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Thuringian CS-mas, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena Dec. 9-11th 2011
Posted October 20th, 2011 - 12:49 am by from Jena, Germany (Permalink)
Hello Couchsurfers and friends of international gatherings!

Martin Luther once declared Erfurt the ideal place for a city. And well one other thing he supposedly did was to establish the protestant church and also he is believed to have brought the world the christmas tree. And there will be one big one, next to which you will be able to enjoy some of the most delicious treats that Germany has to offer around Christmas - Glühwein, Spekulatius cookies, Bratwurst, punch, ginger bread and fruits covered of all kinds covered in chocolate. If we are lucky the roofs will be covered in snow and the days for sure will get dark around 4pm. You are invited to join the CS crowd of Thuringia celebrate the season and have fun at one of the biggest and most beautiful christmas markets in Germany.

Bring some candles and a good mood, we will try to take care of the rest for you. Below is a listing of all important information concernign the meeting. If you have any other questions feel free to message KOOLKARMA about it. http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/koolkarma/
Our meeting will have a fixed program but we will leave enough time for you to fill it with some snowball fight, sledding in the park, museum visits and Glühwein-hangover sleeps. If you are in a place far away, please check airline pages for flights to any airports listed below. At the moement they are still on offer for December!

Couchsurfing Thuringia hopes to see you here soon!

Have a good time!

Here is what we fixed so far. Please also use the travel information. Your city might be directly included:

Programm:
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Friday, Dec. 9th, Erfurt:

6pm: guided tour through winterly medieval Erfurt, Guide: David Heller, meeting point: in front of the Angermuseum, Link: http://bit.ly/opWGZj

7.30pm: Christmas Market Welcome Meeting - let's stroll around the market and enjoy some Glühwein and such treats. Info-link: http://bit.ly/nZ58qH

9.30pm: Welcome Party - location tba

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Saturday, Dec. 10th, Weimar:

11am: Christmas brunch at the Residenz Café Weimar, meeting point: Café Residenz, please pre-order your seat here:
Info-link for the café: http://bit.ly/pYcs2S

1pm: Guided tours, select between:
Tour A: The Classical Weimar of Goethe and Schiller, Info-Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Weimar_(World_Heritage_Site)
Tour B: The Bauhaus in Weimar, Info-link Bauhaus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus (confirmed)
Tour C: visit to the Anna-Amalia-Library Info-link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchess_Anna_Amalia_Library

4pm: gathering at the Weimar christmas market - meeting point at the fountain in the middle of the market square, next to the town hall

7pm: Christmas movie "Nightmare before Christmas" (English) at the old Lichthaus cinema, if enough people join, Info-link Lichthaus: http://www.lichthaus.info/ otherwise some travel report from a CSer, please sign in for this here, we have to reserve the cinema only for us!!! but it needs at least 60 people. Link here: http://bit.ly/p69FYM

9pm: Beginning of the Weimar Christmas Party, with some christmas songs and such performed by (a couchsurfer) - meeting at Kasseturm student's club (asked), Goetheplatz or at Relax (pre-booked), Herderplatz (confirmed)

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Sunday, Dec. 11th, Jena

11am: 2nd Christmas brunch at Cafe Wagner - meeting point: Cafe Wagner

2pm: choose between:

A. City tour with a visit to the Jen-Tower! (Jena's highest building) - meeting point tba. Info-link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jen-Tower (confirmed)

B: Visit to the Papiermühle, a small beer brewery with a tasting

5pm: Show the "Kosmische Dimensionen" at the Carl-Zeiss-Planetarium - in German only (sorry, it's a fixed programm), Link: http://www.planetarium-jena.de/Kosmische-Dimensionen-Die-Fa.56.0.html

7pm: Good-bye meeting at Ali Alster

tba = to be announced, all objects are possibly changed, but we will keep you updated! Places that don't say confirmed are not fixed but in negotiation. But we will surely find some alternative if the places listed don't work out.

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Useful information:

Flights to the area:
Erfurt/Weimar is a regional airport, but unfortunately there aren't very good cheap direct connections. So we advice you to fly into the following airports (cheap airlines in brackets):

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Flights:

There are direct flights with cheap airlines to the following airports, that are reachable from Erfurt, Weimar and Jena:

Dresden via Easyjet: Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg

Magdeburg via Ryanair: Barcelona (Girona), Alicante, Malaga, Gran Canaria

Leipzig via Ryanair: London (Stansted), Roma (Ciampino)

Berlin-Schönefeld:
via Ryanair: Edinburgh, Dublin, London (Stansted), East Midlands, Milano (Bergamo), Malaga, Oslo (Rygge), Stockholm (Skavsta)
via Easyjet: from more than 30 cities

To get from these airports to Thuringia consider the possibilites described below like trains, busses, ride shares and hitchhiking.

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Trains (http://www.bahn.de):

Your train company might have a special to visit some German cities, so please see their website.
In Germany train travel is fairly organized. We have fast trains called ICE and also IC. Both of them run through Erfurt, Weimar and Jena. But if you are on a budget you might consider to take a regional train. There are tickets for them for singles and groups up to five people. Here are the different models:

Thüringen-Ticket (Thuringia-Ticket), good if you fly into Magdeburg, Leipzig, Dresden or Altenburg:

Package price: 29 EUR if you buy your ticket online or at the ticket machine. 31 EUR if you purchase your ticket at the Reisezentrum.
This ticket is valid from Monday to Friday for one day of your choice from 9 a.m. until 3 a.m. of the following day on Saturday, Sundays and bank holidays from 0 until 3 a.m the following day. It can be used on all local trains (Interregio-Express, Regional-Express, Regionalbahn, S-Bahn) and the transport systems in Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen.
All tickets also available as Single Ticket for 19 EUR if you buy online.
Link: http://bit.ly/rl9l42

Weekend-ticket (only valid Saturday or Sunday!!!):

The ticket is valid for up to 5 persons travelling together and for parents travelling with their children aged 14 or younger. The ticket is only valid on either Saturdays or Sundays (one day only) between midnight and 3 a.m. of the following day. Tickets are €39 when you buy them online.
Link: http://bit.ly/oixGPb

Quer durch Deutschland-Ticket

What seems to be a railpass for travelling queers is after all only another option for anyone to travel with Deutsche Bahn. It basically has the same conditions as the weekend-ticket but it's more expensive and valid also from Monday-Friday. The costs are 42 Euros for one person and each additional person is another 6 Euros. Maximum is 5 people. So if 5 people travel it's 66 Euros.
Link (only in German): http://bit.ly/pQ28Ep

In general:
You might want to check on the DB-site if the regular fair wouldn't be cheaper for you. In most cases I doubt it but you can try! Generally I advice you to book a Mitfahrgelegenheit. That is a car-pool ride, available from almost all German cities. From Berlin, Halle or Leipzig you can also take a bus (see below).

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Bus:

For about a few months now there are 2 daily busses that connect Berlin, Leipzig and Halle with Erfurt, Weimar and Jena. There is one from Berlin at 7:30am an 2:30pm. It's Erfurt at 4:30mins later. It costs 18 Euros one-way, 36 return.

For details and booking check: http://bit.ly/of7u6K

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Car pools / ride share:

In Germany ride shares are extremely popular and generally not only safe but also a lot cheaper than trains or other public transport. Drivers do not all speak English but you can try to call them and ask for a ride (most rides will be in the system only about a day or 2 before, so this is a flexible system). They will tell you where to meet and where they will drop you off. If you don't feel comfortable calling there you can ask your Couchsurfing host to do it. You pay upon arrival at your destination. You should bring your payment cash and with some change. You can check for offers between your starting point and your destination also in English language at the partner site of the German ride share. You need to change from UK at the top to Europe and then select Germany as a country in both start and destination:

Link (English, also for Germany): http://bit.ly/nP4WBv
Link (if you know German): http://bit.ly/pW8Qjm

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Hitchhiking:

It's fairly fun and easy in German and you can even be faster than with the train if you know how to go. But it will be December, keep that in mind. If you need advices on where to start your trip check at:

Hitchwiki: http://bit.ly/r0aFWo
Hitchbase: http://bit.ly/pAm7X0

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Public Transport:

Here you can find the transport maps of the 3 cities:
Erfurt: http://bit.ly/rjmd5Q
Weimar: http://bit.ly/pa99fn
Jena: http://bit.ly/prX3bO

A single ticket cost 1,80€ in each city, a day ticket 4,20€.
The easiest way to travel between Erfurt, Weimar and Jena is by a regional train. You can look up connections on http://www.bahn.de
The regular prices are: Erfurt-Weimar 5,00€, Erfurt-Jena 8,50€, Weimar-Jena 5,00€.

But there is also something called Hopper-Ticket that allows you to travel 50km by train, return included, for 7€. This ticket is valid from Monday to Friday for one day of your choice from 9 a.m. until 3 a.m. of the following day on Saturday, Sundays and bank holidays from 0 until 3 a.m the following day. So you could travel from Jena to Erfurt and back for only 7 €.

MEETING DETAILS:
FROM: December 9th, 2011 - 18:00
TO: December 11th, 2011 - 23:59


LINK: http://bit.ly/CSMasTh

LOCATION: Germany - Thuringia - Erfurt
ADDRESS: Domplatz