Jean and Jim Hall: Untourists of the Week

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This week we depart from our normal question and answer format to let the Halls tell you about their trip in their own words.

In June of 2011 my husband and I took a Prague/Vienna Untour, and were very happy with the whole Untours approach.

The best thing was the accomodations!

In Prague we stayed at VLASSKA, a second story apartment in the Mala Strana.  The location was optimal:  far enough into the Mala Strana so that quiet reigned; near enough to the Charles Bridge to get there in 5 minutes.  Around the corner was a church that offered frequent, inexpensive, excellent concerts.  Our hostess, Dr. Eva Vesela, owned the entire building (a historical landmark) and ran an art gallery on the ground floor.  She was extremely friendly and helpful.

 The apartment consisted of a good kitchen and living room, and a bedroom that had only one flaw–a double bed (we’d have preferred a queen!).  Walking to the Old Town was easy; we didn’t use our transportation chits very much because the whole situation made on-foot exploration the way to go.  I’d also commend our excellent contact person, Alena Peslova, who went out of her way to be helpful.  If we mentioned a desired destination, she’d send up written instructions and recommendations.  Wonderful person.
Happiest memory of Prague was the availability of church concerts–happening everywhere, often, easy to arrive at the last minute and get good seating, wonderful musicians, very low cost.  We liked the Museum of Communism–I expected something trivial, but they really had the material there…physical momentos, such as propaganda posters, a mock-up of a grocery store, a mock-up of a classroom.  Really gave you the feeling of how it must have been to live there in those times.  The exhibit ended with videos of the Velvet Revolution–wonderful footage.
In Vienna, our accommodation was Schoenbrunn in the Pension Riedl.  Only a hotel room (atypical for Untour accommodations) , but a huge one with wonderful modern bathroom, balcony with French doors looking out on the square below, blessed quiet–and–what was lacking in Prague:  a big bed. A king size bed!  The breakfast room was wonderful–good buffet breakfast, a coffee maker that delivered any number of espressos or cappuccinos desired.  There were sandwich shops close by and a good supermarket–you were invited to use the breakfast room and the microwave there to prepare any other meals.  Right outside the tram ran down to the Opera and museums…took 5 minutes.  The underground and train station was near, and ringed with sandwich shops and fast food places.  Good for a quick dinner..and the train quickly took us to the Vienna Woods.  We NEVER had to wait more than a couple minutes for transportation in Vienna…their system is marvelous.
My favorite Vienna place was 19 Bergasse, the apartment occupied by Freud for about 50 years, now an extremely interesting museum full of photos and Freud memorabilia.
Transfers to these apartments was smooth, reliable, relaxing. Personnel were friendly.   Untours really knows its business on transportation.  But my highest accolade is for the accomodations:  really, really good and really, really well located.
I’d cheerfully recommend Untours to anybody!

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