- Outline 1957
- Outline 1965
- Outline 1967
- Outline 1982
- Outline 1991
- Outline 2003
- Outline 2005
- Outline 2007
- Outline 2011
- Outline 2015
- Outline 2019
NDR-57that time East Germany, DDR
My first trip outside Czechoslovakia
Date of travel: June 19 – June 23, 1957
A bus tour to EAST GERMANY visiting Dresden, Erfurt, Jena, Weimar, Eisenach, Castle Wartburg, Leipzig, Meissen.
Travel office: arranged by Tesla Pardubice (my employer)
Who took part: a full bus of Tesla Pardubice employees and a Czech guide
NDR-65 Short trip to city of Dresden from that time my employer, Kovopodnik.
At that time it was East Germany, DDR.
Date of travel: Oct 22 – Oct 23, 1965
The trip was for the good results our part of the company had in the past year. On Oct 22 we traveled from Prague by bus to a Czech town Decin, where we slept. Most of the following day, Oct 23, was spent by sightseeing the GERMAN city of Dresden, where some 20 years after WWII there was war damage still visible. In the late afternoon we boarded the bus for the ride home and reached Prague quite late.
Travel office: Trip was arranged by company Kovopodnik for all interested employees.
Who took part: About 20 employees incl. Jana K.
WE-67 WESTERN EUROPE – West Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Netherlands 1967 – My first trip to Western Countries
Date of travel: Aug 4 – Sep 1, 1967
This trip was done mostly by train starting on Aug 4 in Czechoslovakia (Prague) and going to WEST GERMANY (Frankfurt on Main), continuing to BELGIUM for Aug 5 and 6 (Brussels, Ostend) and on ferry over the English Channel to UNITED KINGDOM from Aug 6 to Aug 15, beginning in England (Canterbury, London, Windsor Castle, Bournemouth, Stonehenge, Stratford, Coventry, Liverpool, Blackpool, Lake District, Carlisle). Between Aug 16 and 17 Northern Ireland (with Giant’s Causeway, Belfast) and Aug 18 to Aug 25 Scotland (Glasgow, climbing Ben Nevis, Loch Ness, Inverness, Perth and Edinburgh) and for Aug 26 through Aug 28 back to England (Cambridge, London). Then a ferry to NETHERLANDS where from Aug 29 through 31 (Rotterdam, wind mills, den Haag and Amsterdam). Back to WEST GERMANY on Sep 1 (Nurnberg) and Czechoslovakia (Prague).
Travel company: No travel company used, but an invitation from England needed to get a Czechoslovakian government permit for travel to Western countries. We traveled mostly by train and slept in youth hostels.
Who took part: I traveled with a childhood friend Frank Z. (Aramis).
WG-82 WEST GERMANY
Date of travel: Sep 23 – Oct 10, 1982
On Sep 23, 1982 before noon I take a Greyhound bus from Oceanside, CA to downtown Los Angeles. From there on another bus to the LA airport (LAX) where in midafternoon. At 7PM I leave LAX on a Lufthansa plane. After 10.5-hour flight I land in Frankfurt am Main, WEST GERMANY, in the afternoon the following day. I take a train to the Frankfurt Main Station in the center of the city. There I board another train to Nurnberg.The 2.5-hour ride brings me to Nurnberg. My cousin, his wife and her mother are waiting for me. By their car to their apartment.
Next day my cousin takes me for a sightseeing of Nurnberg. We park at the RR Station.Then we go on foot through the old city enclosed in the city walls with my cousin’s very good explanation what we see. We enter several churches and visit the Hauptmarkt, which is the principal plaza of Nurnberg. Here is a church built by Charles IV. Then we climb to the castle. In midafternoon we return to his apartment. Still that day my cousin shows me the old and new ship channels connecting some German rivers. In the evening we drive to the RR Station to pick up my mother and my sister coming from Prague. We have not seen each other in 3 years since my 1979 first visit of Czechoslovakia after immigration in 1968. In the meantime, my father has died, but I have not got a visa to visit my mother and my sister. That is the reason we meet in West Germany.
On Sep 26 early in the morning my cousin and his wife take us on a trip to southern Bavaria. We visit castles Hohenschwanstein and Neuschwanstein and the village Oberammergau, where once in 10 years the “Passion Play” is performed by local people. Later in the afternoon we visit the Linderhof Castle. After that the Benidictine Monastery in Ettal dating from 1330. The last stop is in Garnisch-Partenkirchen under Zugspitze (2963m) the highest mountain in Germany. Then we return to Nurnberg.
The following week I, my mother and my sister visit many stores and have an opportunity to talk with each other. On Saturday, Oct 2, our cousin takes us in his car around the city. He shows us the Stadtpark, the airport and the zoo (Tiergarten). In zoo we visit a Dolphinarium, which is quite good.
On Oct 3, our cousin and his wife leave for vacation in Portugal. On Oct 4, my sister departs by train for Prague. From Oct 5 to Oct 9 my mother and I spend most of the time together, except one day when my cousin’s mother-in-law takes us to the TV Tower. It is 277 m high and there is a great view from the top. Some days we sit with my mother at a top restaurant in the Horten Department Store. My mother talks about her life. This is probably the first time in our lives we have an opportunity to talk with each other without other people. I am happy hearing how my mother deals with problems in her life when she is alone now.
On Oct 10 early in the morning after saying good-bye to my mother, I leave my cousin’s apartment in Nurnberg for the RR Station. I take a train to Frankfurt.There I get on the train to the airport. I board a Lufthansa plane for an 11-hour flight to LAX. I don’t know how, but I am in the Business Class. Drinks are for free. The plane leaves in the afternoon and it landsin LAX the same day in the afternoon local time. I take a bus to downtown Los Angeles. Here after some waiting another bus to Oceanside. A fellow employee takes me from Oceanside home,where an hour before midnight.
Travel office: The airline ticket through the office of Mr. Mach, the rest by myself,
Who took part: I, my mother, my sister and my cousin and his family.
G-91Trip to just united Germany and a week in Czechoslovakia
Date of travel: May 18 – June 10, 1991
This trip started on May 18 with flight from San Diego via St. Louis and New York coming to Frankfurt am Main in GERMANY on May 19. From May 19 to Jun 1 our group visited: Frankfurt, took a boat ride on River Rheine to Cologne, continued by bus to Hermann Denkmal, Bremen, Hamburg (incl. Hagenbeck zoo), Hannover, Berlin, Potsdam, Wittenberg (known for Martin Luther), Leipzig, Meissen, Dresden, Weimar, Erfurt, castle Wartburg, Kassel, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, Nurnberg, Munich, Garnisch Partenkirchen, Linderhof, Ettal, Oberammengau, castle Neuschwanstein, Lake Konstanz, Freiburg, Baden Baden, Heidelberg and back to Frankfurt am Main. On June 2 I took a train to CZECHOSLOVAKIA for June 2 to June 9. I spent time and visited: Prague, Chrudim, Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), castle Loket and town Cheb. Then on train back to Frankfurt and on June 10 by plane from Frankfurt via New York and St. Louis to San Diego.
Travel office: Globus (through an American travel office)
Who took part: I traveled with about 30 American tourists and among them also Frank Z. (Aramis).
Date of travel: Aug 1 – Aug 5, 2003
On Aug 1, 2003 at 8 AM I take a bus from Prague – Florenc via Dresden to Berlin, GERMANY:. There I am at 2:15 PM. S-Bahn brings me to my hotel “Dorint.” After a little rest, I walk before 5 PM to the Mitte (center of the city). I get to the Brandeburger Gate, then I go along the Unter den Linden Street up to the Berliner Dom. I have a hamburger in McDonald’s under the TV tower. From there I walk across the Alexander Platz and back to my hotel.
On Aug 2, I am leaving hotel at 9:25 AM and using S-Bahn to Unter den Linden near Brandeburger Gate. Then on foot past the Humbolt University with the equestrian statue of Frederick II. and more historical places, to “Pergamon Museum” for 2-hour of its examination. Back on the Unter den Linden street I visit the Berliner Dom Cathedral followed by Altes Museum. Next, I go past the Palast der Republick (DDR parliament), which is closed due to asbestos. In its place used to be an Imperial Palace. It is planned to be reconstructed again. A peak into Franzoesischer Dom followed by the Deutcher Dom. At 5:10 PM I visit the Checkpoint Charlie with its museum. It’s hot and the whole day I make stops to drink beer. Then I return to my hotel at 7 PM.
On Aug 3, I leave my hotel at 9:35 AM. The S-Bahn takes me to Charlottenburg. I am sightseeing this palace including its park with the Neuer Pavilion and the Belvedere. From the palace, I go across the street to the Egyptian Museum. Its prize possession is the bust of Queen Nefertiti. From here by S-Bahn to the Potzdamer Platz. The whole day is hot and I quench my thirst with local beer again. Back in my hotel at 5:30 PM.
On Aug 4, I start sightseeing at 9:30 AM. By the S-Bahn to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (built 1895) near the Kurfuestendamm. Then to the Weltbrunnen (World Fountain) and the famous department store KaDeWe, which I go through. That all is followed by my walk on the K-damm (Kurfuestendamm). At 12:20 PM into ZOO. It has an old character. I leave at 2:25 PM and walk past Schloss Bellevue (Castle). Then visiting the Reichstag. On my walk to Brandeburger Gate I see the Soviet WWII Memorial. From the Brandeburger Gate by S-Bahn to Alexander Platz. In its vicinity, I take an elevator to the top of the TV-tower. Then by S-Bahn to my hotel where at 7:30 PM.
On Aug 5, I leave my hotel just after 11 AM to visit the Natural History Museum with its Dinosaur Hall. At 1:30 PM I am back to my hotel “Dorint.” After picking-up my luggage l leave by the S-Bahn for the bus station ZOB. My bus is leaving at 4 PM. Through Dresden it reaches the Czech border at 8 PM. It stops at Prague-Florenc at 10:15 PM. Taking metro B I go to my sister’s house in Prague-Stodulky.
Travel office: I have arranged the trip by myself.
Who took part: I was the only traveler.
JS-05 Trip to Jordan and Syria and short stops in Germany and Lebanon
Date of travel: Mar 14 – Apr 6, 2005
Early on Mar 14 in a rented car from Vista to Los Angeles airport. Flight to Chicago (where several hours visit with friends). Late that evening flight to Frankfurt, GERMANY where at noon Mar 15 (few hours visit of downtown Frankfurt). Late evening flight to Amman, JORDAN where very early on Mar 16. Here I join a group of travelers with which I spent 7 days exploring Jordan.
In a day trip from Amman we visit ruins of Roman city Jerash and so called Desert Castles. The following day to Madaba, Mt.Nebo and on the King’s Highway south to Crusaders’ Karak Castle and to the famous Petra. Two days sightseeing of this Nabataean capital with its heyday from 200 BC to 200 AD. Then to Wadi Rum (one time in WWI headquarters of Lawrence of Arabia) and to Aqaba (Jordan port on Red Sea). After a night here back north with stops at Shobak Castle (also built by Crusaders), at Dead Sea (10x saltier than oceans), seeing the black tents of Bedouins and back to Jordan capital Amman for its sightseeing.
On Mar 23 we enter SYRIA at Bosra, one time a capital of Roman Province Arabia having many relics of its long history. That way we started a 13 day trip through this second country of our journey. We continue to capital of Syria Damascus spending two days sightseeing the 4 million people city with its souqs (markets), Uwayyad mosque, tomb of Saladine etc. On Mar 26 we drive north visiting Maalula, one of the villages still speaking Aramaic, the language of Christ. Then continuing to the ruins of Roman city of Apamea, from there to Hama with its gigantic waterwheels and to Homs for overnight.
From Homs eastward into the center of the Syrian Desert to a treasure among the Middle Eastern ancient cities to Palmyra with roots going to the 2 millennium BC. Day and half is devoted to its exploration. From Palmyra we drive farther east to Deir ez-Zur on Euphrates River and south of it, close to Iraqi border, we visit excavations of Mari dating back 5000 years and Seleucids Dura Europos from 280 BC. After that we drive through Raqqa to Lake Assad and the second largest city of Syria Aleppo. Full two days we are sightseeing this exceptional city with its citadel, mosques and probably the most interesting old souq (market) I have ever seen. By now it is clear to us that there is no city or town in Syria without a statue of Hafez Assad, father of the present president Bashir Assad.
On Apr 2 we are leaving Aleppo in southwestern direction over the mountains to visit Saladin Castle (built by Crusaders), the port of Lattakia and excavation of Ugarit (the first alphabet came from there). Driving south along the Mediterranean Sea we enter Tartus and spend night in Safita. After visiting probably the most famous Crusaders Castle “Krak de Chevaliers,” we return to Damascus.
Though it was not on the original itinerary we decided to make a day trip from Damascus to Baalbek in Lebanon. On Apr 4 we entered LEBANON west of Damascus. Our minibus drove against the flow of some 15 thousands of Syrian soldiers which were just leaving Lebanon after number of years stay. But as we continued through Bekaa Valley north to Baalbek the flow of Syrian soldiers change to a trickle. Nothing distracted us while sightseeing the gigantic temple ruins built by Romans. It was more than one earthquake which destroyed this place. Before the day was over we were back in Damascus.
The following evening I flew from Damascus via Cairo and Frankfurt to Los Angeles and in a rented car drove home to Vista where Apr 6 in the afternoon.
Travel office: Adventures Abroad – a Canadian travel company
Who took part: In Jordan there were 13 travelers and a leader / guide.
In Syria and Lebanon there were 7 travelers and the same leader / guide (Syrian).
AG-07 Algeria trip with a stop in Frankfurt, Germany
Date of travel: Mar 10 – Mar 31, 2007
In the morning on Mar 10 I left Vista in a rented car for Los Angeles airport. There I took a Lufthansa plane for Frankfurt, GERMANY, where in mid morning on Mar 11. Because I had 12 hours between flights, I visited a Natural History Museum and a Botanical Gardens there. Late that night I flew from Frankfurt to the city of Algiers in ALGERIA, where very early on Mar 12.
After short sleep we visited with a military escort (request from US embassy) the ruins of the Roman city of Cherchell and in the afternoon the ruins of another Roman city Tipaza both outside Algiers. Next morning we have escorted sightseeing of the city of Algiers, while in the afternoon we fly from Algiers to Bechar in western Algeria and from there we drive with the military 90 km south to the Taghit oasis. The following day we tour this oasis, like cut out of the old movies about the French Foreign Legion, but we see it in living colors. We admire the rock engravings 5 to 30 thousand years old, when there was no desert here and lions, giraffes and buffalos lived in present Sahara. The oasis is surrounded by gigantic sand dunes.
On Mar 15 we drive through the desert in the northeast direction from Taghit via Bechar to Ain-Sefra oasis seeing more rock engravings and the spectacular desert countryside. The following day we reach the historical city of Tlemcen with Moorish buildings, which strategic importance already recognized by Romans. On Mar 17 we continue to Oran on the Mediterranean Sea, the second largest city in Algeria and important commercial and military harbor. After its sightseeing we fly to the city of Annaba also on Mediterranean Sea but in far east of the country.
The next day we explore Annaba, mostly what’s left after the Romans including the ruins of the Roman city Hippone and a Roman theatre at Guelma both outside Annaba. We have the military escort all the time. On Mar 19 we drive to the city of Constantine named after the Roman Emperor, who accepted Christianity in the 4th century AD. It is a city on a rock outcropping. In the afternoon we visit Djemila about 100 km west of Constantine with one of the best excavations of a Roman city. The following day continuing south to Batna with excavations of Roman Timgad. The city is well preserved with the main streets Cardo and Documanus crossing in its center. Night in town of Biskra. Then from Biskra we enter the Sahara Desert again and spend night in Touggourt oasis. From this oasis via Ouargla for lunch and by evening we are in Ghardaia.
On Mar 23 is sightseeing of this great Saharan place. In the afternoon all our tourists, except Joanne and I, drive to the airport and fly home. It leaves us 2 with an Algerian tour guide, who does not speak English. Neither Joanne or I speak French or Arabic. It leaves me, because my exposure to foreign languages, to work on communication. And it works. I am surprised, how many French words I can dig out of my brain. Of course, we lost our military escort.
In the morning on Mar 24 our tour guide takes us for a stroll to one of the 5 towns lying around Ghardaia. In the afternoon we visit another one by taxi.
On Mar 25 the two of us fly from Ghardaia in a propeller plane 4.5 hours directly south into the 100 thousand people city Tamanrasset in the Hoggar Mountains with peaks up to 3000 m above the sea. The accommodation is quite primitive here. Next three days we take a ride in 4WD Toyota throughout Hoggar Mountains. For the trip we have with us a French tour guide, who speaks English, a driver and a cook. Both are Tuaregs. The mountains have magic shapes and we see many more rock carvings.
Late in the afternoon on Mar 28 I fell and broke my left arm at the wrist. I got some help in a hospital in Tamanrasset, but left the needed operation for my return to California.
Our departure from Tamanrasset to Algiers was delayed by one day due to a canceled flight. Eventually we left on Mar 30 at 3:30 in the morning and reached Algiers at 5:30 AM. From there on Lufthansa to Frankfurt. Because I missed today’s plane, I was put on a standby for Mar 31. I had to arrange a hotel for myself.
The following day I left Frankfurt at 11 AM and after 11 hours of flight I came to Los Angeles at 1 PM the same day (Mar 31). I rented a car and drove home to Vista.
Travel office: Spiekermann Travel Service – with an office in Detroit, USA
Who took part: There were 9 of us with some people from the Algerian office.
From Ghardaia there are only Joanne a I and a tour guide from the Algerian office.
Ma-11 Maldives Islands 2011 – Munich, Germany and Maldives
Date of travel: May 1 – May 11, 2011
On May 1, 2011 at midnight I leave Prague, Czech Republic on a bus for Munich, GERMANY. After coming to Munich airport early in the morning on May 2, I take a train into the center of Munich. Between 8:30 AM and 1 PM I explore the downtown of the city. Then I return to the airport.
In the evening I fly from Munich to MALEDIVES ISLANDS, which are in the Indian Ocean southwest of India. I land there in the morning hours on May 3. A boat takes me to a nearby island with resort Kurumba, where I get a spacious room with balcony near the ocean shore.
I am on Maldives 7 days. During that time I take a trip to the Maldives capital, Male. One day I made a trip on glass bottom boat. Few times I swam in the ocean and walked around the island.
I am leaving Maldives Island on a plane at noon on May 10. It lands in Munich, Germany before 6:30 PM. At midnight I take a bus for Prague, where early in the morning on May 11.
Travel office: ESO Travel, Czech travel company
Who took part: I traveled alone
POB-15 Baltic States trip
Date of travel: Aug 13 – Aug 23, 2015
On Aug 13 flight from Prague, Czech Republic via Kiev to Vilnius, LITHUANIA where joining a group of travelers and staying until Aug 16 (sightseeing Lithuania capital Vilnius, its old capital Trakai and the Hill of Crosses, a place blessed by John Paul II.).
Then by bus to LATVIA where from Aug 16 through Aug 19 (visiting Rundale Palace in the southern part of the country and Latvia capital Riga on the Baltic Sea).
The last bus drive was to ESTONIA where from Aug 19 to Aug 21 (seeing the Baltic Sea spa Parnu and the country capital Tallinn on the northern coat).
On Aug 21 a flight from Tallinn via Riga to Berlin, GERMANY. Here until Aug 23 having two sightseeing tours of the German capital. One of what used to be West Berlin and the second of what used to be East Berlin. On Aug 23 I left the group and took a train from Berlin back to Prague.
Travel office: smarTours (one of the USA travel offices)
Who took part: total of 8 travellers (7 from USA, 1 from Canada), in Baltic States Lithuanian leader from smarTours and local guides in Riga and Tallinn and a German guide in Berlin.
AS-19 AUSTRIA, GERMANY (Berchtesgaden only), SWITZERLAND
Date of travel: May 22 – June 3, 2019
On May 22, 2019 before noon I take a train for four-hour ride from Prague, Czech Republic to Vienna, AUSTRIA. A taxi brings me to my hotel, where I join the group of travelers from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Next day we sightsee Schonbrunn and Vienna.
On May 24 we drive to Krems to take a riverboat on Danube River to Weissenkirchen lasting one hour. Then we drive on our bus to Salzburg and take a tour of the city. The following day we make a side trip to Berchtesgaden in GERMANY. In the day after we visit Innsbruck, cross the border to SWITZERLAND and end up in a hotel in St. Moritz.
On May 27 we use the Glacier Express (6 hrs. train ride) to bring us to Zermatt. Here, the next day, we take a cable car to Klein Matterhorn to see Matterhorn, but there are clouds. On May 29 going on the bus we see Lake Geneva, take a tour of Chillon Castle, cross the city of Montreux and come to Switzerland capital, Bern. After sightseeing the city, the following morning, we continue to Interlaken and the Valley of 72 Waterfalls. An impressive place. For next two nights we settle in Lucerne. We explore the city and go by a cable car to Mount Pilatus.
On June 1 our bus takes us to Zurich. Some people fly home. I spend next three days wondering through the city I have lived in 7.5 months in 1968-69. In the evening on June 3 I board a plane for one-hour flight back to Prague, Czech Republic.
Travel office: Globus Tours
Who took part: Total of 44 tourists, British tour director, driver and local guides