When my husband and I were planning our fifth Trek Travel vacation, we knew exactly where to go to celebrate this milestone. So together with our 23 year old daughter and my 78 year old father-in-law, we signed up for the Prague to Vienna vacation.
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 which now hangs in the National Gallery in Prague. Of course it was a priority for us to see the painting, so we arranged to arrive in Prague two days before the start of our Trek Travel trip.
This is when Trek Travel went the extra mile.
We contacted the trip designer to see if she could help us make the most out of our time in Prague. She put us in touch with a local tour guide who became our resource for all things Czech. Not only did he get us into the National Gallery, and made sure we would be able to photograph the portrait of my grandmother, but 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, which was 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 emerged 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 a private room for lunch when rain would have made picnicking difficult, to arranging for travel by riverboat on the Danube when the weather was a bit wet for a few of us “fair weather” riders. Especially for my father-in-law, who does not ride a bike, this cruise became his favorite part of the trip!
For myself and my family, it was these experiences not on the itinerary that became the highlights of our trip. We still reminisce about that serendipitous meeting and unexpected wow’s many years later.