Road Scholar : Home
Poland at the Heart of Europe

Program Number: 7176RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/4/2013 - 9/19/2013; 4/22/2015 - 5/7/2015; 5/20/2015 - 6/4/2015; 9/23/2015 - 10/8/2015; 10/7/2015 - 10/22/2015;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Poland
Price starting at: $3,380.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 37; 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

A Medieval seaport famous for its grain trade becomes the center of a volatile 20th-century movement that would spark the end of Communism nearly 700 years later. With a rapsheet like that, it’s clear that for centuries, Poland has been reaching from the heart of Europe across the continent to influence art, architecture, politics and commerce. Trace the folkways of Poland’s countryside and the modernity of its cities to discover a nation unto itself.




Highlights

• A piano recital of Polish composer Frederic Chopin recalls the Romantic era.
• A private visit to a forester’s cottage for lunch presents the rich folk culture and highlander tradition of the Podhale region.
• Visit the former Hanseatic port of Gdansk and the birthplace of Poland’s 20th-century Solidarity movement.



Activity Particulars

Terrain includes cobblestones, city streets, uneven ground.




Date Specific Information

9-4-2013, 4-22-2015, 5-20-2015, 9-23-2015, 10-7-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Gdansk, 2 nights; coach to Warsaw, 2 nights; coach to Bialowieza, 2 nights; coach to Zamosc, 1 night; coach to Krakow, 4 nights; coach to Wroclaw, 2 nights; coach to Warsaw, 1 night; departures.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Gdansk
2 nights

In Gdansk, study the Solidarity worker’s movement at its birthplace in the Gdansk Shipyard. Journey to the UNESCO listed Malbork Fortress and explore its labyrinth of chambers.



Coach to Warsaw
2 nights

Discover the wonders of the Polish capital, including the Royal Route and the Old Town, which underwent an amazing restoration after World War II earning its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A violin concert with works by Henryk Wieniawski highlights the evening.



Coach to Bialowieza
2 nights
Coach to Zamosc
1 night

In the multi-cultural region of Podlasie, visit the Kiermusy Manor to learn about the area’s cuisine and taste the traditional pyramid cake – sekacz. Continue to Bialowieza National Park, one of the very few remaining prehistoric forests with spectacular old-growth trees, and then Zamosc, the best-preserved Renaissance town in Poland.



Coach to Krakow
4 nights

Professors from Jagiellonian University survey the great personalities of Poland in preparation for a visit of the Collegium Maius, which boasts graduates such as Nicolaus Copernicus and Pope John Paul II. Learn how Poland’s Kings ruled for 500 years at the Wawel Castle and view the exquisite 16th-century Flemish tapestries. After a lecture presents an overview of Jewish history in Poland, visit Krakow’s Kazimierz Jewish district and enjoy a Klezmer music concert.



Coach to Wroclaw
2 nights
Coach to Warsaw
1 night
Departures

Historian Jakub Tyszkiewicz discusses the history of Wroclaw and other towns in this region. Field trips include the UNESCO listed Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz & Birkenau Museum, and Jasna Gora in Czestochowa with its sacred picture of the Black Madonna. A local family in Lowicz hosts an enchanting farewell dinner complete with regional dishes and a recital of Polish folk songs.




Poland

Following the visit of their countryman Pope John Paul II in 1979, the Polish people were reinvigorated in spirit and began to work to cast off the shackles of Soviet domination. Today, Poland is a free country with a proud and strong people. It is home to some of Europe’s first universities and is an expanse of fields dotted by beautiful and ancient cities.



Accommodations
Gdansk: Three-star hotel in 19th-century building. Warsaw: Hotel near Old Town and four-star hotel. Bialowieza: Hotel at entrance to entrance of the Bialowieski National Park. Zamosc: Hotel in Old Town. Krakow: Hotel overlooking Wawel Castle. Wroclaw: Four-star hotel on Odra river bank.
Meals and Lodgings
   Novotel Centrum Gdansk
  Gdansk, Poland 2 nights
   Ibis Warsaw Old Town
  Warsaw, Poland 2 nights
   Best Western Hotel Zubrowka
  Bialowieza, Poland 2 nights
   Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto
  Zamosc, Poland 1 night
   Hilton Garden Inn
  Krakow, Poland 4 nights
   HP Park Plaza
  Wroclaw, Poland 2 nights
   Hotel Mazurkas
  Warsaw, Poland 1 night
 Novotel Centrum Gdansk
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Novotel Centrum Gdansk is situated on Granary Island in an area rich with history and culture. The hotel offers modern amenities and is within walking distance of the Old Town.
  Contact info: Pszenna 1
Gdansk,  80-749 Poland
phone: +48 58 30 02 750
web: www.accorhotels.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, television, air conditioning, safe, mini bar, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, fitness room, air conditioning, computer in lobby and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Ibis Warsaw Old Town
Type: Hotel
  Description: This hotel is perfectly located near the picturesque gateway to Warsaw's Old Town and the Royal Palace. It is 1.9 miles from the railway station and 7.5 miles from Warsaw's Chopin Airport.
  Contact info: Muranowska 2
Warsaw,  00-209 Poland
phone: +48 22 310 10 00
web: www.ibishotel.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a radio, telephone, television, free Internet access and climate control. Hair dryers available at reception.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, 24-hour bar, lounge, fax machine, air conditioning, free WI-FI Internet access in the lobby and all rooms, and a computer in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Hotel Zubrowka
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The four-star Best Western Hotel Zubrowka is located in a charming corner of north-eastern Poland, described as the Green Lungs of Poland. Situated at the entrance of the Białowieski National Park, and in an area boasting various cultures and religions, the hotel provides its guests with a subtle yet effective combination of quiet and calm, and all necessary modern technologies.
  Contact info: Olgi Gabiec 6
Bialowieza,  17-230 Poland
phone: +48 85 682 94 11
web: www.hotel-zubrowka.pl
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, satellite television, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, fitness room, air conditioning, laundry service (for a fee), fax machine (for a fee), pay phones, free wireless Internet access in the rooms and public areas, computers in lobby and safe box.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto is situated in the heart of the Old Town, surrounded by buildings with histories that stretch back to the beginning of the 17th century. Combining historic design, modern amenities and passionate staff, along with a very unique atmosphere, this hotel guarantees its visitors an unforgettable stay.
  Contact info: Kollataja 2/4/6
Zamosc,  22-400 Poland
phone: +48 84 639 25 16
web: www.accorhotels.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a telephone, television, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, fitness center, safe box at reception, laundry services and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hilton Garden Inn
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of Kraków with spectacular views of Wawel Castle over the Vistula River, the Hilton Garden Inn is only a few minutes' walk from the Old Town, the Market Square and the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Many museums and art galleries are also within walking distance.
  Contact info: Marii Konopnickiej 33
Krakow,  30-302 Poland
phone: +48 12 3999 000
web: www.hgi.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini fridge, iron, free Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, fitness area, air conditioning, laundry services and facilities, Pavilion Pantry Market, safe and free Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 HP Park Plaza
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated on the Odra river bank in the quiet and scenic heart of Wroclaw, the HP Park Plaza is just steps from Ostrów Tumski. This historical part of the city includes the Old Market and Wroclaw University.
  Contact info: Drobnera 11/13
Wroclaw,  50-257 Poland
phone: +48 71 3208400
web: www.hotelepark.pl
  Room amenities: Each room has satellite television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, coffee & tea facilities, free Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lobby bar, sauna, spa, laundry facilities, air conditioning, free Internet access (wireless in lobby, cable in rooms) and computers in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Mazurkas
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The beautiful Mazurkas Hotel is located in a quiet area of Ozarow Mazowiecki. It is only 7 miles from the center of Warsaw and 6 miles from the Fryderyk Chopin International Airport.
  Contact info: Poznanska 177 Str.
Ozarow Mazowiecki,  05-850 Poland
phone: +48 22 721 47 52
web: www.mazurkashotel.pl
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, hair dryer, mini bar, telephone, free WI-FI Internet access, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, 24-hour front desk, fitness room and sauna, hairdresser, air conditioning, laundry service, computer in lobby, WI-FI Internet access in all public areas and rooms, and a safe-box at reception.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Gdansk, Poland. 5:00 PM in hotel lobby. You will be staying at Novotel Centrum Gdansk that night.
  End of Program:
Warsaw, Poland. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Hotel Mazurkas the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train and bus service runs from many major cities to Warsaw. Take taxi from station to hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Gdansk
  Nearest city or town:  Sopot
  Nearest highway: Gdansk-Lodz
  Nearest airport:  Gdansk-Rembiechowo
  Transportation to site: We recommend that you travel to the hotel via City Plus Neptun Taxi. It takes about 20 minutes (it can take up to an hour if there is heavy traffic) and costs approx. 215 Polish Zlotys.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Warsaw
  Nearest highway: E 30 (Warsaw-Berlin)
  Nearest airport:  Warsaw International Airport
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from hotel to airport. It takes about 45 minutes and costs approx. 90 Polish Zlotys.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Wednesday, September 4)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight to Gdansk.

Day 2: Gdansk
(Thursday, September 5)
   
 Morning: Welcome to Gdansk, the old Hanseatic city. Transfer from the airport to the hotel for check-in.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: 5:00 PM - meet for an orientation excursion of Gdansk. From the 15th to the 18th century, Gdansk represented Poland's gateway to the world, with the city holding monopoly on the maritime trade in grain and timber. A stroll around Gdansk provides a vivid testimony to Poland's more recent history, from the heroism of the defenders of Westerplatte in 1939 to the Monument to the Murdered Shipyard Workers, which stands at the gates of the Gdansk Shipyard (birthplace of "Solidarity").
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Centrum Gdansk
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Gdansk / Malbork
(Friday, September 6)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Roads to Freedom." Take a guided field trip of Gdansk, also known as the City of Freedom. Focus on the transformation of Gdansk and Europe, as we learn how the city's Lenin Shipyard birthed the Solidarity Trade Union, making Lech Walesa a household name. Make a photo stop at the Monument to the Shipyard Workers, visit the exhibition "Roads to Freedom," and stroll through the Old Town with its fine Hanseatic architecture.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Travel to Malbork to explore a classic medieval fortress from the UNESCO list of unique monuments. With its multiple defensive walls, a labyrinth of rooms and chambers, and exquisite architectural detail and decoration, this fortress is one of the largest medieval defensive systems in Europe.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Novotel Centrum Gdansk
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Torun / Violin Concert
(Saturday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Drive to Torun, birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus. Stroll through its Gothic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Untouched by World War II, the Old Town constitutes a precious landmark of history and tradition.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Warsaw and check-in at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enter the fascinating world of the violin, during a special performance of Henryk Wieniawski's music. Weaving warmth, emotional intensity and folk colorings into his compositions, it is no wonder Wieniawski was one of the greatest violinists of the Romantic era.
   
Accommodations: Ibis Warsaw Old Town
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Warsaw / Chopin Concert
(Sunday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Warsaw - The Invincible City." Enjoy a coffee break before attending another lecture: "Current Polish Economic and Social Problems." Depart for a guided excursion of Warsaw. The city has witnessed many events that have influenced the history of Europe. The Round Table Agreement of 1989 paved the way to a free and democratic Poland and the fall of the entire Communist Bloc. Discover the wonders of the Polish capital, including the Royal Route and the Old Town, which was painstakingly restored after World War II and is now included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Continue to the Warsaw Rising Museum, an incredible representation of Polish spirit and pride through sounds, words and images.
 Lunch: Light lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area on your own or relax at the hotel.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Enjoy a memorable piano concert, "Frederic Chopin, a Poet of the Piano." Chopin lived in Warsaw and developed his talent there for almost 20 years. The beauty of his music is an exceptional phenomenon, bordering on the miraculous. His style, rich with lyricism, moods, emotions and their nuances, earned him admiration all over the world.
   
Accommodations: Ibis Warsaw Old Town
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Kiermusy Manor / Bialowieza Forest
(Monday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our guided excursion of Warsaw continues to the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto Uprising designed by famous sculptor Nathan Rappaport, the Umschlagplatz, where Jews gathered for deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp, and other important historic monuments in Warsaw. Field trip to Podlasie, the multi-cultural region known as Polish Orient, which was settled by Poles, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Tatars. The area's denominational mosaic, built by the Catholics, Orthodox Church, Islam and Jewish believers, is a unique phenomenon. Visit the Kiermusy Manor, whose owners long to preserve Old Polish hospitality traditions. Talk with the restaurant's chef about cuisine rooted in this region, and taste a real pyramid cake - sekacz. The cake requires an impressive number of eggs and a couple of hours to bake, since it can measure one meter tall!
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to the Bialowieza Forest, one of the largest areas of virgin lowland woodland on the continent, a UNESCO listed World Cultural Heritage Site. Check-in at your hotel.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Zubrowka
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Bialowieza National Park / Barbecue
(Tuesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Guided excursion of the Bialowieza National Park, where human activity is limited to conservation, the upkeep of roads and scientific research. The excursion will be by horse drawn carriages! Visit the Bison Reserve, where we can also observe the zubron, a cross between a bison and a cow, which has been bred in Bialowieza. Then take a walk along the Royal Oak Route to admire 500-year-old trees that reach spectacular sizes uncommon elsewhere.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore or relax on your own.
 Dinner: Enjoy a barbecue with accordion music and classic Polish food: kielbasa (excellent smoked sausage), bigos (stew with sauerkraut cabbage, a variety of meats, mushrooms and spices), and ogorek kwaszony (pickled cucumber).
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Zubrowka
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Zamosc
(Wednesday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Zamosc, called Padua of the North. The best preserved Renaissance town in Poland, artist Jan Zamoyski commissioned its design from Benardo Morando of Padua, where he once studied. Full of Renaissance wonders, Zamosc is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Guided field trip in Zamosc.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Zamosc Stare Miasto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Lancut Castle
(Thursday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Krakow. En-route, see the magnificent Lancut Castle of the Lubomirski family, housing an extensive collection of art. Admire the historic interiors in the Baroque, Rococo, neoclassical, eclectic and Art Nouveau styles, richly decorated with wall paintings and carvings, graceful floors and precious period furniture, sculptures, china, etc. The castle furniture is the work of the most famous French, English and Austrian craftsmen of the 18th and 19th centuries. See objects from medieval times through the work of Antonio Canova in the sculpture gallery. Of particular value are the horse-drawn carriages and the collection of Orthodox Church art.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: En-route to Krakow is the small village of Lipnica Murowana, the site of Saint Leonard's church. Built in the late 16th century, this church is one of the six wooden churches of Southern Little Poland listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in Krakow, which retains the largest concentration of historical monuments and cultural treasures in Poland.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Wawel Castle and Cathedral / Old Town
(Friday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Jews in Poland before and after World War II." Guided field trip of Krakow. Krakow was for centuries the capital of Poland, drawing into its midst great scholars and artists from all over the world. The world's greatest Gothic sculptor, Veit Stoss, lived and worked here for nearly 20 years, a dozen of which he devoted to creating the magnificent 42-foot-high altarpiece in the Basilica of the Virgin Mary. Our exploration will take us to the Wawel Castle and Cathedral, the political and cultural center of Poland until the early 17th century. It boasts an unparalleled collection of magnificent 16th century Flemish tapestries, including works by Michael van Coxcie, the "Flemish Raphael." Then discover the brilliance of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore or relax on your own.
 Dinner: Dine in the Kazimierz District, the ancient heart of Jewish Krakow. Taste Jewish cooking delicacies and enjoy a nostalgic Klezmer music concert.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Wieliczka Salt Mine
(Saturday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Business Environment and Investment Climate in Poland: Polish Economy versus Main Trends in the Global Economy." Following the lecture, go on a guided excursion of Krakow. One of Krakow's gems is the Collegium Maius, one of Europe's first universities. The astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who revolutionized European science, remains the most illustrious of Krakow's graduates, along with Pope John Paul II. This museum boasts splendid historic rooms, a great collection of old European art, and unique science instruments. It is also a sort of cultural repository for Poland; famous Poles donate their awards to be displayed here. Enjoy some free time before lunch.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a world-class attraction. Over 700 years, many generations of Polish miners created this amazing underground world. Exceptional in its beauty, the mine contains rich interior chapels, galleries, and underground salt lakes. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Zakopane / Forester's cottage
(Sunday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "The Great Personalities of Poland - People Who Changed Poland and the World." Field trip to Podhale, a picturesque region nestled high up in the Tatra Mountains, where we gain insight into vivid traditions of folk culture. A trip through Zakopane will provide a glimpse into its colorful past. Between the two world wars, it became a mecca for Polish thinkers and artists who gave it special bohemian flavor. Zakopane is home to a rich folk culture and is the center of a proud Polish highlander tradition. This is seen in the highly decorative costumes, the ever-present highland music, the mountainous architectural style, and most all, in its distinctive cooking.
 Lunch: Lunch in a forester's cottage at the base of Chocholowska valley. Taste regional delicacies and listen to highland music.
 Afternoon: Visit a local gallery of glass painting. Then, explore the Jaszczurowka Chapel, widely regarded as one of the finest creations of Stanislaw Witkiewicz, the developer of the distinctive "Zakopane" style. Return to Krakow.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Auschwitz & Birkenau Museum
(Monday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Oswiecim with the Auschwitz & Birkenau Museum, the symbol of the holocaust.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Continue to Wroclaw. Arrive and check-in at hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: HP Park Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Wroclaw / Ostrow Tumski
(Tuesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Silesia." After six centuries in the foreign hands of Bohemians, Austrians and Prussians, much of Poland was returned only in the aftermath of World War II. Its history has left these different cultural layers overlapping each other to form a fascinating mosaic. Following the lecture, take a guided trip through Ostrow Tumski, a small island full of architectural delights, where the city of Wroclaw began 1000 years ago. See the charming medieval Market Square, the Baroque-gem Aula Leopoldinum, the UNESCO listed Centennial Hall, and the Raclawice Panorama, an impressive relic of 19th century mass culture. One of the only examples of this genre preserved in Europe, the large three-dimensional painting wraps around the internal walls of the rotunda and can be viewed from an elevated central balcony.
 Lunch: Light lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore or relax on your own.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: HP Park Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Czestochowa / Stanislaw Moniuszko Recital
(Wednesday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Travel to Czestochowa where, as Pope John Paul II stated, the "heart of the nation" beats. Visit Jasna Gora with its sacred picture of the Black Madonna.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue to Lowicz, where we will experience Polish hospitality, taste regional dishes, get to know local people and their talents and passions, and enjoy a warm and enchanting atmosphere.
 Dinner: We will be hosted by a young married couple living in a wooden cottage romantically set at the base of the ruins of the former bishop's castle. After a traditional Polish welcome with a loaf of bread and salt, you will be treated to a farewell dinner of regional dishes.
 Evening: Enjoy a recital of Stanislaw Moniuszko solo songs, which are considered the heart of Polish folk culture. The traditional Polish house is the perfect setting for these songs, which take on the form of dialogue or ballads, and testify to the composer's originality and melodic inventiveness. Before departing for Warsaw, we will be presented with a hand-made gift, a small memento created by this artistic family.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mazurkas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Departures
(Thursday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Krakow Schindler's Factory Museum
Schindler's Factory Museum is a new branch of the Historical Museum of Krakow, displaying the history of Krakow during the Nazi Occupation. It has been created in the administrative building of the former Oskar Schindler's Factory of Enameled Vessels. For additional information, visit www.mhk.pl
  Stained Glass Museum
The unique Polish Stained Glass Museum, apart from hosting a permanent exhibition, also demonstrates how to create stained glass, a process that has remained unchanged for centuries. The structure of the building, built especially for the needs of the Krakow Stained Glass Company S.G. Zelenski, has also remained unchanged, and the house's interiors and the workshop's equipment retain their original character. For additional information, visit www.muzeumwitrazu.pl
  Warsaw National Museum
This National Museum's galleries are home to Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts, medieval religious portraits, Venetian paintings and works by 19th and 20th century Polish masters. Including pieces by Stanislaw Wyspianski, Jan Matejko and Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, this museum houses one of the greatest Polish collections of ancient and medieval art. For additional information, visit www.mnw.art.pl
  Royal Castle
Warsaw's Royal Castle holds paintings by Bernardo Bellotto, a Venitan urban landscape painter famous for his vedutes of European cities, Warsaw being among them. Bellotto was a master of perspective, his works of art standing as reliable documents of his time. His works were comparable to photographs, and his detailed cityscapes of Warsaw were of great help in reconstructing the city's historic monuments after their near-complete destruction in WWII. For additional information, visit www.zamek-krolewski.pl
  Wroclaw Wroclaw National Museum
Wroclaw's National Museum, with a diverse selection of Silesian art and the most important trends in 20th century art, shows works by Tadeusz Makowski, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Wladyslaw Strzeminski. An outstanding place at the exhibition is held by Magdalena Abakanowicz, whose output is shown in a separate room. The museum's collection of her works is one of the largest in Europe. For additional information, visit www.en.mnwr.art.pl
  Gdansk Central Maritime Museum
The museum holdings tell the history of ports, shipbuilding, seafaring and trade, and include items used in shipyards as well as in coastal and sea rescue operations; ship equipment, navigation tools, driving gears, manual arms, deck weapons, and the like. The Museum has interesting collections of Slav boats, medieval ships from Gdansk and Elblag, sixteenth and seventeenth century warships, Polish merchant and passenger ships dating from 1920-1939 as well as post-1945 river ships and towboats. For additional information, visit www.cmm.pl
  The Uphagen House
The Uphagen House is a museum, in which the rich interior of an 18th century Gdansk tenement building has been recreated. For additional information, visit www.mhmg.gda.pl
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Suggested Reading List


A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron, Forgotten Heroes of World War II


Author: Lynne Olson, Stanley Cloud


Description: The riveting history of the No. 303 "Kosciuszko" Polish Fighter Squadron, an all Polish unit of the Royal Air Force formed during WWII.



A Traveller's History of Poland


Author: John Radzilowski


Description: A wide-ranging, accessible and effectively condensed brief history of Poland through the 1990s. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.



Bury Me Standing


Author: Isabel Fonseca


Description: This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions, and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.



Culture Smart! Poland


Author: Greg Allen


Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Eyewitness Guide Poland


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: An informative, visual guide to the history, culture and attractions of Poland.



Frommer's Krakow Day by Day with Map


Author: Peterjon Cresswell


Description: A compact shirt pocket guide, ideal for a short visit, featuring remarkably good suggestions for everything from food, hotels and neighborhoods to shopping. With a separate foldout map of the city center.



Heart of Europe, The Past in Poland's Present


Author: Norman Davies


Description: A history of Poland in reverse chronology from the Solidarity Movement to early civilization, condensed from the author's definitive three-volume history.



Kingdom of Auschwitz


Author: Otto Friedrich


Description: Otto Friedrich's slim book is an intensely personal account of the infamous Auschwitz death camp. He covers the entire history of Auschwitz in short chapters punctuated with eyewitness accounts and testimonies.



Krakow Map


Author: ITMB


Description: A folded city map of Krakow with an inset map of the city center at 1:10,000, along with a metropolitan area and regional map.



Poland


Author: James Michener


Description: In his epic style, Michener presents the sweep of Polish history from the earliest days to 1983 in this massively researched novel. An excellent choice for the airplane.



Poland Map


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: A self-folding full color map of Poland at a scale of 1:700,000, updated annually.



Shosha


Author: Isaac Bashevis Singer


Description: A powerful novel of love set in the Jewish quarter of Warsaw as World War II erupts around the protagonists.



The Haunted Land, Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism


Author: Tina Rosenberg


Description: In this groundbreaking book, a journalist reports on how the newly democratized people of East Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have confronted the horrors of their former governments.



The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague


Author: Timothy Garton Ash


Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.



The Painted Bird


Author: Jerzy Kosinski


Description: The acclaimed novel based on the author's own experiences in World War II Poland. The often disturbing account of a young Jewish boy's journey through rural Poland as he tries to evade everyone from SS officers to anti-Semitic Polish peasants will leave an indelible impression.



The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe


Author: Dennis Hupchick, Harold Cox


Description: The changing borders and complex history of Eastern Europe as told through 52 maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically. An excellent reference, the book shows the rise of Poland, changing borders of the Ottoman Empire, Hapsburgs and fate of Yugoslavia in admirable clarity.



The Spies of Warsaw


Author: Alan Furst


Description: Alan Furst sets his richly atmospheric tale of espionage and love squarely amidst the leafy boulevards, grand squares, stately mansions and elegant cafes of the glittering 1937 capital. With a map on the inside covers, this isn't just a gripping novel, Furst's 10th WW II-era thriller, it's a guide to Warsaw of today.



The Street of Crocodiles


Author: Bruno Schulz


Description: These remarkable stories draw on Schulz's childhood and the people, places and events of provincial Poland in the early 20th century.



The Zookeeper's Wife


Author: Diane Ackerman


Description: A marvelous storyteller, Ackerman recalls madcap, bohemian Warsaw before WWII, the devastation of the city by Nazi bombs in 1939, the horrors of the holocaust and heroic efforts in the resistance in this moving tale of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, directors of Warsaw Zoo.



To Begin Where I Am, The Selected Prose of Czeslaw Milosz


Author: Czeslaw Milosz, Madeline G. Levine (Editor), Bogdana Carpenter (Editor)


Description: Culled from a lifetime's worth of publications, these essays by the Lithuanian-born Polish poet and Nobel laureate Milosz address the Polish experience at home and abroad in the 20th century.





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