Our family just returned from a lovely Trek Travel bike tour, bicycling from Prague to Vienna. By family, I mean my husband and myself, our 23 year old daughter, and my 78 year old father in law. This is the third trip we have done as a family, and we have found Trek Travel to be an ideal way for us to travel as a group as there is something for everyone. My father-in-law does not ride a bike, but he loves riding in the van with the guides, seeing all the sights, and joining us at meals and for the cultural tours.
This trip was especially meaningful for us because my family has a historical connection to the great Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. My great grandfather was a diplomat and art patron who helped introduce Mucha to America, and commissioned him to paint a portrait of my grandmother. This portrait now hangs in the National Gallery in Prague, and of course it was a priority for us to try to see it, so we arranged to arrive in Prague on the Friday before the Sunday start of our trip.
Here is where Trek Travel goes the extra mile. We contacted Angela Horvath, the trip designer, to see if she could help us get the most out of our time in Prague. She put us in touch with a local tour guide whom she had met, and he became our guide to all things Czeck. Not only did he get us to the National Gallery (and made sure ahead of time that we would be able to photograph the portrait of my grandmother), he also knew the Mucha family and was able to arrange a visit with Mucha’s daughter-in-law. She graciously gave us a tour of her family home–full of original artworks–and talked to us about Mucha’s life and work. This was an amazing experience we never would have found on our own!
The rest of the trip was equally grand, with beautiful scenery, great bicycling, fabulous food, wine and beer, and lots of quality family time. The chance to see the Czech Republic as it emerges from behind the Iron Curtain, and to hear about that transition from locals, was quite amazing. The guides were adept at dealing with changing circumstances, from finding a fabulous restaurant with private room for lunch one day, when rain would have made picnicking difficult; to arranging for travel by riverboat on the Danube on another day, when the weather was a bit wet for a few of us “fair weather” riders. That became one of the highlights of the trip for my father-in-law.
We will savor the memories of this trip forever, but are already perusing the catalogue to see where we want to go next! We hope even more family members will be able to join us on the next adventure.