BUSMVA 2018 BERLIN REUNION
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The Cold War lasted 50-years and the presence of the Berlin Brigade became a symbol of America’s resolve in Europe. You can be proud of your service which saved a city, made it possible to build a strong economy for Berliners, encouraged the rule of law, assisted in the creation of a democracy, and brought justice to a nation.
When telling the “Story of Freedom”, Berlin holds a special place in history. The blockade crisis, one of the first tests of the new Cold War era, is a reminder of the foundations upon which the cooperation of Germany and America have been built and nurtured over many years.
The Berlin Airlift more than any event other demonstrates America’s commitment to a free Berlin. 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift which saved a city and 2.4 million West Berliners who would otherwise have been taken over by the Russians. If that had happened the map of Europe would not be the same as it is today. The 2018 BUSMVA reunion will celebrate those victories.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 5
Several members will be arriving early so reunion check-in begins on Sunday, August 5 in the afternoon. Check-in will be in the lobby on the second level. When checking-in you will be requested to select your table assignments for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners.
MONDAY, AUGUST 6
Monday will include time for members to check-in and receive their registration packets, attend an orientation session of what to expect during the week, purchase BUSMVA memorabilia and your winning 50/50 tickets, and renew or make new friends.
We will have a Welcome Dinner Monday evening at the hotel. We have several new BUSMVA members who over the years served in the 298th Army Band. We are in for a special occasion as they have volunteered to perform at the Welcome Dinner. This concert should bring back good memories from our past. Who doesn’t remember the joy of a Berlin Parade?
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
Tuesday will be special day for BUSMVA, Berlin and the reunion. In the morning we will go to the Allied Museum for a memorial to the service of those members who died during the past year. After the service we will tour the Museum with guides provided by the Museum. Following the visit to the Allied Museum we will go to the former U. S. Army Chapel in Dahlem for lunch.
After lunch we plan to go to the Tempelhof Memorial for a service celebrating the Berlin Airlift. We are planning to hold the service in front of the Memorial unless inclement weather requires us to move inside. The celebration will start with a concert by former members of the 298th Army Band. The concert will be followed by comments from representatives of the German State Department and U. S. Embassy, a representative from the Berlin Airlift Veterans Association (BAVA), the U. S. Air Force and other dignitaries.
During the ceremony at Tempelhof we plan to recognize BUSMVA and BAVA members who served in Berlin during the period June 26, 1948 to October 6, 1949. Additionally, we have invited some of those who were children during the airlift and caught candy dropped by Lt. Gail Halvorsen and others from U S aircraft delivering supplies to Berlin.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8
Wednesday is an open day for you to plan activities with friends from your unit or with others.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
Potsdam Tour: If you registered for this tour, today provides an opportunity to recall some of the important events that shaped the future of Germany and Berlin.
We will stop at Cecilienhof Palace which was the location of the summit meeting of World War II’s victorious powers, attended by the “Big Three” – the American President Harry S. Truman, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the Soviet head of state Joseph Stalin.
The Truman House or as Truman called it “The Little White House”. Truman met Stalin for the first time in this house, and it is here they had their first confrontation. It was here, during the Potsdam Conference, that Truman received a cable advising him that the first atomic bomb had been successfully tested in the New Mexico desert. And, it was from here, Truman warned Japan that it must surrender at once or face unspecified consequences
Lunch will be on-your-own in an area of Potsdam known as the Dutch Quarter where you can visit the small shops, cafés and bars built in the 1730s.
After lunch we will take, the Seven Lakes Boat Tour, better known to many members as the “MP Surveillance Tour”. The two-hour tour of seven lakes starts at Kleiner Wannsee and proceeds up Pohlesee, Stölpchensee, Griebnitzsee, Glienicker Lake, and Jungfernsee via the River Havel back to Wannsee.
Participants will enjoy beautiful views of many UNESCO world heritage sites in Berlin and Potsdam along the route, among them Babelsberg Palace, Glienicke Hunting Lodge, and Cecilienhof Palace. The tour also passes Glienicker Brücke, which became famous as a place for spy exchange during the Cold War, as featured in the film "Bridge of Spies".
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
Another open day for you to plan activities with friends from your unit or with others.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11
Our final reunion day in Berlin. As in past years we will hold our Annual Business Meeting, take those last photographs and have our Farewell Dinner.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12
Depart for After Reunion Tours, home or other adventures. We wish for you safe travels!
2018 BUSMVA AFTER REUNION BUS TOUR
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We have planned an exciting bus tour through Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria, with an optional add on tour to Budapest, Hungary.
Day 1, Sunday, August 12, 2018 (Berlin – Wroclaw 350 km)
This morning we will leave Berlin with a stop at Goerlitz. Germany's easternmost city, Goerlitz -- along with Frankfurt an der Oder -- is one of the last European towns that has remained divided ever since the end of World War II. At the Potsdam Conference, the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union made the Neisse and Oder rivers the border between Poland and the Soviet occupation zone of Germany. Goerlitz's eastern half was awarded to Poland and was given its historic Polish name, Zgorzelec.
We will stay at the Mercure Centrum Hotel located in a tourism, commercial and business center of the city. Wroclaw attractions, such as Raclawice Panorama, the Old Market, Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island) and the shopping mall are within walking distance from the hotel.
We will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2, Monday, August 13, 2018 (Wroclaw)
After breakfast we will start with our city sightseeing tour of Wroclaw, followed by leisure time. We will see the historical Market Square, the Cathedral (Cathedral of St. John the Baptist), the gothic city hall, the Centennial Hall (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and other highlights of this cultural town.
In the evening we will have our dinner at a local restaurant and stay another night at the Mercure Centrum Hotel.
Day 3, Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (Wroclaw – Oswiecim – Krakow 202 / 68 km)
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is a solemn place where care should be taken to respect those who suffered here. The Museum has adopted rules of behavior that can be found at:
We will arrive in the late afternoon in Krakow at the beautiful Hotel Polski Pod Bialim Orlem located in the Old Town part of the city. After Check-In we will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4, Wednesday August 15, 2018 (Krakow)
In the morning we will go on our sightseeing tour. Many visitors say Krakow is the nicest city in Poland. Tradition and charm brings every year many people to the former capitol city of Poland, which was once a Residence town of the Polish Kings. On our 3 hour walking city sightseeing tour will show you the highlights, The Wawel Hill, The Royal Cathedral (also called Wawel Cathedral), Old town, Jagiellonian University district, Planty Park, St. Mary's Basilica, leftovers of fortifications and the Main Market Square with little medieval streets around.
Krakow has over 1000 years of history and is also named “Florence of Poland”.
Afternoon free for your leisure – enjoy the old town of Krakow on your own or with friends. We will stay another night at the Hotel Polski Pod Bialim Orlem and have dinner at a typical restaurant in Krakow.
This morning we leave Krakow to go to the Tatra Mountains that form a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. They are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. Some people call this area the little ALPS. Here waits for you very scenic mountain site that has been designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
We travel to Zakapone where in March 1940, representatives of the Soviet NKVD and the Nazi Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane’s Villa Tadeusz, to coordinate the pacification of resistance in Poland. Throughout World War II, Zakapone served as an underground staging point between Poland and Hungary.
At the resort town of Zakapone we leave Poland and drive in the Slovakia High Tatra Mountain area. There we will travel on the second largest mountain in the Carpathian Mountain Range called “the Lomnitzer Spitze (2634 m). This night we will stay at the Grand Hotel Jasna where we will have dinner.
Day 6, Friday August 17, 2018 (Low/High Tatra Mountain Area – Banska Bystrica (131 km),Nitra (254 km), Bratislava 350 km)
After breakfast we leave the Tatra Mountain Area and
We will check-In to the Devin Hotel and then have dinner.
Day 7, Saturday August 18, 2018 (Bratislava – Vienna, 66 km)
In the morning we start after breakfast with our bus along the Danube River via Fischamend to Vienna. Here we will have a guided City Sightseeing Tour. This tour will give you an overall impression of the most significant sights of Vienna. Along the Ringstrasse you will see numerous of magnificent buildings, such as the State Opera House, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Natural History Museum, the cultural district, the Museums Quartier, the former Habsburg winter residence, the Hofburg, the Parliament, the City Hall, the Burgtheater, the Schönbrunn Palace and more.
The afternoon is free for leisure time or shopping.
This evening we will stay at the Kremslehner Regina Hotel where we will have our by Goodbye-Dinner.
Day 8, Sunday August 19, 2018
After breakfast we leave Vienna and those not going on the Optional Tour will transfer to the airport. From here we leave for the U.S.A. Those staying for the optional tour will have a day to explore Vienna on your own or in small groups.
This evening we will have dinner at a typical restaurant in Vienna.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE 8-DAY AFTER REUNION TOUR
NOTE: * Luggage will be transported in the storage area beneath the passenger compartment. No luggage will be allowed in the passenger compartment. Luggage must have a maximum weight of 50 pounds (23 kg) per bag and a maximum exterior linear dimension of 62 inches (158 cm).
Carry-on-bags are limited to only one personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, with the maximum dimensions of 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).
Prices in € (Euro) per person for the Basic and Extended Tours
Costs for the Tours
The exchange rate of the Dollar for Euros is constantly changing; therefore, the tour company has quoted the price of the tour in Euros, as shown in the Table on the previous page.
Some of the tour cost are fixed and are shared equally among all of those on the tour. Since we don’t know the number of persons who will go on the tour, the cost per person for the tour will be based on the number who register and pay the initial deposit of 400 € by February 19, 2018.
Subsequent payments will be due on:
A final tour cost will be published for those going on the tour after the number who register by February 19 has been determined.
Transfer of Funds
The tour company requires payments to be made in Euros. Because we don’t know the exchange rate on the day your funds are transferred, payments for the tour are to be made in U. S. Dollars based on the dollar value for the required Euros. You should have your bank send the payments in US Dollars to BB&T. The first payment is a minimum of 400 €. Your Bank will calculate the amount of US Dollars needed for the payment. Your Bank should send the domestic wire or transfer using the following information:
The bank transit number is: 031204710.
An Optional add – on – tour is included this package. It was developed because some members wanted a 10-day tour. For the add-on-tour to Budapest to be cost effective at least 20 people will need to sign up for the add-on-tour.
If 20 people do not sign up to take the tour all the way to Budapest, the tour will end in Vienna.
Everyone who signs up for the tour will be sent an update on the status of the tour NLT Thursday, February 22.
Optional Tour to Budapest
Day 9, Monday August 20, 2018 (Vienna – Budapest, 243 km)
In the morning hours we leave Vienna via the Neusiedl Lake Area for the capital city of Hungary, Budapest. This day in Hungary is Stefan day (St. Stephen’s Day), a national holiday that commemorates the founding of the Hungarian state. Festivities start in the morning with the raising of the Hungarian flag and continue on all day long, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over the Danube.
In the afternoon we Check-In at the Continental Hotel and have leisure time until dinner.
At night we have dinner at our hotel.
Day 10, Tuesday August 21, 2018 Budapest
After breakfast at our hotel we will start with a guided City Sightseeing tour. Here we see the Neo Gothic House of Parliament. Then we cross the Danube on Margaret Bridge and drive to Royal Castle on the Buda-Side with the main attractions of the city. We visit Fishermen’s Bastion and see Matthias Church – Photo stop at Citadel - crossing Elizabeth-Bridge and passing by the City Park, reach Heroes’ Square (Promenade), see the Opera House, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the City Center, where we will stay for some leisure time, before we drive to our hotel.
At night we will have dinner at a typical Hungarian restaurant and overnight at the Continental Hotel.
Day 11, Wednesday August 22, 2018
After breakfast we will start with our Puszta Tour. An unforgettable day in the Puszta starts with visit of the baroque palace in Gödöllő, known as the summer retreat of Franz Joseph and Queen Elisabeth. Then we will go on to visit the Lázár Equestrian Park; which is run by driving world champions, the Lázár brothers! The stunning complex, located in the rolling hills, allows breathtaking views of the Domony Valley.
We will see a riding show, followed by a visit of the stables, the trophies of the Lázár brothers, multiple world champions in team driving. Also a short carriage ride in the valley is planed followed by lunch, typical Hungarian dishes and Gypsy music. Then we return to our hotel in Budapest in the late afternoon.
Dinner will be at a typical Hungarian restaurant at night.
Day 12, Thursday August 23, 2018
After breakfast we leave Budapest and transfer to the airport. From here we leave for the U.S.A.
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