Anthony Wilkinson – Dorset, England (2022)
Thank you so much for the Bach by Bike trip. I cannot begin to express to you how much I enjoyed the whole thing, we were so lucky with the weather, the group really got on so well and I have come away with more knowledge of Bach, his life and his music and the area in which he lived, but also so many lovely memories of the group and the many and interesting conversations had over the last ten days. Lots to think about in the future.
The group were so kind in the use of english so much, but I also enjoyed listening to the poetry of spoken German and of course to the wonderful music heard. The logistics all worked perfectly (meeting and greeting, hotels, luggage transfer and clear daily programs), the guides we had were universally excellent, whether they were Marieke or Anna (+ Miriam) from Bach by Bike or local guides or organists giving us a tour and explanation of organs, churches, museums and Bach. At times the trip felt like a pilgrimage; the cycling gave a chance to reflect on what we just learnt and heard. I am still amazed at the quality of the cycle paths in that part of Germany. I would recommend the trip to anyone.
Dan Meagher – Boston, MA (2018):
For over ten years I have travelled solo extensively throughout the US and Europe. The Bach by Bike tour in June of 2018 was my first trip as part of a tour group. Even though I had no knowledge of the German language and knew none of my fellow tour mates, I made my way to Eisenach on June 9, 2018. The next 9 days, biking to and experiencing the Bach Festival in Leipzig, were some of the most memorable and enjoyable travel days I have ever spent!
What made this experience so memorable were the following:
- Every logistical detail was seen to and was perfectly executed
- The food was excellent
- The route we took included many of the most important places in Bach’s life
- We had access to numerous sites and performances not normally available
But, the single most important reasons for the success of the trip were the two founders and leaders of Bach by Bike – Mareike Neumann and Anna-Luise Oppelt!
Their passion for all things Bach related was infectious. Their knowledge of Bach’s music (both are professional musicians who have performed his music in a variety of venues throughout Europe) and his history (both studied Bach’s compositions and biography at university) was comprehensive. Their experience and the personal contacts they have established while founding this venture and operating three tours each year for the past nine years truly elevated this way above the standard cookie-cutter tour.
Most importantly to me, they were delightful, warm, attentive, and genuine.
If you enjoy travelling, biking, and Bach, signup now for one of their tours!
Eryl & Fred Pickworth, UK (2019):
“We had a fantastic time on our ‘Bach by Bike’ trip. Our tour was led by Mareike, but it was a family event with her brother, Nicolai also cycling and helping with bike maintenance. When their mother, Elisabeth, was not cycling she was creating delicious lunches for us. Christoph, the patriarch, is an organist and conductor and a Bach expert. There is nothing about the composer that he doesn’t know. He drove the support van and appeared at every relevant point to instruct and impart his extensive knowledge, complementing Mareike’s talks.
Every evening we were treated to lovely food and accommodation.
On arriving at Leipzig, we had opted to extend our trip to include 3 concerts at the Bach festival. All were superb.
We can heartily recommend this trip and look forward to booking one of the different routes in the future.”
Richard Holborow, England (2016):
“Thank you, Bach by Bike, for a wonderfully enjoyable tour, packed with interest. We have learnt so much from truly knowledgeable guides and other local experts, heard so much beautiful music and visited so many places connected with Bach. As English speakers with barely a few words of German we were made thoroughly welcome by the group; everyone made conversation with us and every stop included an explanation in English. The organisation was flawless, the hire bikes were comfortable and reliable and the hotels were comfortable. It was an excellent experience – highly recommended.”
Hidde van der Wal, The Netherlands (2014):
„Our experiences with the tour? Absolutely fantastic! We had a truly wonderful time with our two guides and the traveling company. It was a pleasure travelling the German landscape (especially Thüringen) on our E-bikes and enjoying not only the company but also the sights, the guided tours either by our own two tour guides or by local guides, the food, the beer and wine and the accommodations. The E-bikes also perfectly suited our needs. We certainly would recommend to strongly advise non-trained and/or elderly participants to make use of the possibility of renting E-bikes. It makes the trip so much more enjoyable, both for yourself as well as the group with whom you can keep up when cycling. Real value for money. And highly recommended we would say. To all Bach fans. Travelling in this way with the two lady guides through Bach’s world really ads to the experience. For instance, cycling over the same path that Bach and his company did from Arnstadt to Dornheim to marry with Maria Barbara provides that special touch that really ads relief to the world that once was were Bach lived in. Especially if one then visits that church and is met by the super enthusiastic chairman of the Der Freundeskreis zur Erhaltung der Traukirche von Johann Sebastian Bach e.V. But also visiting the church library in Ohrdruf, as another example, made a great impression upon us. Also, not much to do with Bach, but the Heinrich Schütz Haus in Weißenfels was truly enjoyable. To conclude, an excellent choice for our holiday in every aspect. Highly recommended!”
Sabine d`Hont, The Netherlands (2014):
“It was a fantastic trip in every sense very special. I participated in the second tour this summer. I´ve never had such wonderful holidays before! Thank you very much for that!”