My name is Martha and I am a single, retired woman from the Denver area who is a big fan of Rick Steves tours. Since my first trip to France in 2012 I have been hooked! I am in love with England and decided to take the Villages of Southern England tour in the fall of 2018.
LESSONS FROM EASTERN EUROPE
That is Hello in the Czech language--one of the first lessons I learned on this trip. But, I am getting ahead of myself here....
I am retired and live a quiet life with my little dog in Colorado. This is the seventh Rick Steves tour I have been on and was among the best! I am often asked about the choice of this destination and it was because I knew nothing about this part of the world! I couldn't even identify the countries on a map, let alone tell you about the people or history of this area. Part of the reason is that when I was in school this was all behind the Iron Curtain and everybody knew that was a bad thing! I wanted to abandon my comfort zone and check it out for myself.
The tour that I chose started on April 26th and concluded May 10th. I will say that we had unusually cool and wet weather for the trip. The first days on my own in Prague were hot (low 80s) but many days were grey and quite a few were downright wet... I managed to stay warm and dry by layering clothes, including a waterproof jacket and one day, a bright blue poncho. Layers are good.
As I waited for my tour date to arrive I started to look at Eastern Europe. My first revelation was that many residents actually think of this area as Central Europe!
No matter the name, I studied maps to see actually where I would be going and realized there were no countries named Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia! So much for my childhood geography lessons.
I discovered that each of the six countries we would traverse has its own language and most have a unique currency. Yikes, it was intimidating, but I knew I was up for the challenge!
I traveled with 24 other Americans... There were 9 couples, a pair of sisters, 2 other single women and 2 single men. The youngest was a single man in his mid 20s, of the rest, about half were young-at-heart retirees and the rest were in between. A few were on their first Rick Steves tour but most were alumni of previous RS adventures. We were a congenial group, not a grump in sight!
Our guide on this trip was a native of Budapest, George Farkas. It was a real treat to have a leader from the area for this tour. His knowledge, insight, and humor were spectacular!
If you are interested in touring and learning about Eastern Europe, here are the tour details. If you have questions or want to make a comment, contact me from the link below.