Europe Trip: Eastern Europe

In late October, Mac and I were ready for our grand tour through Eastern Europe. We had quite a list of places we wanted to see—Lake Bled (Slovenia), Budapest (Hungary), Krakow (Poland), Prague and Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic) and Berlin (Germany). There wasn’t a lot of time for each place. In some areas, we only had 3 days. But both of us saw Eastern Europe, with its powerful history of occupation by both Nazis and Communists, as a key component in our global education. Along the way, we saw some amazing sights. We’re excited to share them with you—and hope to inspire you to do your own tour of Eastern Europe.

We started our grand tour in Lake Bled, Slovenia, with its idyllic, fog-enshrouded church island. It rained most of the time we were there but we didn’t mind too much. We tromped around in our rain jackets and spent plenty of time relaxing over big dishes of Slovenian food in our hotel’s restaurant.

After three days in Lake Bled, we headed for Budapest. This was one of the best surprises of our trip—we absolutely loved Budapest, from its gorgeous buildings to its ruin bars (set in bombed-out buildings from WWII) to the Communist walking tour we went on. BTW, walking tour day was also laundry day—and it was cold out. The result was the ragamuffin outfit you see in my photo (yep, I’m wearing socks and shoes with my summer dress and puffy).    

From Poland, it was off to Krakow—and one of the most moving experiences of the trip. We spent a day touring Auschwitz, the famous concentration and extermination camp from WWII. Even though we knew generally what we were in for, we were still shocked by the sheer amount of cruel and evil acts committed in the camp.  

Krakow and Prague were only a night train—and a cheat meal—apart. (We normally try to eat local wherever we are but sometimes we just crave McDonalds … and give in to our craving.)

Although Prague was beautiful, we just didn’t connect with it the way we did most other cities in Eastern Europe. We couldn’t put our finger on exactly why, either. Maybe it was too touristy; maybe somewhere along the way it had lost a bit of its soul. Whatever the reason, we were excited to leave the city in favor of the Czech countryside.

The small country town we chose was Cesky Krumlov. It was romantic and old-fashioned and charming—everything we were hoping for.

It didn’t hurt that we got to stay in a room that matched the vibe of the town.

After feeling like we’d gone back in time in Cesky Krumlov, we transitioned back to the modern world by finishing our Eastern Europe tour with a trip to Berlin. The city was in fine form and greeted us with vivid colors, lots of history (including a 3rd Reich and post-WWII walking tour) and as much graffiti as we could photograph.


It was over way too quickly. Almost before we knew it, our days in Eastern Europe were over and we were on a bus bound for the Netherlands. But that’s a whole different story.


  1. Again, Thank You for the beautiful and moving travelog! And, you two are definitely as cute as your profile pictures!

  2. Love, love love…so happy you are having this wonderful experience, however, I can hardly wait for you to come back home so we can have some bonding time.

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