May 3 – May 13, 2020
Well hello there. Here we go! I’ve enjoyed traveling virtually with you and hope to have another vote this year. In the meantime, how about traveling with me in actual reality? Now’s your chance and, though you know I’m not a big fan of planning, I’ve planned everything. Well, you can’t possibly plan everything—and what would the fun be in that?—but I’ve planned a bunch of fun, good food, good wine, accommodations, transportation, and some fun activities.
This Drop Me Anywhere Tour for Women is a Jewish Heritage and Wine Tour and can accommodate a maximum of 8 women, plus myself. This is not a religious tour, but more historical with a concentration on Jewish history and culture. If you aren’t Jewish (and if you are), you’ll find it incredibly interesting. Read on:
Day 1 (May 3rd) – Arrive in Budapest
Time for the adventure to begin. You’ll arrive in Budapest sometime in the morning. Weary from jetlag and a long flight with that kid behind you who would not stop kicking your seat. Still, you’re in BUDAPEST! So you’ll also be filled with excitement.
I’ll meet you at the airport and will get you to your included transportation to the hotel. You can grab some lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes around the hotel and, once everyone is here, we’ll head on out to explore this beautiful city.
Nothing strenuous today as you’ll be recovering from your journey. We’ll walk over to the magnificent St. Stephen’s Basilica. It took over 50 years to build St. Stephens (that’ll teach them to not use union members) and it holds 8,500 people. That’s 17,001 hands as the hand of St. Stephen himself is also housed here.
Next, we’ll head over across the Danube to Rudas Baths for a soak and recovery. With 11 thermal pools plus a swimming pool, you’re sure to be relaxed after this visit. One pool sits on the roof of the complex and offers a fantastic few of the Danube while you enjoy the healing waters. Downstairs, we’ll experience a Turkish bath built in the 16th century. We’ll soak in pools heated to various temperatures sitting below the 30-foot dome held up by eight pillars.
Tonight, we’ll have and low-key dinner at the local restaurant and toast the adventure ahead. Nothing fancy as you’ll probably be jonesing for a comfy bed and a good night’s sleep.
Day 2 (May 4th) – Budapest
Today we’ll have a full Budapest experience starting with a tour of the Jewish Quarter. We’ll walk with our local guide through the former Jewish Ghetto, learning about Jewish life in Budapest in the past and present. We’ll stop by some of the monuments to heroes and victims and a couple of smaller synagogues before entering the famous Dohany Street Synagogue (also known as the Great Synagogue). We’ll also visit the Jewish Museum housing a collection of artifacts and religious pieces from Jewish history in Hungary.
Next, we’ll head over to the historic Central Market where you can grab lunch on your own at the bustling lunch counters. Originally built in 1896, locals and tourists enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, cheeses, spices, Palinka (the national drink), and souvenirs. You’ll doubtless have full hands when you leave so you can use some free time to drop things at the hotel and put your feet up for a bit or explore more of the city on your own.
After an included dinner, we’ll head down to the Danube where we’ll board our 1-hour cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage waterfront while sipping champagne. Aaahhh.
Day 3 (May 5th) – Budapest
Following Breakfast at the hotel, we’ll walk over to the Terror House Museum, an important place for a better understanding of Hungary in the 20th century. This museum stands at what was once the building where both the Nazi and Communist government imprisoned and interrogated perceived enemies. We’ll move on towards the Danube, stopping by one of the most famous monuments to Holocaust victims, Shoes on the Danube River Bank, before continuing our walk over the Chain Bridge to Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. Lunch and the rest of the afternoon and evening on your own.
Day 4 (May 6th) – Budapest to Mád
Today we hit the road. After breakfast at the hotel, we head out to our van for a drive to the town of Mád, which is located in the Unesco World Heritage, Tokaj Wine Region. We’ll stop on the way to visit the Royal Palace of Gödöllő, a favorite place of Queen Elisabeth (affectionately known as Sissi) of Hungary and Empress of Austria. After wandering around our palace, we’ll have a picnic lunch in Palace Park before returning to our van and continuing to Mád where we’ll stay in the Wonder Rabbis’ Inn, located in the current Jewish Heritage Center and formerly the Rabbi’s house. We’ll enjoy a special dinner with fantastic food and company at a local winery where each course will be paired with the perfect wine.
Day 5 (May 7th) – Mád to Tokaj
After enjoying breakfast, we’ll visit some of the historical sites in this important region of Jewish heritage Including the Mád Synagogue. Built in 1795, the Mád Synagogue, one of the oldest surviving synagogues in Hungary, became the property of the State in 1949. In 2004, with the help of the World Monuments Fund, the deteriorated synagogue building was repaired and officially reopened on the official 60th anniversary of the Holocaust arriving in Hungary. It has been called one of the 100-most-beautiful synagogues in the world. We’ll continue on to some of the Jewish cemeteries in the area which include the graves of the Wonder Rabbis, a group of rabbis said to have worked miracles in answer to prayers. Lunch will be on the beautiful patio of the Mád Winery before heading to the town of Tokaj for some shopping and further wine enjoyment. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6 (May 8th) – Tokaj
Today is spent in the beautiful city of Tokaj. We’ll begin with a one-hour cruise on the Bodrog River. From there, we’ll take a 30-minute tram ride tour (weather permitting) through the town which drops us at Benkő Borház, a family-owned winery where we’ll enjoy wine tasting in the cellar accompanied by charcuterie. Teri, the owner, will then take us on a tour of her vineyards before we head out for a free evening in this relaxing, picturesque town.
Day 7 (May 9th) – Tokaj to Krakow
Today’s approximately 5-hour-drive takes us through the country of Slovakia while heading to Poland. We’ll stop for lunch along the way before heading on to Krakow where we’ll settle into our hotel. After getting settled we’ll head out to dinner at a local restaurant. Perhaps we’ll switch from wine and enjoy some of the famous Polish vodka.
B, L, D
Day 8 (May 10th) – Krakow
Be sure to wear your walking shoes as we’ll be exploring on our feet today. We’ll enjoy a walking tour of Old Town Krakow, which will bring us through Market Square, the remains of medieval city walls with Barbican and St Florian Gate, St Francis Church, Bishop’s Palace, Wawel Castle, and more. After some lunch and time on your own, we’ll head over to Oskar Schindler’s porcelain factory which is now a museum. Tonight, you can choose your own restaurant for a meal on your own.
Day 9 (May 11th) – Krakow
Today is a day you’ll never forget. We’ll drive approximately one hour to Oswiecim, the city where both Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration and death camps are located. While you know the stories, this day will change you. We will take a guided tour through what is now a museum and see first-hand the buildings which housed prisoners, the possessions which were taken from them, and the crematoriums which were used to try to hide the evidence. Following our tour, you may take some time on your own to walk through and ponder how this could happen and how we can help end current genocides and prevent them in the future. We’ll return to Krakow and have dinner together to discuss what we saw and raise a glass to the memory of those who suffered.
Day 10 (May 12th) – Krakow
As we set out today, we’ll drive over to the world-famous Wieliczka Salt Mine. With mining begun here over 700-years-ago, this Unesco World Heritage Site is Poland’s oldest business venture. Our 3-hour tour will include a history of the mine, a visit to Kinga’s Chapel, and underground chapel carved completely out of salt, and many works of art, also carved from salt. We’ll return to the city for lunch on your own. In the afternoon, we’ll take a guided tour of Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow, where we’ll have a chance to visit some of the former synagogues, including the Old Synagogue (Alta Shul), the oldest synagogue building still standing in Poland, and one of the most precious landmarks of Jewish architecture in Europe. The building now serves a museum holding some of the most interesting pieces of Judaica in the world. We’ll stay in Kazimierz for our final night’s dinner where we’ll enjoy our dinner with a side of potato latkes and live Jewish music at Ariel, which Steven Spielberg called his favorite restaurant while he was filming Schindler’s List.
Day 11 (May 13th) – Krakow with the option to return to Budapest
Today we say goodbye. If your flight leaves from Krakow, a return airport transfer is included in your tour and will be arranged according to your flight time. If you prefer to return home from our starting point in Budapest, for an extra $35, I will transfer you back in our van. Note that we will arrive in Budapest at approximately 3:00 pm.
May 3rd – May 13th
Price: US $3,000.00
Price includes: 10-nights accommodation in 3-4-star hotels or guest houses, 21 meals (tips included), a bunch of wine, maybe some vodka, transportation between all locations and activities, charges for all included activities, airport transfers from Liszt Ferenc Airport (BUD) to group hotel on May 3, 2020 and return from Krakow hotel to John Paul II International Airport (Krakow).
What isn’t included: Flights, travel insurance (I recommend purchasing some), food and drink not specifically mentioned, non-included activities or transportation, airport transfers not on tour arrival and departure days, some tipping for local guides, souvenirs.
Due to vehicle space, one piece of luggage per person is allowed plus a small day pack. Should you wish to bring more, this can be accommodated while we’re in Budapest and I can arrange storage free of charge. If you choose the option to return to Budapest with me for your flight back to the U.S. ($35 fee), you can collect your bag then. If you store your bag and don’t take that option, I will really enjoy your clothes (thanks!).
Pricing is calculated on single room basis (except for 1 night in at the Wonder Rabbis’ Inn which may require sharing due to the nature of the guesthouse). Should you wish to share with someone you know or someone you’ll meet on the tour, please contact me for pricing at Carole@DropMeAnywhere.com.
Early-bird pricing gets you $150 off. Just book by March 2. $400 secures your spot with final payment due one month prior to the start of the tour. Payment on the website will be available by mid-February. But I will take cash, Mastercard, Visa, Check, Cashiers Check, Wire Transfer, Venmo, your firstborn, a bottle of whiskey. . . oh wait, scratch those last two. But do contact me at Carole@DropMeAnywhere.com or through the contact me link on the website to ask questions or express your interest and we’ll work out payment. Also, I’ll let you know when online payment is easily available. Remember, only 8 spots, so don’t wait.
Please feel free to E-mail me at Carole@dropmeanywhere.com so we can arrange a time to talk.
Note: Due to international laws and historical nature of some sites, some activities and accommodations might not be fully accessible to those with disabilities. Please contact me to discuss any concerns.
Itineraries, accommodations, and other inclusions are subject to change due to weather, world events, special events, local holidays, unexpected closures, and a zombie apocalypse.
Drop Me Anywhere Women’s Tours welcomes women and those who identify as women to join us on the road.
Drop Me Anywhere is a Florida Limited Liability Company and is insured. Disputes must be filed in the state of Florida, USA.