the collection, the other group will visit the nearby Hever Castle, childhood home to Anne Boleyn, Henry the VIII second wife. View Tudor portraits, tapestries and furniture, the Italian Rose garden, the water maze and the 35 acres lake. Late return to our Guilford hotel for an independent dinner.
Tue, Aug 30: Guildford (B, L)
This morning we travel a nearby village to see Jack Henley's collection of mechanical music - an impressive private compilation of organ & orchestral musical boxes, also a fine collection of early musical time pieces and antique British cars - Aston Martins, Bentleys, Jaguars, etc. We will spend the entire day in Jack's village, with lunch included in today's activities. Afternoon return by motor coach to our hotel.
Wed, Aug 31: Guilford - Dorset Fair - Salisbury (B, D)
This morning we checkout of the hotel in Guildford and drive directly to Blandford Forum, site of the Great Dorset Steam Fair to attend the 37th GDSF the leading event of this type in Europe. It is held on a mammoth 600 acre site at South Down, Tarrant Hinton, in Dorset and is regularly attended by over 200,000 visitors from both the UK and abroad. The entire day is spent at the fair. Independent lunch. We depart in the late afternoon for nearby Salisbury, where we check-in and enjoy a group dinner at our hotel's restaurant.
Thu, Sept 1: Salisbury - Dorset Fair (B)
A second full day spent at the Steam Fair. The aim of the Great Dorset Steam Fair is to give the public an insight into what the English way of life looked like in the country at the turn of the century when steam power was in its heyday. To do this they assemble each year probably the largest collection of steam and vintage equipment to be seen anywhere in the world and take visitors on a giant trip of nostalgia into the days of yesteryear. We will return in the late afternoon to our hotel in Salisbury area.
Fri, Sept 2: Salisbury - Cotswolds - Cambridge area (B, D)
Morning drive into the Cotswolds (from the "wold" meaning hillside) a charming area dotted with delightful villages such as Burford and Castle Combe. Above all, the local honey-colored limestone, used for everything from the stone floors in the houses to the tiles on the roof, has ensured that the area's magical uniformity of architecture. Here we will see 'Drystone walls' everywhere in the fields. Many were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, an important historical landscape and a major conservation feature - and are of course still used by farmers to enclose sheep and cattle. We are here to see Keith Harding's World of Mechanical Music, a special place in the heart of England noted for traditional standards of British craftsmanship and hospitality. This is a unique collection of self-playing musical instruments presented as a live entertainment. There is also a large range of books on clocks and mechanical music, as well as recordings. Here are also what has been described as "the best gift shop in the Cotswolds", and the world famous restoration workshops, which serve discerning collectors like us, from all over the world.
In the afternoon, continue to the St Albans to see the Organ Museum, based on the collection of the late Charles Hart-Mortier, Bursens and Decap organs; also music boxes, pianos and two pipe organs. A special concert will be presented to our group. Late afternoon check-in at our hotel in Cambridge area for a group dinner and overnight.
Sat, Sept 3: Cambridge - Lincoln (B)
Following breakfast at the hotel we ride north to the university town of Lincoln, dominated by a magnificent castle and a Cathedral goes back to 11th Century. We are here to see Roy and Mary Ison's superb private collection of mechanical music. A 1772 English and 2 French Chamber Barrel Organs, key wind boxes, etc are just some of Roy's pieces. Late return to the hotel for an independent dinner
Sun, Sept 4: Cambridge - Stowmarket - Fakenham (B, D)
Morning visit of the Mechanical Music Museum & Bygones at Cotton, near Stowmarket - a veritable Aladdin's cave, full of musical treasures. Fair organs, reed and barrel organs as well as a giant café organ are displayed together with street pianos, pianolas, cylinder boxes, polyphons and organettes. The piece de resistence is the mighty Wurlitzer, built in Brooklyn, NY in 1926 which was used in the Leicester Square Theatre until 1980s.
Our second visit of the day is the Thursford Collection near Fakenham; here are lots and lots of wonderful mechanical music machines, and an old merry-go-round. The organs range from mid-sized up to huge dance organs. Our guide will be George Cushing, the Director.
Return to our hotel for a Farewell Dinner with unlimited wine for those ending the tour here - a befitting conclusion to this remarkable trip.
Mon, Sept 5: Cambridge - London - USA or
Cambridge - York (B, D)
A morning transfer to London Airport(s) by private motor coach will be arranged for those participants who wish to take the short tour ending today. The rest of the group will continue north, traveling to York, via the Cumbrian Lake District. We arrive in the afternoon in charming medieval York ( the formerViking Jorvik). Check-in at our hotel for a group dinner and overnight.
Tue, Sept 6: York (B)
This morning we have a treat for you - visit theYork Museum of Mechanical Music - Director and Curator Andrew Pilmer has offered to show us some instruments he is working on, although the museum is closed. This afternoon we have an orientation drive around this charming city including the famed Minster (Cathedral) and St Mary's Abbey, with time for independent sightseeing or shopping. Independent dinner in York.
Wed, Sept 7: York - Edinburgh (B, D)
Continue our drive North to Bowes Castle, to see the famed Silver Swan, perhaps the most known and best loved object in the museum. It is a musical automaton in the form of a life-size model of a swan, comprising a clockwork mechanism covered in silver plumage above a music box. The museum also houses collections of European fine and decorative arts, a suite of English period rooms and the newly refurbished John and Joséphine Galleries. Afternoon arrival to Edinburgh, allegedly the most beautiful city in the UK.
Thu, Sept 8: Edinburgh (B)
This morning we travel outside the city to view the Stirling castle rock, strategically guarding the Forth river valley and surrounding central Scotland. Visit the Great Hall, King's Old Building, the Royal Chapel and the Palace. There will also be time to see the famed Falkirk Wheel; this is a remarkable and elegant mechanical marvel is the only rotating boat lift in the world and truly one of a kind.
Fri, Sept 9: Edinburgh - Inverness - Edinburgh (B)
A long, yet rewarding day will include a scenic drive to Inverness, a most charming seaside town. Here we visit Automatomania, at the invitation of Michael and Maria Start, members of the MBSGB. Independent lunch and time for shopping in this charming town, much appreciated by English visitors, before returning to Edinburgh.
Sat, Sept 10: Edinburgh - Glasgow - Edinburgh (B, D)
Our trip today takes us to Scotland's second city - Glasgow, where we will include a visit of Sharmanka - the Russian modern kinetic theater. Here, hundreds of tiny carved figures and pieces of old scrap perform an incredible choreography to haunting music and synchronized lighting, telling the funny and tragic stories of the struggle of the human spirit against the relentless circles of life and death. Return to Edinburgh for our traditional Farewell Dinner with unlimited wine - a befitting closure to a remarkable trip.
Sun, Sept 11: Edinburgh - USA (B, L, S)
This morning we are transferred to Edinburgh Airport for our return flight home. Complimentary meal service and a complimentary headset will be offered aboard. Arrive in New York (or your USA gateway) the same day in the afternoon.
* * *
EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL CHAPTER # 179
POLAND AND GERMANY
AUG. 15-30, 2004
This past August a group of 25 Chapter members, from places as far apart as New York and New Jersey to Arizona and California, congregated for a 2-week journey across Central Europe, from the shores of the Baltic to the high ridges of Black Forest.
Our first stop was the tri-city area of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot, on the Baltic, where a flea market and antique Dominican Fair is being held every summer since 1269… Although the fair activity was a bit disappointing and "antique" was a euphemism for "junk", we saw some brisk trading in amber, a tower clock museum, the longest wooden pier in the resort of Sopot, the largest crane of medieval Europe (Gdansk = Danzig was a member of the Hanseatic League) and even had time to attend a Baroque Church organ concert.
Our next stop was cosmopolitan Berlin, the new and reunited capital of Germany. Here we also had an excellent hotel, right in the heart of the city. A full day of sightseeing of the East and West halves of this schizophrenic place, brought us to speed with what is happening in the German capital - replete with wonderful, modern buildings and monuments, the city is nevertheless, financially broke. A morning trip to Potsdam, where we toured the very rooms the Americans, Russians and British delegations signed the postwar agreement was followed by a visit of the LorenZ store and museum. Young Jens Lorenz, a fourth generation horologist, showed us the most interesting exhibits in the museum under their watch store, while we had "treats" served to us. Mr. Lorenz is also responsible for the "Berlin Peace Clock", a timepiece of special significance in connection with the fall of the Berlin Wall - a separate article of this topic will probably be feature soon in the Bulletin.
Our saga across Germany took us to Leipzig of JS Bach fame, where we feared we lost our Californians. Hellas, their disappearance was only due to the difference in time zones! and they soon took their place in the bus. Dresden proved to be "the most" town in our itinerary. Our charming and able local guide instructed us "all things were invented or began in Dresden" (not Eden!). Just about everything, according to Christine, was invented, perfected, brought to life or fame because of a Dresdener. We hit the city at Beer Festival time and spent some quality time sampling the brews together with the finger-licking wursts (invented, naturally, here). We also spent a most interesting afternoon in the Zwinger Castle, viewing the Mathematical-Physical Salon, a horology and scientific instruments museum, guided by their resourceful Curator, Dr. Peter Plassmeyer. Christine took us finally to Meissen to observe how the famed porcelain is produced and decorated. Prices were stratospheric and even the seconds were ridiculously high - no bargains here.
Tuesday, August 24 saw us visit Regensburg, a town made famous by astronomer Johannes Kepler. Here we visited Rauscher Tower Clock Manufacture. We were led by young and energetic Christine Rauscher, the daughter of the founder and actual Marketing Director who expertly explained to us all facets of their production as well as giving us a tour of their own museum spanning over 100 years. A most impressive visit - several of us are considering a purchase from Rauscher.
In Stuttgart we had the pleasure of a specially guided tour of the timepieces and automata in the Wurtembergisches-Landesmuseumled, led by Mrs. Helga Lang, the Curator, while Dr. Klaus Allgoewer expertly explained to us the genius of master clock maker Philip Hahn and his astronomic masterpieces. Our guided tour of the highly automated Mercedes-Benz Factory in Sindelfingen was described by many as the highlight of our trip. A side trip to an IBM building and museum, housing several industrial clocks as well as old IMB tabulating machines, entirely operated by a team of retired IBM aficionados, finally brought an end to a very busy day.
The next day we finally got to meet Werner and Sophia Schmid, whose courtesy and friendship were second to none. Werner arranged most of our visits in Stuttgart, provided us, free of charge with a local guide, his friend and much liked Roland, and even make sure the press covered our visits three articles in the local papers described our trip and one even depicted "the beautiful people" in our group. Werner is a NAWCC member of Chapter # 175, who collects industrial time recorders and watchman's clocks and his collection is truly amazing.
Our next visit to master clockmaker Matthias Naeschke in Haigerloch was considered by many the acme of our trip. Mr. Naeschke, member of the prestigious AHCI, is a certified flutenuhr (organ clock) maker as well as a superb machinist who creates truly extraordinary musical timepieces. One of our members could not resist and a beautiful calendar clock will soon tick happily in the US.
A last interesting and impressive visits was the German Horology Museum in Furtwangen. We were guided by the museum Director, Prof. Eduard Saluz who was ably helped by docent Ian Fowler; at the end of this tour we all had a fuller understanding and appreciation of German clock making.
Last, but not least, we attended the annual Antique Clock Fair in Furtwangen, which turned out to be everything we all hoped for. Similar to a NAWCC Regional or even a National, the show, spread over two days, included over 250 tables and 4,000 local and foreign visitors. At the end of the trip we had a "show-and-tell" afternoon where everyone brought and discussed the horologic treasures purchased during this fortnight.
In reporting our trip we would be remiss were we not to mention the unexpected happenings - the first hand experience with a German hospital of one of our members (happily ending well). An extended coffee break caused by a technical break in Poland, when Peter, our expert bus driver tried to patch-up things while Nick, our Tour Director, went ahead to arrange dinner and overnight accommodations, just in case we did not make it to Berlin that evening. Happily, we had only to postpone our dinner.
All in all we can say we accomplished on this trip what we have set as our goals - visiting museums and collections, factories and workshops, sampling local cuisine and learning more about the new life in Central Europe. During long inter-city trips we had interesting presentations on the bus about other chapters activities, history, science and astronomy and so much more. We also had a meeting with members of the local organizations, Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Chronometrie in Breitnau, a charming spot in the heart of Black Forest. We look forward to next year's excursion - a cruise and tour of Scandinavia and Russia to be held in July 2005.
"Benelux" October 2003
They came from Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania,
New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Illinois
to participate in and enjoy Chapter #179's Third Annual
Educational Tour. Arriving in Amsterdam on October 9, they
met their coach driver and our Tour Director, Nick Lerescu,
at the Schiopol Airport. From there we left on a guided
tour of the city until our rooms were available and we could
check into our four-star hotel to freshen up before our
welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
After breakfast the next morning it
was off to the Waterlooplein flea market with merchandise
similar to the usual discount or used clothing store in
the States. Upon our return to the hotel for a free afternoon,
many spent their free time by getting their biological clocks
adjusted. Then, it was off for a brief tour of Haarlem followed
by an evening cheese and wine cruise on Amsterdam's canals.
Sunday October 12 saw us visiting
Zaandam and our first clock museum, the Museum of the Dutch
Clock, where we were greeted by its Curator Pier van Leeuwen
who led a guided tour/lecture of a most interesting and
important collection tracing the history of Dutch clocks
from the 1500's. Originally a private collection, the clocks
were placed in the Museum setting in 1976 and the operation
is now controlled by a Foundation. We had the special pleasure
of meeting Kees Grumbergen, its Director and having tea
with him, his wife, and Pier. This was but the first of
several clock collections and museums we visited, but it
had a special significance, being housed in an historic
building dating from the 1700's that had once been the home
of farmers and carpenters. Upon learning that the Museum
and, more particularly, Pier were not NAWCC members, the
tour group took up a collection to purchase a membership
for Pier. Enough was collected that with a slight augmentation
from the Chapter's treasury, we were able to give a two-year
In Utrecht, the Netherlands, we had
the pleasure of a specially guided tour of the Museum of
Musical Clock and Street Organs led by Dr. Jan Jaap Harpels,
its irector/Conservator. To say it was awesome is an understatement!
The huge collection, including both disc and pinned cylinder
movements, was superbly described and demonstrated by Dr.
Harpels. The collection was beautifully housed in a medieval
church building that was restored by the city of Utrecht,
with little being done to the building per se, so it could
be reconstituted as a Church quite easily if it were so
Other interesting clock and watch
collections visited were the Museum of Francois Duesberg
in Mons, Belgium. A museum of the decorative arts, it displays
a prestigious collection of French clocks (1795- 1815) in
addition to French gilt bronzes, porcelains, silver and
jewelry from the period 1775-1825. Interestingly, many of
the clocks, are displayed in cases with other items of the
same period, a feature that was of great interest to many
of our group. This is an unsurpassed private collection,
beautifully displayed and very unusual. A visit to the Toyal
Museum museum complex of Brussels supplied plenty
of spots for our tour members to explore their diverse interests.
After a visit to the horologic section we were left to ferret
out any of the other exhibits in the massive complex we
might care to see. Some who visited the Military Museum
commented that it was the finest they had ever visited.
Others took in the car museum with its over 300 vehicles
from all over the world, while others took in the Fine Arts
section or the Natural Science area.
Two other impressive and interesting
visits, to horological enthusiasts, were the Centenary and
Wonder Clocks built by Louis Zimmer and on display in the
city of Lier. The former, housed in a tower is particularly
striking for its twelve secondary dials around the main
dial, each with a separate function. Included are dials
showing solar time, the signs of the zodiac, the days of
the week, the months, the date, the seasons, the tides,
and the moon's age (phase), among others. The entire mechanism
can be viewed from the top floor of the tower. This Zimmer
masterpiece is, however, quite simple when compared to
the Wonder Clock housed in an adjoining building. Sixteen
feet tall, with 93 dials and 14 automatics, it is a visual
teaching aid to the study of celestial wonders. Its numerous
mechanism are controlled by a master clock that orders the
progression of the dials every 30 seconds, yet some dials
rotate over the period of a year, others over seven days,
others over a month, some only once in 76 years, and the
slowest require 21,000 and 26, 000 years to make a complete
rotation! Being able to view this massive clock through
its glass covered back has to be a treat for any clock lover.
Perhaps our most interesting "museum"
visit was in Mechelen, Belgium where we were privileged
to visit the private museum/clockshop/workshop of Joseph
Op de Beek. Located in a primarily residential area, the
museum is on two floors and includes a great variety of
specimens including an early Atmos (mercury), Bulle electrics,
tall cases, wall cases, mystery models made by Op de Beek,
large "hour glass" models designed by and specially
made to run for twelve hours and/or 24 hours, a Briggs rotary,
and many more models. The owner and his charming daughter,
Elke, who is also a trained watchmaker, proved to be superior
guides. Not only that, but at least one of our traveling
companions made a significant purchase from the owner's
Among our other interesting visits
during our two week trip were the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
with its fine collection of Dutch art including the works
of Vermeer and Rembrandt; a visit to the Delft China works
where we were able to view the making of their fine hand-decorated
porcelains; visits to a number of cathedrals and churches
with striking collections from the early masters like the
Rubens in the Antwerp, Belgium Cathedral and Saint Bavo's
Cathedral in Ghent; and the famous Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.
All this plus partaking of a number of meals indigenous
to the areas such as a Rijsttafel, that became "Dutch"
after excursions into and the colonization of today's Indonesia;
and waterzooi, a well known Flemish dish. Then, too, we
cannot forget the sampling of the many fine beers of the
area along with the Dutch cheeses and a visit to a cheese
factory where several of our group purchased "treats"
to bring back to the States.
Some may think, based on the foregoing,
that about all we did was look at clock and watch collections,
museums, art collections, eat and drink, but far from it!
Since several of the group were WWII veterans, we visited
several areas where important WWII battles were fought including
the Battle of the Bulge. Although the town of Bastogne is
now pretty well restored, there are many reminders of the
war there such as its Historical Museum that houses many
war memorabilia and its massive monument to the many who
lost their lives there. We also visited, and were most impressed
with, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. Its
graves, row on row, served as a solemn reminder of the great
losses American forces suffered in that region. The Cemetery
is maintained by the US Government on grounds donated by
the Duchy of Luxembourg and includes the grave of General
Lastly, we were able to spend several
hours in the minature city of Madurodam and had a visit
to the Ann Frank House, both in Amsterdam. The village with
its beautifully landscaped grounds includes over 1,100 scale
model buildings, in a beautifully laid out minature village.
Built on a scale of 1:25, it includes many operating features
including a railroad, canal systems, and an airport. Originally
conceived as a tribute to George Maduro, a son killed in
WWII, by his parents, the property is now run by a group
supporting the Dutch Student Sanatorium and is a treat for
young and old. .
In reporting our trip we would be
remiss were we not to mention one of our usual unplanned
adventures, and I am not speaking of our bus driver's 360
degree turn in a square to facilitate a sharp left hand
turn he desired to make! A visit to Kinderdijk in the Netherlands
had been planned so we could view the inner workings of
a windmill. Regrettably, their season was over, but that
did not stop our intrepid Dutch coach driver who, upon passing
a working mill on our way out of Amsterdam said he would
talk to the operator to see if we could visit same. The
answer was "yes" and the mill keeper even interrupted
his Sunday lunch to take our group up into the windmill,
a great treat. Many went all the way up to the top by progressively
steeper, and shallower steps/ladders to come away most impressed
with the workmanship and mechanics of the mill.
All in all, it can be stated that
we pretty well accomplished what we have set as our goals
on these trips: learn more about foreign clocks/watches
and their making, see as many significant clock and watch
specimens as we can; learn something of the art and history
of the areas we visit, learn something about the countryside
we are visiting, and generally enjoy the company of other
watch and clock people. The weather was fine - although
on the cool side, we had a most congenial and helpful coach
driver, and our Tour Director, Nick Lerescu shepherded our
group in his usual fine manner. We look forward to next
year's excursion, destination to be determined.
* * *
"Good memories from Italy"
EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL CHAPTER
2nd ANNUAL HOROLOGICAL TOUR TO ITALY
SEP. 26 - OCT. 10, 2002
Members of the NAWCC Educational Travel Chapter, from places as different as California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, recently returned from their 2nd annual tour that took them to Italy in-depth.
Our first stop was sunny Sorrento where we spend a couple of nights at a hotel situated in a secular park, resplendent with orange and eucalyptus trees. We all met each other over cocktails preceding our Welcome Dinner. From here we visited in-depth the ruins of Pompeii, the island of Capri and the famed Amalfi drive that revealed the skills of Sergio, our Italian driver.
On the way to Rome, Sergio thought he didn't understand English when we asked him to make a U turn in the middle of the freeway, outside Caserta. Jon had spotted a flea market and we all wanted to be part of it. Here, Jessie got a beautiful watch-ring for a song. During the drive we also initiated the longest Chapter seminar - almost 40 miles! on the autostrada while Fred gave us a presentation on the chiming clocks and a bit about the "Field Suitcase Program". We hit Rome at the time of a political rally parading right in front of our hotel... Guided visits to the Vatican including free time in the Sistine Chapel, as well as inside the Coliseum and the Pantheon gave us a real feel for the long history of these monuments, proof of the old saying - Rome was not created in one day!
After three days in Rome we were ready for Assisi and Giotto's frescoes inside St. Francis' Basilica. Rosalie got a treat as she was whisked by taxi all the way up to the church getting also a mini-sightseeing tour of the town. On to Pisa to admire the Leaning Tower and the Cathedral where Galileo got the idea of a pendulum and perfected his mechanical theories. On the way to Florence, Bill gave us a most interesting presentation on ceramic clocks. Using Florence as a base we visited the city, the unforgettable Uffizi Galleries and spent a few hours at the science museum to admire the horological collection and witness live demonstrations on some of the machines. To cap the day, Sergio took us to Fiesole, in the hills above Florence, offering a beautiful panorama and dining al fresco. The next day we visited Siena, steeped in time with a beautiful circular piazza and San Gimignano where all fun was gone - the uphill streets were too steep and a large group of German tourists practically took over the village. During our voyage we were treated to a most interesting talk about French clocks by Bob, specialist and avid collector. Bob also talked to us about C. Huygens, Galileo and related topics.
While crossing the mountains, Rubens gave us a very interesting lecture about the invention of the tuning fork in 1959, substituting the escapement in electrical watches, especially the Bulova Accutron. Later on we visited Bologna and its 16 C University, housing the Specola Museum in the astronomic observatory. Pendulum clocks, astrolabes, portolano maps and marine chronometers were shown and explained to us. Jon also gave us a talk about sundials, one of his many interests.
An informal wine and cheese party in Nick's hotel room balcony got us ready for our stay in Venice. Guided by Prof. Alessandro Giannatasio (Univ. of Trieste) who masterfully stressed the similarity between the 18 C Republic of Venice and the young (at the time) United States, we visited the Doge's Palace, housing the 15 C Tower Clock and other treasures in St Mark's Square. Next, we stopped in Verona to admire Juliet's balcony and in Sirmione, to enjoy a boat ride around the beautiful island on Lake Garda. Our last stay was in the charming town of Bergamo. On our way to Milan, Allan, the artist among us, gave us a lecture on art in general and modern art in particular. In Milan we visited the private collection consisting of Italian lantern clocks, French clocks and watches, ship's chronometers, etc., belonging to a NAWCC Italian member (he had the lowest membership number among all of us!) who asked us not to mention his name. Later on, guided by the former Curator, Prof. G. Brusa, who came from retirement to meet and be with us, we visited the horological and sundial collection of the Museum Poldi-Pezzoli. On the last day, we visited Bellagio and Como (by hydrofoil) - again Sergio proved his expertise, driving around roads so narrow that incoming traffic had to back-up at times. On the last day, Allan invited us to their room to see, over drinks, the watercolors he painted during the tour. At our traditional Farewell Dinner, most participants vowed to return to Europe for our trip to France in October 2003.
The airline used was Delta that allowed some participants to fly directly to Rome. Hotels were solid First Class, 4 star properties, centrally located and we had our private motor coach for all intercity travel. The program, including the technical visits was arranged by Nick Lerescu, Chapter member and owner of Advantage Tours.
* * *
August 1999, Horology Tour
The Time Trippers Group sailed on the Ms Norwegian Sky in August 1999, to observe the total solar eclipse.
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