June 04, 2014

Review about by Marlin Kipp

Rating: 4
I really enjoyed this Polish Dream Tour (May 31-June 16, 2019) for the inclusion of major cities (Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw & Krakow), as well as seeing the country from the north (Gdansk) to the south (Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains). The sites visited, and an absolutely first-class guide (Krzysztof Kisielnicki), gave a window into the complex history of Poland that I appreciated very much. I enjoyed the free time to explore on my own when our stay was 2-3 nights; our guide was a great source of suggestions. The bus tours in the cities were kept to a minimum - the walking tours with our guide and/or local guides were excellent and much preferred. I enjoyed all our hotel accommodations - locations were great and breakfasts very good; and the included dinners were delicious (it was especially nice that on most arrival days, group dinner was served). I appreciated the inclusion of music (Chopin concert in Warsaw; short organ concert in Oliwa; and folk music in Zakopane). I enjoyed our visit to the Lavender Field farm , giving us the chance to be in the country with enthusiastic hosts that are working to preserve elements of Poland's history. Skansen, raft ride, Malbork, Wolf's Lair, Wieliczka Salt Mines, horse carriage ride in Zakopane - the wide range of ways to experience aspects of Poland were well thought out on this tour. Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau is so important, and I was glad it was on the tour; unfortunately the sheer crowds flowing through the exhibits rather prevent one actually having time to just be there unhurried. What immediately followed, though was also important: a visit to Wadowice - the home town and church of Pope Paul John II, where we could sit in the beauty and peace of that church after seeing the horrors of Auschwitz. Hiking in the rugged Tatra mountains in Zakopane was superb. The rest stops on the longer bus rides were suitably spaced. I was repeatedly impressed throughout Poland seeing how determined the Polish people have been to restore a country damaged so badly in WW II to its heritage, and move forward. Suggestions: I would have loved to hear the organ at Sw. Lipka; I thought our time in Poznan was too short - would have preferred to stay overnight there rather than Torun; The vineyard /wine tasting visit was a little disappointing in that we didn't get to see the monastery and wine-making facilities - just a brief walk in the vineyard and wine-tasting.
Marlin Kipp

The Polish Dream Tour was excellent - the itinerary included