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A great tour around really interesting capital cities and some lesser-known parts of the countries.
Prague, Budapest and Vienna in particular were really lovely, especially the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, cruising down the Danube and going to a classical concert in Vienna. Cesky Krumlow in Czech Republic is also beautiful, as is the Znojemska Rotunda Chapel and Szentendre in Hungary. You see a lot of castles!!
Peter was a really good leader, helping us out with activities on our free afternoons and making sure a restaurant was always booked for dinner, for those who wanted to go. He obviously has so much knowledge about all the countries that he wanted to share with us, although this sometimes made his explanations a little convoluted!
Temperatures varied (July) from really hot in Prague to raining in Bratislava, so take the right clothing! You can change money to the different currencies as you go along; I took Czech koruna and Euro, then changed the leftover Czech money into forint and that into Euro again. In Hungary most places advertised that you could pay in Euro although they would give change in forint. It might be worth getting some zloty in advance as you don't get to Poland until the evening of day 12 and banks are closed.
Really interesting trip, do go.
We picked this trip to pack the best of five countries we had never previously visited into two weeks, and were not disappointed. The tour gave us a taste of everything from grand palaces and capital cities to pretty market towns and high mountains. Our guide and driver were excellent, as were the hotels, and most of the food too. It was a hectic schedule with so much to see, but very enjoyable, and highly recommended if you appreciate discovering history and architecture.
Highlights for us were the excellent and entertaining concert in Vienna, the hugely impressive Schonbrunn Palace, and our visit to the High Tatras National Park (helped by the beautiful weather).
Our group leader was very knowledgeable, friendly and extremely dedicated to making the tour the best it could be for all of the group, some of whom often wanted to do their own thing. He tried hard to accommodate the different personal interests and attitudes within the group.
Be ready to pay most of your food and entrance fees in cash - and take some of each of the four currencies. Four wallets would be a good idea for this tour. Also take shoes that are comfortable as there is lots of walking.
This was our second very successful trip with Exodus. There is so much to see around the world, but all the best of central Europe in one trip is good going by anyone's standards.
We all met up in Prague, a lovely city, and very soon (too soon!) found ourselves in Bratislava. Supposed to be the smallest of the capital cities that we saw, Bratislava was never-the-less surprisingly nice. We then moved on to the Fairy-Tale town of Cesky-Krumlov....Ahhhhh!
Then we got to Vienna and first sailed down the Danube before listening to "Sailing Down The Beautiful Danube" by Strauss as the finale at an evening concert (optional extra). Then there was the spectacular Schonbrunn Palace (optional extra)
Rapidly moving on to Buda-Pest we found the Danube again.
Our time in this lovely city seemed to be too short!
We then moved into Slovakia again but this time to the striking Tatra Mountains with mountain railways, funicular railways, treks and even a waterfall.
Our final city was Krakow, Poland. What a nice city! I was glad that I had booked an extra two nights in this lovely city.
I suppose sailing down the Danube and later in the day listening to "Blue Danube" and in Vienna was probably the most inspirational moment!
Apart from being a group leader, Peter Gbur also happens to be a ski instructor and a keen photographer. Being a Slovak and from the Tatra Mountain region, he was enthusiastic about his country.
Although he could have left us to our own devices on the free afternoons, he always organised somethings for us and also accompanied the majority sub-group. Most of us were very grateful to him for this as it was beyond his remit, particularly because different people had different ideas.
He always had his meals with us explaining the menu and sorting out difficulties with our bills caused by our ignorance!
He was very considerate about the weaker members of the group and tolerant of the boisterous!
Be prepared to walk for a long time on the walking tours of the cities. In the Tatra Mountains, although it is a leisurely walk, it is best to wear suitable footwear.
If you have the time and the money, do book extra nights at the start and at the end of the trip.
As mentioned before, some of the walking tours in some cities (Prague) was strenuous. Knowing this, our leader Peter suggested that we buy 24 hr Metro tickets. That helped us a lot.
All travel is by private bus, and there are no very long continuous drives. The roads are generally quite good, though much of the journey is on fairly quiet country roads, so progress will not be at motorway pace!
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