Untourists of the Week: Jim and Kathy Snyder

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Jim and Kathy Snyder went to Prague, Budapest and Vienna in 2011.  Here are their impressions.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

We went to all three cities and they were all great in their own way. 

Prague highlights were

  • The Charles Bridge (We could walk there in five minutes from our fantastic apartment, the Vlasska),  We didn’t need our host landlady for anything, as Alena your staff person in Prague had us super well prepared, but we got the feeling she was very happy to help if we needed it. 
  • The Jewish Quarter
  • The Konopiste Chateau  ( about an hour outside Prague, and explained well in your printed Untours onsite guid.)

In Budapest, we loved the Heroes Square, the monument area that celebrates 100 years of Magyar history.  And of course we saw the magnificent Parliament building.  It just so happened that there was a public demonstration going on during our visit.  The people were well-behaved and courteous, but we found it interesting to be there, witnessing current events, while drinking in the long ago history.

In Vienna, the Mozart Orchestra at the Musikverein was an absolute highlight.  But we loved the Summer Palace (Schonbrunn) as well.  We took the add-on trip through the Wachau valley with Norbert that we’d heard so much about.  It was fantastic.

What is your favorite Untours memory?

One of our most vivid memories of Prague was an early morning where we walked to the Jewish Quarter.  We walked through the streets before anything had opened and were struck by the beauty.  Later, after we’d made our visits, we found that the streets were full of tourists, with long lines.  We were surprised that this quarter is so well-known to visitors.  We were glad we were the early morning visitors when we had this fascinating, and poignant slice of history to ourselves.  One of the things we like best about Untours is that we set our own schedule, which also lets us slip in and out of settings at the right time.  So you can visit one of the “must-see” spots during the time when it isn’t mobbed.

Our absolute favorite European memory is not on an Untour, but a cruise that felt very “Untour-ish” . We’re not really cruise people so we were surprised how much we loved this.  The cruise used a boat which is also a working ferry for Norwegian residents. (That’s what made it feel like an Untour:you were not just surrounded by tourists.)  The route was up and down the Norwegian coast, which  is sometimes called the most beautiful coast in the world, and I can see why.   The scenery is absolutely unforgettable.   The cabins are comfortable but not lavish, and the boats still operate as transportation for the working Norwegians who need to get to another coastal town.  So you had the best of both worlds  — leisure, comfort and good food — but still in the everyday path of the Norwegians.  (Editor’s Note:  Untours will offer this cruise in 2013, with group departures of Untourists starting in July 2013; call us (1 -888-868-6871)  for preliminary details on this new option).

How is taking an Untour different from other ways of traveling?

Make your own schedule!

If you could describe an Untour in just 3 words, what would they be?

The most independent (way to travel)

 

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