It’s a big world out there. So many places to see. Maybe Eastern Europe is on your list, maybe it’s not. I can tell you that it should be. And here are some reasons why:
- It is a bit less expensive than traditional Europe
- It is less crowded (though in a few years it won’t be) as folks are just discovering the incredible diversity and beauty of the region
- They are very friendly to westerners and grateful to have us there
- The transformation from communism to freedom is exciting phenomenon to see
- The food, hotels and amenities are excellent
- It is unlike any place you have ever visited.
And when you come back, we predict that you will have enjoyed as much as any other region you’ve visited. So join us as we fly to Vienna and enjoy the highlights of this imperial powerhouse. Enjoy the mountains, green rolling hills, and sophisticated cities of Slovenia and Hungary. Visit Krakow in Poland and the nearby Birkenau Concentration Camp. See the splendor of Prague before returning home. So read on. If you are looking for something different… AND SPECTACULAR…. you have found it!
July 15, 2019: Today we board our flight for lovely Vienna, Austria, arriving the following day.
July 16: Welcome to Vienna, capital of Austria and capital of the once powerful Hapsburg Dynasty. This city, for a time, was the most influential in all of Europe and fabulous treasures have been left behind. After check-in and a rest, we will learn about the dynasties and their enormous empire on our afternoon sightseeing tour, which includes a walking tour of Old Vienna featuring St. Stephen’s Cathedral and ‘Am Hof’ Square. Later, we will enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. (Dinner)
July 17: Vienna – Lake Bled. We’ll show you more of Vienna and give you time for lunch in charming Vienna Woods. We then head for the Karawanken Mountains along the border of Austria and Slovenia. These are the scenic Eastern Alps. We’ll ascend over the Loiblpass into the green hills of Slovenia. The scenes are truly breathtaking. Then we continue to the place that has been nicknamed an ‘earthly paradise’, Lake Bled, where we will enjoy a relaxing two-night stay. (Buffet breakfast/Dinner)
July 18: Lake Bled at leisure. This morning we’ve included a short boat ride out to the famous Pilgrimage Church on Bled Island. The scene is magical. You’ll have the rest of the day to relax in this delightful setting and do your own thing. If you wish, you walk around the lake, or ride a bike along the flat path that surrounds the lake. It’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon. There are plenty of places to get some dinner on your own tonight. (Buffet breakfast)
July 19: Lake Bled – Ljubljana – Budapest. After breakfast we make our way to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. This is a city that was founded by the Romans. More recently, it didn’t gain independence until 1991. We’ll make a stop at the castle overlooking the city and surrounding areas. Our afternoon drive takes us into beautiful Budapest where we’ll spend two nights. (Buffet breakfast)
July 20: Welcome to the twin towns of Buda and Pest, known today as Budapest. The towns are split by the mighty Danube as it flows gracefully through this area. After breakfast, we’ll be joined by a local guide that will take us on an interesting walking tour of Old Buda featuring stunning views from the Fishermen’s Bastion overlooking the Danube and the iconic Parliament buildings. We’ll then cross over the river and enjoy the highlights on the other side including the Great Synagogue and visit Heroes’ Square. And, of course, we’ll have time for a bit of shopping as you wander in these quaint, narrow streets in this charming
area. This evening, we will enjoy a cruise on the beautiful Danube River along with a delicious Hungarian dinner. (Buffet breakfast/Dinner)
July 21: Budapest – Slovakia – Krakow. This morning our journey brings us into Slovakia so you can get a sense of this interesting country. We’ll share its fascinating history. We then continue on to Poland and the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Soon we are in Krakow where we spend the next two nights. Tonight, we will enjoy dinner at our hotel. (Buffet breakfast / dinner)
July 22: The castle and cathedral on Wawel Hill, plus a walking tour through the old town to visit the Cloth Hall and the Mariacki Church all feature on our morning sightseeing tour. You’ll have some time on your own for lunch and a chance to see the famous Polish pottery. This afternoon, we have a fun excursion in store. We’ll visit a very interesting attraction in the south of Poland: The Wieliczka Salt Mine. This mine is over 800 years old. The chambers are filled with incredibly unique salt sculptures recalling famous fairy tales, religious symbols and more. See the chambers of the good ghost of the mine and the seven dwarfs. Visit the chapel of the last supper and many other biblical scenes, sculpted in salt! Wonder at the glittering chandeliers of pure crystal salt. An elevator takes us down and back. You won’t see this anywhere else in the world. We’ll eat dinner across the street from the mine in a fun local restaurant. (Buffet breakfast / Dinner)
July 23: Krakow to Prague. This morning we make a sobering visit to Auschwitz or Birkenau, World War II Concentration Camps (they are next to each other). Of course, Hitler’s first invasion was into Poland and the important history has been preserved. From here we make our way to the charming city of Prague which has been the political, cultural and economic center of the Czech state for over 1100 years. (Buffet breakfast)
July 24/25: Prague is not to be rushed and we’ll spend two days taking in the city and surrounding areas. I have been in every western European capitol and most of the capitols in eastern Europe. For pure charm, nothing in Europe compares to Prague. We’ll be joined by a local guide that will show us fascinating places like the Prague Castle regarded as the largest ancient castle in the world. We’ll also see the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, the old town square and visit the Cathedral of St. Vitus. We’ll see the old and the new that comprise today’s Prague. You’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own as we visit local outdoor markets, browse in the narrow streets and watch the artists creating their masterpieces. On our final night, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner in the old city (Buffet breakfast both days plus / farewell dinner)
July 26: This morning we finish up in Prague and transfer to the airport for our flight back to the USA. You will have a new appreciation for the history, beauty and intrigue that is Eastern Europe.