Our tour starts in Paris with a shopping experience, we will then have a “dolly cocktail” in an Art Nouveau private apartment with more treasures to admire, followed by a dinner in a traditional French Brasserie.
On Friday, after some free time in the Drouot area and its legendary Passages, where some prominent doll shops were located during the Second Empire, we will attend a doll auction by Gros & Delettrez, with Samy as expert. We will finally enjoy a typical French meal in a traditional restaurant close to your hotel.
Our next destination is Nancy, where we will visit the Stanislas place, the Fine Arts Museum, before we have lunch in the Art Nouveau Excelsior brasserie. We will then spend the night in Metz. The following day, we will get to the Ludwigsburg Castle, one of the biggest European Baroque residential palaces.
Giengen will be our next destination, in order to enjoy the Steiff company museum and shop. Rebekah Kaufman will be our special guest speaker during this visit, where we will also discover Margarete Steiff’s birth house. From there, we will head to Donauworth, where the Käthe Kruse Company is located. After a private tour of their recently enriched museum, we will depart for Nürnberg, the historical capital of the German toy industry. After visiting their major Toy Museum we will head to Coburg, where we will be staying for a few days.
In this area we will visit three local doll and toy museums, toy related shops and, particularly, we will participate to the traditional “Puppenfestival”, one of the most sought after European rendez-vous for doll and soft toy amateurs from all over the world. We will shop all of the various local businesses, enjoy a toy street fair, a major doll fair at the Frankenhalle, some other soft toy events in the area and treat ourselves with traditional German meals.
Heidelberg is our next destination. This elegant old city, settled next to the Neckar river, is the location for the oldest University in Europe. This strong Protestant town dominated by a fantastic chateau strongly inspired some German Romantic poets.
Our tour will end in Basel, where we will be able to enjoy the Spielzeug Welten Museum, known for its rich dolls, soft toys and miniatures collections. A farewell “show and tell” party is planned on Saturday night and a few more visits on Sunday, for those who will have some extra time before they catch their flight from the Basel/Mulhouse International airport. Auf wiedersehen/Au revoir!