The mid-conference excursion on Wednesday, August 27 was split into two different destinations (see below).

1st option: Eisenach, Wartburg castle and the city of Erfurt

Within easy reach of Weimar (one hour driving) is the UNESCO world heritage site of Wartburg castle south of the city of Eisenach. It played an important role in German history and particularly for the protestant reformation of the (Catholic) Church: Martin Luther translated the bible into German here. Erfurt is the capital city of the state of Thuringia with an almost completely intact historical core, making it's center one of the most beautiful towns in Germany.

2nd option: Naumburg Dome and the wine-growing region of Saale-Unstrut

Located northeast of Weimar, high above the Saale River, are the three picturesque Dornburg castles. From there we will drive to Naumburg to visit the magnificent cathedral. Further north at Freyburg we find one of the northernmost wine-growing regions of the world and we will have the opportunity to sample some sparkling wine. Although it cannot compete with Champagne in France, it is a pretty place and well worth a visit. A walk to the massive hilltop fortification of Neuenburg castle will conclude the trip.