We are sailing down the river to a town called Torgau today after a delightful 2 day stay in Wittenburg. This is the town where the Protestant Reformation began after Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door. The city guide we had there was outstanding. She spoke very fast which commanded your careful attention. She told story upon story about Luther, his family and friends.
On our last afternoon in Wittenburg, our 90 member group divided into small groups to go to our home hosted visit. Ken and I were with 3 other couples whom we had gottten to know, so a congenial group. Our hostess met us outside the house and led the way. She ushered us into the dining room with gestures and a smile, as she spoke only German. The table was set with lovely linens and china, flowers in the center. After we were seated, she lit the candles in the dim room which helped not only to see but softened the entire effect even more.
A large cheesecake graced one end of the table and a plum kuchen (cake) sat at the other end. In the center was a silver tray that held tiny little cream puffs. Two ladies in our group knew enough German that we were able to learn that our hostess had made the desserts, that her husband was a carpenter who installed windows and doors. He arrived home while we were eating, stuck his head in the door and said "Halloo!" then disappeared. When we finished eating, we were give a cherry liqueuer. We had all brought small gifts for our hostess. Grand Circle Tours has one home-hosted visit on each trip, sometimes a full lunch or dinner and also dessert and coffee times as we had this time. Some of the hosts do speak English, many do not, but you manage to communicate very well and there is always a fine cultural exchange.
As much as we savor the travel experience of another country, meeting so many people on the tour and the locals is super, too.