Eastern Europe  April-May, 2015


Photo Note: There about 470 photos on 16 different days with links below. Some photo captions may not be fully visible when viewed on a small screen, mobile device.

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  1. 1.Thursday, April 23, 2015-Leave Washington Union Station at 10 AM on Amtrak 2160 (Acela Express, Business Class). Arrive at New York City’s Penn Station at 12:46 PM. Renaissance New York 57 Hotel.

  1. 2.Friday, April 24-Leave NY JFK at 9:50 PM on British Airways 114 (First Class, Boeing 747) for London.

  1. 3.Saturday, April 25- Arrive London Heathrow, Terminal 5 at 9:55 AM (3,688 miles). Leave London Heathrow, Terminal 3 at 2 PM on British Airways 850 (Business Class, Airbus A320) for Warsaw, Poland. Arrive 5:25 PM (900 miles). Polonia Palace Hotel

  1. 4. Sunday, April 26-Welcome dinner at hotel. Polonia Palace Hotel. PHOTOS  

  1. 5.Monday, April 27-Warsaw. Virtually destroyed during World War II, Warsaw was rebuilt in the decades that followed. With the fall of Communism, the city has become more dynamic and progressive while retaining much of its distinct character. Tour this phoenix city today, visiting the faithfully rebuilt Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the Royal Castle, whose origins date to the late 13th century. Also tour the area of the former Jewish Ghetto and the Jewish Cemetery. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; before dinner on own tonight, a private classical piano recital is scheduled. Polonia Palace Hotel. PHOTOS

  1. 6.Tuesday, April 28-Warsaw/Auschwitz/Krakow Today we journey south to the industrial city of Oswiecim – Auschwitz in German – and the concentration camp that is now a museum chronicling the horrors of the Nazis’ Final Solution. We tour Auschwitz and also visit the vast camp at Birkenau before traveling on to Krakow, arriving late this afternoon. Hotel Pod Roza PHOTOS

  1. 7.Wednesday, April 29-Krakow A major center of Polish culture and education, Krakow survived World War II intact, leaving it with more historic buildings and monu­ments than anywhere else in the country. Its authentic Old Town is a UNESCO cultural site, and the Main Market Square the largest medieval square in Europe. This morning’s tour includes the historic area; St. Mary’s Church; the Royal Chambers of Wawel Castle, seat of royalty for more than 500 years; and Wawel Cathedral, the national church. The remainder of the day is free to explore this charming city independently. Hotel Pod Roz PHOTOS

  1. 8.Thursday, April 30-This morning tour the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This afternoon is at leisure. Hotel Pod Roza PHOTOS

  1. 9.Friday, May 1-Krakow/Slovakia/Budapest Heading south today we travel through the snow-capped Tatra Mountains into the country of Slovakia, where we stop for lunch. Continuing our journey, we reach our hotel in Buda’s elegant Castle District early this evening. Hilton Budapest PHOTOS

  1. 10.Saturday, May 2-Budapest Today’s half-day tour of the Hungarian capital begins adjacent to our hotel with a visit to Matthias Church, the symbol of Buda’s Castle District, and a stroll around Fisherman’s Bastion for outstanding views of the Pest side of the city across the river. Following an afternoon at leisure, tonight we enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner at a local restaurant. Hilton Budapest PHOTOS

  1. 11.Sunday, May 3-Budapest. We tour Dohany Synagogue, Europe’s largest this morning. The rest of the day is free to discover the “Paris of the East” on our own today. Hilton Budapest PHOTOS

  1. 12.Monday, May 4-Budapest/Danube Bend/Vienna Today we pass through the countryside of Western Trans­danubia as we travel by coach to Vienna. En route we visit Szentendre, a small town packed with artisans’ shops and a museum showcasing the work of acclaimed ceramicist Margit Kovacs. We continue on to the village of Neszmely where we stop for lunch; we reach the Austrian capital late this afternoon. Hilton Vienna Stadtpark PHOTOS

  1. 13.Tuesday, May 5-Vienna A half-day tour of this jewel of the Habsburg Empire includes a visit to the ornate Vienna Opera House, one of Europe’s grandest; and an inside visit to majestic Schönbrunn Palace. The afternoon is at leisure. Following dinner at a local restaurant we attend a concert of classical music in this most musical of all cities.   Hilton Vienna Stadtpark PHOTOS

  1. 14.Wednesday, May 6-Vienna Woods This morning we enjoy a tour of the Vienna Woods, which gained ­renown during the heyday of the Austrian Empire. We visit the medieval abbey of Heiligenkreuz and the health spa town of Baden before returning to Vienna where the remainder of the day is free to explore as we wish. Hilton Vienna Stadtpark PHOTOS

  1. 15.Thursday, May 7-Vienna/Bratislava Mid-morning we depart for Bratislava, capital of the independent nation of Slovakia. Upon arrival we embark on a coach and walking tour of the historic Castle area, including a visit to the 18th-century classical-style Archbishops Palace. After checking in at our hotel, we have time to refresh before dinner tonight at the restaurant of a local family. Radisson Blu Carlton PHOTOS

  1. 16.Friday, May 8-Bratislava/Brno/Prague We leave this morning for Prague, proud capital of the Czech Republic. Along the way we stop for lunch in Brno and a brief tour of the country’s second largest city. We reach Prague late afternoon and join our tour director for an informal walk through Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Grand Bohemia Praha PHOTOS

  1. 17.Saturday, May 9-Prague We spend the morning exploring the Hradcany (castle) district, home of the distinctive castle towering above the Vltava River. Dating to the 9th century, the castle today is the seat of the president of the Czech Republic. Among the highlights of our tour: a visit to Gothic St. Vitus’ Cathedral and a stroll along Golden Lane, with its picturesque artisans’ cottages. The remainder of the day is free to continue exploring this enchanting city as we wish. Restaurants abound for lunch and dinner on our own today. Grand Bohemia Praha PHOTOS

  1. 18.Sunday, May 10-Prague This morning’s visit to Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish ghetto, includes the Old Jewish Cemetery with its centuries-old headstones and generations buried atop one another, as well as several of the once-thriving synagogues now part of the Jewish Museum of Prague. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure, perhaps to stroll through Old Town Square or visit Wenceslas Square, site of the demonstrations that led to the Velvet Revolution. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner in a palace in the Prague Castle complex. Grand Bohemia Praha PHOTOS

  1. 19.Monday, May 11-Day at leisure in Prague.  Grand Bohemia Praha PHOTOS

  1. 20.Tuesday, May 12-Prague. Leave Prague, Terminal 1 at 1:35 PM on British Airways 863 (Business Class, Airbus A320). Arrive London Heathrow, Terminal 3 at 2:40 PM (642 miles). Overnight at Heathrow Sofitel Hotel.

  1. 21.Wednesday, May 13-  Depart London Heathrow, Terminal 5 at 10:50 AM on British Airways 217 (Business Class, Airbus A380). Arrive Washington Dulles at 1:50 PM (3,688 miles).


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Budapest, Hungary