Saturday 13 June
From 07h30 until 21h30
Eifel Nationalpark, Germany
Transportation by private luxury bus
A new destination so nice that we wonder why we didn’t travel here before: the Eifel National Park. This is heaven for nature lovers! Situated just across the Belgian-German border, this large conservation area in North Rhine-Westphalia, is home to 8,000 different species of plants and animals. Its beech forests are home to wildcats, red deer, eagle owls, spotted woodpeckers and many more! You can explore the park in numerous different ways with beautiful wilderness trails and cycling paths that run past rivers and valleys filled with wildflowers in the spring.
The Eifel National Park also contains traces of WW2 history with an old military training base for young Nazis located on the south-east side. Today we will explore the area around the Rur Reservoir. On this slow-paced day we visit the Eifel Visitors Centre, learn more about the WWII history of the Vogelsang complex, and experience the local natural environment by bus, 2 separate boat tours and trackless train. We finish the day in the lovely town Nideggen with typical Fachwerk houses.
- Trip by 4* luxury coach with reclining seats
- Bottled water during the outbound journey
- Visit to Eifel National Park Centre
- Visit to Vogelsang, former Nazi training camp
- Entrance visit to two exhibitions
- Destiny: Master Race
- Wilderness Dreams
- Optional guided nature tour
- 30-minutes boat tour Obersee
- Walk over Paulushofdamm
- 45-minutes boat tour Rursee
- 1-hour trackless train through nature reserve
- Visit to the Town of Nidriggen
- Great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
What is optional for this trip?
- 2-course lunch
Coach pick-up point
- Place Schuman (bus stop next to KBC Bank on roundabout)
Who can join this trip?
Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special, open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone should feel comfortable.
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
How to add a child ticket?
Expat Club loves welcoming young expats, too! If you want to bring your child(ren) up until 18 years, please first add the regular adult ticket(s) to the cart and then go to the cart page. On the cart page, there is a child ticket available for €40. Lunch can be added on the spot.
As with any Expat Club trip, our schedule today is carefully designed so you can enjoy all the places and have enough time for lunch, a coffee and some free time. Still, all times below are tentative and depend also on external circumstances, such as weather and traffic conditions. Together with the bus driver, guide and welcoming destinations we will do our best to give you the most optimal experience. FYI, Expat Club loves being on time and we are very often spot on when it comes to keeping track of the schedule.
07h30 – Departure from Place Schuman
10h00 – Visit 2 exhibitions: “Destiny: Master Race” & “Wilderness Dreams”
12h30 – Lunch
15h00 – Boat 1 to Rurberg
16h00 – Boat 2 to Heimbach
17h00 – Rursee Bahn tour
18h00 – Bus departure to Nideggen
20h00 – Departure Brussels
22h30 – Arrival Schuman
The Eifel is a low mountainous region in West Germany and partially in East Belgium (the High Fens). One could roughly locate it between the cities Aachen, Koblenz and Trier. The Eifel National Park is just a part of the region and measures about 110 square kilometers. This the beautiful area we are going to discover today. The park is characterised by large forested mountain ranges, with in between rivers, smaller streams and dark blue lakes. Today you will can optionally explore it for some time with a park ranger who will tell you more about all the wildlife, plants and flowers you can find here.
We will concentrate our day visit on the visitors centre and the various part of the Rur Reservoir. The meandering Rur river takes the shape of a lake here due to various dams built in it. The Rur Dam is with 77-metres the highest manmade dam that restricts the water flow from the Rur River to form the Rur Reservoir. It was built already in 1939, and the reservoir measures 7.8km².
To fully enjoy the scenery and to relax, we will make 2 boat rides today: one on the higher Obersee, and one on the lower Rursee. Afterwards we will board a colourful trackless train to drive a bit more through this stunning nature reserve. We end the day in one of the loveliest towns, Nideggen. This town is located on the River Rur between the Eifel hills. It is known for its castle Burg Nideggen and sandstone rocks along the Rur.
Park Centre & Vogelsang
We begin our day with a visit to the Eifel National Park Centre, which is housed at the Vogelsang Internationaler Platz, a former Nazi training camp. The former Nazi “Ordensburg” Vogelsang is not only one of the largest constructions of National Socialism, but also an expression of its arrogance and contempt for mankind. Through the military use as “Camp Vogelsang” after the Second World War, the location also reflects the path from the “Cold War” to the Europe of today. Since 2006, a new location has been developing here: Vogelsang IP as an “international place” for tolerance, diversity and peaceful coexistence. The lessons from history are seen as both a duty and an opportunity. Appreciation, dialogue and openness are attitudes to which all facilities at the location are dedicated.
“Forest, water, wilderness” is the motto of the first national park in the Eifel in North Rhine-Westphalia. Under the motto “let nature be nature”, nature finds its way back into its own cycle of birth and death. Here you will discover the virgin forests of tomorrow, where wildcats, black storks and more than two thousand endangered animal and plant species live. Unspoilt beech and oak forests, streams, rivers and open grassland areas offer diverse views of nature and landscape (source: Vogelsang website).
During our visit you have the option to visit 2 exhibitions:
This exhibition takes you on an educative, immersive, and interactive journey through the park. It contains elements suitable for all ages and families. As you walk through the exhibition, you will be presented with models that you are able to touch, animal sounds, and different naturistic fragrances you can smell. It also offers the opportunity to learn about the vast range of species inhabiting the park and the survival strategies they implement. The “Dreams of Wilderness” interactive exhibition invites you to embark on a journey of discovery!
Destiny: Master Race exhibition
This exhibition looks into what motivated and convinced young men to join the Nazi elite (the supposed ‘Master Race’) and train at Vogelsang, where they were indoctrinated with the belief that the German race was superior. It aims to provide visitors with new ideas and thoughts regarding a number of questions that have often been asked, such as: Did these young men actually believe in the ‘Master Race’ ideology? What did the Party leadership promise them in their future? Were they predestined to participate in the heinous crimes? If they had said ‘no’ what would have happened to them?
We close our visit to the Vogelsang complex with a nice lunch. This is optional, but this way you won’t have to search for a place to eat. Just join one of our group tables and get to know some other people on the tour.
To make sure you won’t lose time searching for a restaurant, we have already reserved a table for you in the restaurant of the Vogelsang complex. You are invited to join us, but if you are fine with a sandwich to enjoy a bit more time in the museum or the park, that’s totally fine too. Normally 80% or more joins, so it’s a nice way to get to know the other people on the trip.
The restaurant offers a simple but nice German meal. During checkout you can make your choice of food. You can choose from the following menu:
Big mixed salad bowl with goat cheese (strips of chicken breast optional)
Housemade pea soup with potato, vegetables and Bockwurst from the Eifel
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Bowl of rösti with mixed vegetables with cheese and butter sauce
Chicken schnitzel “Vienna Style” with french fries and salad
Pork schnitzel “Eiferer Art” with with bacon, fried egg and French fries and salad
Salmon filet with hummer sauce, spinach and vegetable rice
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We will be travelling with a comfortable 4* luxury coach. The seats are configured in Princess Class, which means you will have extra leg space and can recline your seat. This way you can get some extra rest. All seats have footrests as well. There is a (small) toilet on-board and a DVD system with three flat screens, so we can show you a nice movie or documentary outbound and/or inbound journey.