Travel Blog

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Bavaria is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful regions in Germany!

Day 1: We started our tour by flying into Munich and then drove to the charming town of Fuessen. Füessen is located on the banks of the Lech River, which flows into the Forggensee lake. This quaint town is surrounded by mountains of the Ammergau Alps and the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are located nearby.

Day 2: Our next visit was to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This city played host to the Winter Olympics in 1936 and is known for its charm and beauty. Here we traveled to Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze, and took a train ride and gondola ride to the top.

Day 3: The Next day we traveled the scenic drive to Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and famous as the setting for the movie “The Sound of Music”. Our day tour starts at the Mirabell Palace and Gardens. (This is where the “Do-Re-Mi” portion of the movie was filmed.)

Next, we visit the birthplace of Mozart. (Insert from Dani: This place really touched my heart. My mom played the piano well enough to be a concert pianist. I grew up playing with my dolls under the baby grand while my mom played. She would have loved this visit.)

For our last stop we go up to the fortress Hohensalzburg for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside.

Day 4: Today day we took a short drive to Innsbruck. This city played host to two Winter Olympics. Our first stop was the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum.

There were over 20 unique Nativity scenes here. Though most often considered during the Christmas seasons, the Tyrolean Nativity Museum invites you to experience the special Nativities all year round. Crib art from the 18th century to the present can be seen here made of different materials like wood, clay, wax, or cardboard are on display.

We then took at walking tour of the city. Did you know Innsbruck has a famous roof? It’s one of Innsbruck’s top attractions – located right in the heart of the Old Town – is the Golden Roof or Goldenes Dachl in German.

The roof on the balcony was originally created at the end of the 15th century by the famous Emperor Maximilian. Its purpose was to impress travelers who were stopping by the medieval city – and did it ever work! In total, there are 2657 gold-plated shingles on the roof and several pained figured on the exterior, too. We also had the opportunity to visit the museum inside, but there were no pictures allowed.

Our last stop of the day is the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Few places on Earth look more like storybook illustrations than Neuschwanstein Castle. With its towers, turrets, frescoes, and throne hall, Neuschwanstein (or Schloss Neuschwanstein, as it is called in German) looks like it was plucked straight from your favorite fairy tale.

Day 5: Today we visited the Linderhof Palace. This was another residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. An eccentric recluse, Ludwig depleted the treasury of his country building extravagant castles and died in mysterious circumstances. Linderhof is certainly the most elaborate “hunting lodge” you will ever see!

This afternoon we traveled to the fabulous Rococo Weiskirche. From the outside is looks somewhat plain and simple, but just wait until you see the inside!

Such a surprise! We did not expect this! It was beautiful! The Wieskirche’s ornate style, called Rococo, is like Baroque that got shrunk in the wash — lighter, frillier, and more delicate, with whitewash and pastel colors. Where Baroque uses oval shapes, Rococo twists it even further into curvy cartouches.

After our visit at the Rococo Weiskirche, we drove to our hotel in Oberammergau for the highlight of our tour.

Day 6: This morning we get to explore Oberammergau, a delightful town that has been home to skilled wood carvers since the 12th century. There are many interesting things to see in this quaint town. Scenes from the scriptures and from fairy tales are painted on the walls of the buildings.

This afternoon we attended the first half of the marvelous passion play, which is performed by the town’s inhabitants every ten years since 1634—when the thirty-year war and the deadly bubonic plague killed almost half the population of Germany. The people of Oberammergau vowed to produce this play each decade if they could be spared. They were, and here we are 350 years later.

After the first half of the play, we ate dinner as a group.

Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take pictures during the play, so I had to get some from the internet.

The play is spoken in German, but the program has the exact wording so you can follow along. It was a wonderful experience to witness the Oberammergau Passion play.

Day 7: Today we departed Germany and made our way to Switzerland. It was a beautiful drive! Upon arrival we enjoyed a walking city tour of Zurich. There is no better way to get THE BEST TASTE OF ZURICH!

Day 8: We depart for home today, but plan to come back to Germany again as soon as possible. We loved it there and can’t wait to see more.

We hope you can join us in 2030 on one of our Oberammergau Passion Play tours!

Safe Travels, Dani Edmunds, and Sarah Wangsgard – Morris Murdock Escorted Tour

Check out our full tour catalogue online at

Far away, almost lost in the serene beauty of the Pacific Ocean you will discover the low domed massive volcanoes rising from the depths of the sea. Over millions of years, these volcanoes turned into islands to form the “Enchanted Islands;” as the Galapagos are called.

The first Spanish navigators were convinced they could see the islands move. Starting in the early 1535 the islands were called “ Las Encantadas.” The bewitched islands. The species that live and nest on the different islands do not fear the human presence. We will be able to observe them from a few feet away. As you snorkel, puppy seals will swim with you. Penguins, seals, giant tortoises, blue and red footed boobies, marine iguanas and land iguanas populate “Las Encantadas.”

Visiting Galapagos is a return to Eden, where all the endemic species live in peace, which is quite the opposite on the continents of the world.

Both tours are very diverse; they offer different experiences. The April tour stays in hotels in three different islands, while the October tour sails on a yacht visiting 5 islands, and making 7 stops to observe the diverse endemic flora and fauna. The symbols of the Galapagos are the blue-footed booby and the giant tortoises.

Discover our two tours to Peru and a seven day Cruise on the Amazon River:

1. Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, a return to paradise

April 2 – 15, 2023

This tour is operated with a maximum capacity of 17 passengers.

Carol Alegre, one of the two travel experts will lead this adventure, visiting and staying in 3 different islands in the Galapagos archipelago, while in continental Ecuador the exploration includes the Cloud Forest with its myriads of hummingbirds, the famous Otavalo Indian Market, hot springs of Papallacta, set amidst the towering volcanoes and Colonial Quito; declared by UNESCO a heritage city. The maximum capacity for this tour is 18 passengers.

2. Galapagos, the Enchanted Islands, Colonial Quito, Otavalo

Indian Market and Cotacachi – September 14 - 23, 2023

This tour has been designed to give you a full adventure in the Galapagos archipelago by sailing from island to island and overnighting in each island allowing more time to see endemic species of birds and animals which make the islands their home. We can take only 18 passengers on this spectacular departure.

We visit the islands in two small groups with certified naturalist guides. We allow our travelers snorkeling and swimming on the wonderful beaches of Galapagos. We explore the world famous Otavalo Indian Market and Cotacachi, a charming village where our travelers can purchase at bargain price leather articles. Quito is the Capital of Ecuador, perched on the Andes and surrounded by majestic volcanoes. We will walk the downtown streets and bask in the history of the most important colonial capital city of the Americas, which still maintains the ancient traditions of the native population, dating back to millennia.

Carlos L. Fida, a seasoned Latin America traveler will conduct this very special departure; the number 6th in the last 8 months. To find out more about this tour call Carlos at 801-483-5212.

You can call any of the preferred travel counselors at Morris Columbus Travel to book any of these tours.

River Cruising is my favorite type of cruising. Rivers can take you to the heart of a country where you can see how they have created the world’s greatest cities. Rivers also help you gain understanding of cultures and countries. I recently had an opportunity to cruise the Rhine and the Main Rivers onboard the AMAPrima from Basel, Switzerland to Nuremberg, Germany, on AmaWaterway’s Medieval Treasures cruise. Mention the opportunity to see great architecture and medieval culture, and I am in.

I was drawn to this itinerary because of the castles, cathedrals, and history. There is no better way to see the country than from your floating hotel either on your balcony, in the pool, or on the sun deck.

I started in Basel, Switzerland a day early and had an opportunity to tour Basel’s Old Town with a guide, and see the Munster Cathedral. The view of the Rhine is incredible, many locals float and swim down the river to cool off on a hot day. Transportation on the local tram is free with a hotel stay, and it is easy and fun.

After boarding the ship, the first stop was Strasbourg, France. I chose to bike this excursion and weave among the visitors and around the city to see the sights. The guide led us past parks where migrating storks nested, past the European Council Building, and along the river to the Strasbourg Cathedral, one of the tallest Gothic cathedrals in the world. It was built in the Middle Ages and boasts an astronomical clock that rises to the ceiling and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Germany. Strasbourg is a leading European political center and historical site with a seesaw history between France and Germany for many generations.

The tour through Speyer’s Romanesque Cathedral with our guide enlightened me more into the history of the area, its culture, and politics. Touring Speyer was fun with tasting spaghetti ice, apfeltashes and numerous baked goods and treats. There was a 300-year-old Protestant church building constructed of wood and stenciling that was absolutely beautiful. I also toured the ruins of the Jewish Community. The other tour option was the Technical Museum. Many passengers thoroughly enjoyed this experience of trains, planes, and automobiles and commented there was not enough time leaving everyone wanting more.

The next day was a visit to Rudesheim. Gentle walkers can take the Gondola ride over the vineyards and active walkers can hike through the fragrant vineyards. The Quiet Vox headsets make traveling easy and allows you to wander off a bit and still hear your guide’s narrative. This is where we say good-by to the Rhine and hello to the gently flowing Main with its numerous locks, beautiful countryside and small towns with churches and cathedrals.

Castles were on the agenda the next day with a visit to Miltenberg and Wertheim. I chose the hike to Miltenberg Castle. It was fairly moderate hike and provided the most beautiful view of the entire cruise. I walked past half-timbered houses with the flower boxes, a truly German sight; past the breweries and the storefronts and ended my visit to a famous gummy bear store. The guides are so knowledge and personable. After a short motor coach ride to Wertheim, I again took the castle hike. This one was more challenging but the view from the top was breathtaking but there are a lot of stairs! Gentle walkers could stay in the city and enjoy the beer, pretzels, and music.

There are so many options that it is a difficult choice and they are all included with the cruise. The options today were taking a Wurzburg Walking Tour to see the Residenz Palace, the bike tour from Kitzingen to Volkach or a full day Rothenburg Tour. I have wanted to re-visit Rothenburg, one of the stops on the famed Romantic Road in Bavaria. It was a full day touring the city. Rothenburg is the iconic walled medieval town complete with cobblestone street, the iconic clock tower, half-timber houses, dirndl shops, street cafes, and Christmas shops. This is an absolute jewel in the itinerary and a place to re-visit and spend more time.

The day ended with a wine festival in Volkach where our ship passengers were honored with complimentary wine and bratwurst and entertained with traditional Bavarian song and dance.

The final day of the cruise was spent in Bamburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are known for their specialty, smoked beer. The area of Little Vienna is very charming with the colors, flowers and architecture. I chose to take the walking tour, but the bike tour is available from the town of Eltmann to Bamberg as well. Bamberg is a great place for souvenirs, food, and drinks. It is also has a 13th century Romanesque Cathedral.

AMAWaterways truly caters to their passengers. The AMAPrima is a beautiful ship with a pool on the top deck, complimentary bicycles, an oversized chess board, a spa, and a fitness center. The food and drinks are plentiful and delicious. Caring chefs cater to any food allergies or needs. Evening entertainment was a lot of fun.

Unpack only once on your floating luxury hotel. Daily shore excursions are included with multiple options for gentle, moderate or active walkers or you can bike between ports instead of walking. Then you can unwind each evening with exquisite dining and onboard activities and entertainment with your fellow passengers.

I truly enjoyed my time aboard the AMAPrima and would heartily recommend this river cruise vacation to anyone looking for their next European adventure.

Julie Best

If I can help plan your next cruise or river cruise, please contact me:

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Phone: 801.483.5230

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