• By: Edward Piegza

    9/2/2011

  • An excellent article called “Bohemian Rhapsody On Two Wheels” appeared this week in the Wall Street Journal, confirming everything we’ve known and loved for years about the Eastern European countryside.

    While the writer, Todd Pittock, focuses on his recent cycling trip (hence the two wheels), guests on our Prague to Budapest walking tour will tell you that an eye-opening idyll like this one is every bit as amazing on two feet.

    Group walking in the Czech Republic
     

    On cobbled streets and country roads throughout the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary, our relaxed, easy-going pace allows us to soak up not only the scenery, but local history and culture as well. In Pittock’s words, all three are on particularly brilliant display in the Czech Republic, whose old-world, pastoral beauty belies its dramatic modern history:

    “Visitors come to tour medieval chateaux, to taste wine in southern Moravia or beer in Bohemia. Between storybook hamlets are great fields of barley, meadows speckled with wild poppies, forests framing fields of sunflowers. The faux church near the town of Valtice offered a glimpse into the 15th-century prehistory of the Czech Republic, an era of pleasure gardens and aristocracy, but we also encountered evidence of the more sobering 20th-century tragedies of war, the Nazi invasion and four decades of Communism.”

    It’s time-traveling at its best…which is precisely the reason we chose this region for our introduction to Eastern Europe in 1997. In fact, in a blog called “Say CHESS-Key KROOM-Loff,” we wrote that it’s no wonder the perfectly preserved medieval village of Cesky Krumlov was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the same can be said for Telc [pronounced Telch], famed for its picturesque plaza lined with 16th-century gabled houses.

    Cesky Krumlov
     

    Bookended by two imperial capitals, our Prague to Budapest walking tour continues on through the rolling farmland of Austria and Hungary, punctuated by visits to vineyards and castle ruins. An afternoon cruise on the Danube brings us to Budapest, where we spend two days exploring the doubly charming city that spans both sides of the river.

    If all this brings out the Bohemian in you, be sure to check out the Journal’s article. For details on our walking trips departing in June, August, September and October, see our Prague to Budapest daily itinerary, or give one of our Guest Services Coordinators a call at (800) 200-3887.

    PS A quick tale relayed to us by Martin, the local guide on our Prague to Budapest trip: as his group strolled along a village street near Cesky Krumlov, they happened upon an opera rehearsal in a tiny theatre. Seizing the moment, Martin gained permission for our guests to join the small, private audience. Which just goes to show the spontaneity that’s a hallmark of Classic Journeys…and another reason why we love this region!

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