A classical music adventure culminating at the Prague Spring International Music Festival

Prague and Poland with Julie Amacher

Join friends of Minnesota Public Radio and fellow music lovers of classical music and celebrate the life of Chopin, Dvorak, Smetana and Mozart! On this eleven day classical music pursuit you’ll walk in Chopin’s footsteps and relive his extraordinary life. Visit the very places where Frederic lived, loved and worked: the family home where he was born, the village church where he was baptized and the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Discover Poland’s stunning cultural capital, Krakow. Visit the cathedral where the kings of this ancient land are buried, stroll the campus of the University of Copernicus and marvel at one of Europe’s largest medieval squares. Our musical quest culminates in the Czech Republic, where we’ll walk in the footsteps of the Czech Republic’s greatest composers, Smetana and Dvorak! And to top things off, you’ll attend the legendary Prague Spring International Music Festival. Don't miss out on this extraordinary musical adventure!

Trip Host

Julie Amacher

Julie Amacher's desire to introduce others to great music is what led her to radio. She began her professional broadcast career at a station in Sun Prairie, Wis. She went from rock 'n' roll to the Rocky Mountains, where she found her niche in public radio at KUNC in Greeley, Colo. Julie spent 13 years at KUNC, where she managed the announcers and their eclectic music format. During that time, she earned four national awards for best announcer. She joined Minnesota Public Radio in 1997 as an on-air host and also produces New Classical Tracks, a weekly podcast introducing listeners to new classical releases each week. Julie is the program director for Classical Minnesota Public Radio, and she is the new host for APM’s nationally distributed concert program SymphonyCast.

Itinerary

Day 1: May 6 - Optional Group Flight Departs the USA for Warsaw, Poland

Group flight times will be available in August 2019

Day 2: May 7 - Arrive in Poland

Dzien dobry! (Good day!) Your musical journey through Eastern Europe begins appropriately as you land at Frederic Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, Poland. You’ll be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. Depending upon flight times, you’ll enjoy a casual introductory walking tour of the old city center before meeting your Minnesota Public Radio host and Earthbound Expeditions guide for an orientation and welcome dinner. Sleep in Warsaw (D)

Day 3: May 8 - Discover Warsaw

Warsaw is a fascinating city steeped in history, culture and of course, memories of Chopin. In order to get an overall impression of Poland’s bustling capital city, we’ll start by indulging ourselves in a morning tour which will highlight the city’s most famous landmarks. See the Royal Route with its aristocratic residences, historic churches and famous statues. In addition, we’ll visit the Ghetto Memorial, the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Grand Theatre, Chopin's monument, the Belvedere Palace and the Old Town. After a delicious lunch we are off to the Chopin Parlor. The parlor was part of the apartment where Chopin spent some years before leaving Poland. Today it contains furniture and instruments from his time there. A 19th century Buchholtz piano is one of the exhibits. The exhibition is complemented by portraits including those of Chopin’s parents and their children, as well as graphics depicting Warsaw in the early 19th century. Sleep in Warsaw * A classical concert will be offered this evening! (B, L, D)

Day 4: May 9- In Pursuit of Chopin

Frederic Chopin is undoubtedly the best known resident of Warsaw. He spent the first 20 years of his life in the city. Here he studied music, learned the manners of proper society and gave his first concerts. All the Warsaw newspapers wrote about the child prodigy. Walking the streets of Warsaw you will pass many buildings where he lived, loved and worked. Our day begins at Ostrogski Castle which houses both the Frederic Chopin Museum and the Chopin Society. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Chopin memorabilia. It comprises various souvenirs, indirectly or directly connected with Chopin or his work as a composer. The manuscripts, commemorative prints, portraits, posters, books, magazines, notes and a recording library (analogue and digital disc and tapes) and visuals library (negatives, positives, microfilms) come from domestic and foreign purchases, gifts and donations. Next we visit the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music which is among the oldest and largest schools of music in Europe. Between the years 1826 and 1829, Chopin studied at the Main School of Music. In the afternoon we depart for Zelazowa Wola - a village situated 30 miles west of Warsaw—the birth place, in 1810 of Chopin. His house, once a thatched cottage, it now resembles a romantic manor surrounded by a picturesque park full of a wide variety of plants. In 1931 Chopin's house became the Chopin Birthplace Museum, complete with a rich collection of memorabilia associated with the great composer. Tonight you’ll celebrate the genius of Chopin by attending a classical concert. Sleep in Warsaw (B, L)

Day 5: May 10 – South to Krakow

After a hearty breakfast we drive south to one of Poland’s most beautiful cities. A true survivor of war, Krakow is a colossus of art and architecture and is Poland’s best-preserved city. Because the Kings of Poland resided here, the city became the cultural and scientific center of the entire territory. Sleep in Krakow (B, D) *Depending on museum times and availability, we may stop at Auschwitz today en-route to Krakow.

Day 6: May 11 - Imperial Krakow

This morning we will join an engaging local guide for a walk back in time. We’ll visit Central Europe’s largest medieval market place at Rynek Glowny and continue to Wawel Castle where generations of Polish kings were crowned and buried. The afternoon is yours to further explore this breathtaking city at your own pace. This evening enjoy a classical concert. Sleep in Krakow (B, L)

Day 7: May 12 - Historic district of Kazimierz, Krakow

Krakow itself had been a hub of Jewish civilization in Europe for several centuries, a situation that had been aided by the tolerant mindset of Poland's Renaissance elite. The relationship between Poles and Jews was not always harmonious, but the greatest storm was brought by outside invaders in 1939. The historic district of Kazimierz had been the heart of Jewish Krakow until the war. Few Jewish families survived the conflict and the trickle of families that returned in 1945 was too small to be called a community. For several decades, crumbling graveyards, synagogues and houses were the only palpable remains of six centuries of Jewish history in Krakow - Kazimierz was a realm of ghosts. When democratic changes came to Poland in 1989, much of Krakow was falling apart. Kazimierz, the heart of the old Jewish city, was in especially bad shape. In recent years, the district has seen a revival with artists and musicians opening up shops in once abandoned buildings. After lunch, the afternoon is free to further explore the medieval quarter of Krakow. Tonight we’ve planned an evening of traditional Jewish music and a festive kosher feast in the heart of Krakow’s Jewish quarter, where we attend an entertaining Klezmer concert. Sleep in Krakow (B, D)

Day 8: May 13 - West to Mozart’s Moravia, Czech Republic

This morning we make a pilgrimage to the infamous concentration camp of Auschwitz in order to fully understand the origins of the suffering that took place at the hands of the Nazis. *Note: Your guide will offer suggestions and options for those who do not wish to take part in this emotional visit. After, we drive east to the province of Moravia, Czech Republic. The wine-loving Moravians considered themselves somewhat separate from their beer-producing brothers in Bohemia. Our destination - Olomouc - is rich in history, architectural beauty, and is a prominent university town. It also contains several large and richly decorated squares, the chief of which is the Holy Trinity Column which stands 115 feet high and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Olomouc is also famous for its collection of colorful mosaics, the most unusual being the glockenspiel which is strangely decorated with 1950 style communist motifs and figures. Before dinner, we’ll enjoy a walking tour and evening concert. Dinner tonight includes Moravian delicacies and regional wines. Sleep in Olomouc (B, D) Note: The work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the brilliant Austrian composer and pianist, is also connected with Olomouc. At eleven, Mozart composed Symphony No. 6 in F major during his stay in the Hauenschild’s Palace.

Day 9: May 14 - In the Footsteps of Dvorak and Smetana - West to Prague!

After breakfast, we make our way west towards the soaring spires of Prague. We stop to explore the beautiful Vysehrad Cemetery. More than just a normal, quiet cemetery, this is the final resting place of the most honored Czech composers, artists, sculptors, writers, scientists and politicians. Here are the graves of Smetana, Dvorak and the 19th century Morovian-Czech artist, Mucha. fdsffddasfsadfadsads Prague is the birthplace of Franz Kafka and the city Mozart loved best. It’s also the home of the Prague International Music Festival. For our first evening in Prague, let’s enjoy a Bohemian feast together. Sleep in Prague (B, D)

Day 10: May 15 - Prague Spring Music Festival!

From its mythological inception to the present, benefactors have placed Prague on the cusp of the divine. King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Karl IV refashioned Prague into a city of soaring cathedrals and lavish palaces. Our historic walking tour of Prague will start at its medieval center, the Old Town Square. We’ll cover some of Prague’s most interesting sights including the Estates Opera house where Mozart himself conducted the Marriage of Figaro in 1787. Our tour will continue to Prague’s stirring medieval Jewish quarter. We’ll take time to savor this culturally-rich neighborhood and stop by the Old Synagogue, which has been a place of worship for over 700 years. Upon final victory, Hitler bizarrely envisioned that he would turn this neighborhood into a museum for an extinct Jewish race. You'll have a free afternoon before meeting to enjoy a concert at the Prague Spring Music Festival Sleep in Prague (B, L)

Day 11: May 16 - Prague’s Castle District and Evening Concert:

We start the day with a stroll to Prague’s most famous landmark - Charles Bridge, after which we’ll visit the historic castle district. Enjoy a farewell lunch with your Minnesota Public Radio host. The afternoon is yours to further explore this city’s charming streets. Perhaps you’ll want to take in a Bohemian market, a world class museum or simply wander the wondrously preserved historic old town. This evening we meet for our final concert at the Prague Spring International Music Festival. Sleep in Prague (B, L)

Day 12: May 17 - Return home with a lifetime of memories

A complimentary airport transfer will be offered to those on the group flight.

IT'S INCLUDED!

  • With Classical MPR host Julie Amacher
  • Pre-trip dinner at MPR Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Fully guided by an expert Earthbound Expeditions program manager
  • All breakfasts plus eleven additional multi-course meals
  • Ten nights of accommodation in charming, centrally located 4 star hotels
  • Fascinating city walking tours with expert local guides
  • All entrances to museums, castles, cathedrals and palaces as listed in itinerary
  • An evening dinner concert in Krakow featuring traditional Jewish Klezmer music
  • Four classical concerts highlighting the works of Chopin, Mozart, Dvorak and Smetana
  • All transportation on an air-conditioned motor coach
  • Gratuities for your driver, local guides and Earthbound Expeditions program manager
  • Fun introductory language lessons given en route by your guide
  • An interesting group of like-minded classical public radio listeners

Pricing and Terms

11 Days/10 Nights (land) $4,995 per person double occupancy $995 Single Supplement (waived if a roommate is found) Optional group flight departs the USA on May 6, 2020 Trip begins in Warsaw: May 7, 2020 Trip ends in Prague: May 17, 2020 Optional Group Air will be available August 2019. Group air tickets include all taxes, fees and airport transfers while in Europe Ways to Save $250 MPR and Earthbound Expedition travel alumni save $100 per person Pay you final balance by check and save $100 per person Reserve by October 15, 2019 and save $50 per person

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Health Matters: It is the responsibility of each guest to be aware of their physical abilities or limitations, and to be in sufficient good health to undertake the trip. To make the most of your journey and participate in the various planned group activities, you should be able to be on your feet and walk unassisted for two to three hours (often over uneven cobblestones or pathways) with frequent standing. If you have questions about the physical requirements for your journey, please email or call our travel office.

Concerts, Festivals and Events: If (for any reason) the organizers of a scheduled concert, festival or event cancel or postpone a planned activity with little or no notice, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to secure a similar event or secure another concert(s). Strikes, unscheduled delays, lack of funds and acts of God are beyond the control of Earthbound Expeditions. Cancellation of an event, festival or concert is not cause for refund.

Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guest is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.

RESERVATIONS: A $500 deposit is required to secure your space. An additional $200 deposit is requested if opting for the group flight. To make a reservation or questions please call our travel staff at 800-723-8454

~ Trip Itinerary Details May Change ~

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.