encounters with God in the world's great art
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Art to Heart European Tour
11 days - London, Paris, Amsterdam
departing October 17, 2002
Tour hosts Jeff and Annemarie
Day 1 - Depart USA
Today we depart Atlanta for our overnight international flight to London.
Day 2 - London
Welcome to England! Two thousand years ago, a small Roman village along the banks of the River Thames became known as Londinium! In 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed four fifths of this ancient city within the Roman walls. Through all of its distress, poverty, sickness and disasters, London has blossomed into one of the most beautiful, historic cities in the world. An orientation tour takes you to well-known landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. We'll also see the Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament, and Big Ben. Visit the Cabinet War Rooms of World War II, used by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This underground complex is located in the basement of the New Public Offices, ten feet below King Charles Street, and was designed to withstand attacks from German flying bombs and rockets. Three overnights in London. Dinner at hotel this evening.
Day 3 - London
This morning at 10:00 AM we'll begin our tour of London's National Gallery of Art. It is perhaps the finest art museum in the world. A few museums are larger, but no other has such consistently high quality in virtually every category of Western painting from the Byzantine to the Post-Impressionist. Da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, El Greco, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Vermeer, Cézanne, Constable, van Gogh, Goya, Monet, Renoir, Turner - what great artist does not have major works in this museum? We will clearly see that God has inspired artists from all ages and all nations with His love and His majesty. Lunch in museum cafe or nearby restaurant. Afterwards, we'll visit Harrod's Department Store for browsing, shopping, and high tea. Dinner on your own this evening.
Day 4 - London
The Tate Gallery once housed art by British artists and 20th-century art. These collections have been separated and we will visit the British collection. You will love Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" and many others, but the museum's centerpieces are the world's best collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and a whole wing full of J. M. W. Turner paintings. Before van Gogh and the Impressionists got hot in the 1970s and -80s, Turner held the record for the highest price ever paid for a painting. This collection will show you why. And though you may not know the pre-Raphaelite style, I believe that after this tour, many of you will consider it one of your favorites. We'll begin our tour at 10:00 AM, followed by lunch in the Tate Cafe & Espresso Bar. Those who prefer may substitute the visit to the Tate Gallery with a viewing of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure in preparation for a pre-theatre dinner followed by a Shakespeare performance at the renowned Globe Theatre.
Day 5 - London/Paris
Experience one of travel's most interesting developments when you travel first-class by train aboard the sleek Eurostar from London. Journey under the English Channel - and arrive in the city of Paris just three hours later. See many landmark attractions on a city sightseeing excursion this afternoon, including the Pantheon, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more. We'll visit the Sacred Heart Basilica which contains one of the world's largest mosaics. This evening we'll embark on a Seine River cruise with dinner, followed by a tour of Paris' spectacular illuminated sights and floodlight monuments, including views of the Eiffel Tower and Napoleon's Magnificent Arc de Triomphe Memorial. Three overnights in Paris.
Day 6 - Paris
This morning we're off to the Musée d'Orsay. Once a train station, the "Orsay" is now home for the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art, including paintings, sculpture, and even architecture. It was in Paris that Impressionism was born and grew into maturity, so it is fitting that so many of the greatest works remain here. Like many people, you may respond naturally to the beautiful Impressionist colors. If so, this visit may be the highlight of your tour. Or, this visit may be where you begin to understand why art that doesn't look like a photograph can actually convey a more powerful spiritual message. Understanding Impressionist art can be a key to understanding the more obscure abstract art of the 20th century. We begin our tour at 10 AM and will break at noon for lunch in the Musee d'Orsay Restaurant (or Cafe des Hauteurs). After lunch, we'll continue our tour of the museum. Remainder of afternoon at leisure - maybe some shopping, or strolling the banks of the Seine. Those who prefer may substitute this day with a visit to the Palace of Versailles. This evening we'll dine in a local restaurant.
Day 7 - Paris
This morning an exciting visit to the Louvre. The Louvre was once a royal palace; now it is the world's largest art museum. It houses an immense collection of paintings, but also has enormous galleries full of sculpture, ancient artifacts, reconstructed ancient temple facades, Napoleon III's lavish residential apartments, the foundation of the medieval castle that was the first Louvre, and of course, the two most famous works of art on earth: The "Venus de Milo" and Leonardo's "Mona Lisa." Even a brisk walk through the galleries would take all day if we didn't stop to look. But we'll stop, and look, and experience the Holy Spirit as He moved in the lives and the creations of the great masters. Afternoon and dinner this evening on your own.
Day 8 - Paris/Amsterdam
After an early morning train ride (first class) into Amsterdam, we'll have a half-day of sightseeing including a cruise along the famous canals lined with homes and storehouses of the 17th Century. We'll visit Volendam, an old picturesque fishing village on the shore of the former Zuider Zee, where the inhabitants still wear their traditional costumes. Next, we'll visit the shop of a klopenmaker (wooden shoe carver) and one of the few remaining Dutch cheese farms. Finally, we will visit the windmills at de Zaanse Schaans. Dinner this evening at our hotel. Three overnights in Amsterdam..
Day 9 - Amsterdam
We begin today with a tour of the Rijksmuseum. The Netherlands is a small country, but they have created more great paintings than any other civilization of a similar size. The Rijksmuseum's collections of non-Dutch art can be spotty, but there is no more magnificent exhibit of Hals, Rubens, Vermeers, and of course, Rembrandts. Incidentally, this is the museum where I first understood the value of great art. That revelation launched a lifetime of exploration and appreciation, and I hope this visit will do the same for you. After lunch we'll visit The Anne Frank House. Remainder of afternoon at leisure. Dinner this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 10 - Amsterdam
Today's itinerary begins with a tour of The Corrie Ten Boom House in Haarlem where we'll feel the spiritual strength and dedication of this family. Afterwards we're on to the Van Gogh Museum. As if the "Golden Age" of Dutch painting were not enough to secure the Dutch place in the history of painting, The Netherlands also gave birth to Vincent Van Gogh, who may be the best-loved painter of all time. Here is the greatest single collection of van Gogh paintings in the world. You may already love van Gogh's colors, but I think you will be astounded to discover the passion and power of these works. I believe this last museum visit will be the most emotionally involving of the entire tour. The remainder of the day at leisure. You may wish to take in the sights of Dam Square, take a walk in Vondelpark, take a walking tour of the old Jordaan section, or catch up on last minute shopping. Farewell dinner at our hotel this evening.
Day 11 - Amsterdam/USA
Today we proceed home on our flight from Amsterdam to the U.S.
Travel arrangements provided by:
Wilcox World Travel & Tours, International Tours Group Division
1 W. Pack Square, Suite 1700 Asheville, NC 28801-3481 USA
828-254-07461-800-438-5828 (USA & Canada)