Thursday, September 15, 2011

Turkish Airlines newest commercial with Kobe Bryant

"East meets West": A first itinerary for the 2012 SMCC Performance Tour to Germany and Istanbul

The San Marino Chamber Choir under the direction of Mr. Howard Cheung is touring Germany and Istanbul in the spring of 2012. The itinerary below is a first outline and still work in progress. 

Neuschwanstein Castle
Day 1, Thursday, March 29
Overnight flight to Europe
Day 2,    Friday, March 30
Willkommen in Deutschland   
After connecting in Istanbul, your Incantato Tour Manager welcomes you at Munich airport and will bring you to the first hotel for check-in and a first German dinner.

Day 3, Saturday, March 31
Munich Sightseeing    
Experience the capital of Germany’s most well-known state Bavaria with a local guide, see the famous Hofbräuhaus and listen to the Glockenspiel on the new town hall. After some free time for shopping, experience a traditional Bratwurst feast.

Day 4, Sunday, April 1
Sunday Mass & Concert    
SMCC will most likely be performing twice today in or near Munich. More information will be featured here soon.

Day 5, Monday, April 2   
Scenic route to Salzburg    You are in for a treat as you transfer into nearby Austria and visit Salzburg. Embark on a “Sound of Music” tour and see the historic city center with Mozart’s house, now a museum. SMCC is likely to give a recital in the Salzburger Dom, the most important cathedral in this region. After free-time for exploring, your group continues to Fuessen for check-in to the Schlosshotel Lisl.

Day 6, Tuesday, April 3
Neuschwanstein Tour & Concert   
Visiting King Ludwig II.’s magnificent Neuschwanstein castle is a must do when visiting Bavaria. A special concert could take place this evening.

Day 7, Wednesday, April 4
Wieskirche, MUC airport experience and Istanbul flight   
Visit the stunning Wieskirche (“Church on the Meadow”) where SMCC is invited to sing for the Pilgrim Mass. Continue to Munich airport which is an attraction in itself and known for great restaurants, shopping and so much more. In the early evening, board your flight to Turkey. A new Incantato Tour Manager will greet you upon arrival in Istanbul and bring you to your hotel for the remainder of the tour.

Day 8, Thursday, April 5   
Istanbul in-depth   
There is so much to see and do in Istanbul, so let’s start by visiting St. Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Byzantine Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar. Dinner will be traditional Turkish Mezze.

Day 9, Friday, April 6   
School visit & exchange
What better way to get to know a new culture than through meeting fellow students. After a school visit and exchange, the remainder of the day is at leisure for shopping and to dine out on your own under the guidance of your tour manager.

Day 10, Saturday, April 7
Bosphorus Cruise, Concert and Farewell Party    
Start with a brief visit to the 17th century Spice Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s most colorful and bustling attractions, then take a cruise along the Bosphorus, the majestic strait that runs through Istanbul, linking Europe and Asia. After another highlight concert, you will experience a fun farewell with  a traditional Turkish Belly Dance show.

Day 11, Sunday, April 8   
Depart Istanbul   
After breakfast, return home with memories to last a lifetime.

The San Marino Chamber Choir is heading to Istanbul - Here are some facts

Did You Know?
This historically rich city of Istanbul is located in the northwestern part of Turkey. While the city is home to over 13 million people, one of the largest populations in Europe, it is actually not the capital of Turkey. (No need to search: the capital is Ankara!) Situated between Asia and Europe, Istanbul bridges the two both physically and culturally. Now is the perfect time to visit this very happening city, as it is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics!

Explore the Land
Historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, many of the ancient monuments date back to Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods. In 1843, Sultan Abdul Mecid ordered architect Garavet Balyan to build the Dolmabahce Palace, an example of the combination of Oriental and Western styles. Then there is the Topkapi Palace, now a museum, was once a home to all of the Ottoman sultans for nearly four centuries. The Istanbul Archeology Museum consists of three museums, which holds one of the world’s richest collection of historical artifacts and treasures. An architectural masterpiece in the city, the Suleymaniye Moque is the largest and most imposing moque. Beautiful, historical landmarks of the city can go on and on; a visit to this marvelous city might never be complete.

Shop at a Major Trade Route
Originally founded as a location to control the major trading routes, connecting east and west, shopping could be considered as just another tourist attraction. Make sure to go Monday through Saturday, as shops may be closed on Sundays. The historical bazaars, marketplaces, are all located in the peninsula of the Old City. There you can browse some of popular things to buy in the city: lokum (confections based on a gel of starch and sugar), Turkish Tea (chai, the national drink of Turkey), rugs, and kilims (flat tapestry-woven carpets produced from the Balkans to Pakistan). Also don’t be alarmed if you have to go through a security checkpoint, similar to airports and museums, as this is common before entering major shopping malls.

Turkey’s currency is the Turkish Lira (TL). At places frequented by tourists the Euro and US dollar are also sometimes accepted; however, be sure to carry some Lira for the places that do not have that option! Be sure to exchange only what you will need for your stay, as converting the Lira back to another currency can be quite difficult after leaving.

Squares and Streets in Salzburg

Fall for the charm of Salzburg by strolling through the city's historic streets and alleys. Here, each house tells a story, and building preservation continues to be a guiding principle. To discover the secrets, please click on the following link: The picture shows the famous "Getreidegasse".

SMCC will visit Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein) is a 19th-century Gothic Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. For more information, please see the following website: