Plans Shaping Up

Saturday, March 03, 2018
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
We depart for the trip in 10 days. This is always kind of an odd point. It's not close enough to actually get serious about packing, but it's that point where I should start doing other things. How I do not have a check list leading up to a trip, that I could've used for the last, I don't know, TEN YEARS, is beyond me. I have things embedded in my brain fairly well, but I do still like to make a list. 
I'm at that point of finalizing the itinerary and not planning anything else. I like to have a few things planned, but also some time that is flexible and open. Here are a few things that we have booked. 
Private tour to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Memorial: I chose a private tour with Mosaic Tours because they are an independent, non-profit tour company who donates its funds to it beneficiaries.  As they say on its website, " We do not deem it appropriate to profit on matters of such historical and moral significance and therefore, all net proceeds are directed to our beneficiaries."   I think that's a great thing, and they have also been very easy to worth with. On our first full day in Berlin, we will be led to nearby Oranienburg for a half day tour. As it was with other concentration camps I have visited, I expect this to be a sobering experience. 
Zablinski Villa: As soon as I realized the Zablinski Villa in Warsaw was open for tours to the public, I knew we had to visit. If you haven't seen the movie or book of "The Zookeeper's Wife," both are worth the time, and it's an incredible story about Jan and Antonina Zablinski. It wasn't easy finding information on this, but once I did, I received an immediate response that tours could be arranged.  
Private Beer Tour in Prague: I thought Prague, known for their pilsner, would be the perfect place to have a beer tour with a local guide. We will visit three pubs, sample beers and hear the history behind them. One of the pubs is the oldest in Prague, dating back to the 15th century!
We have a few more things booked, including a Prague Castle tour and sightseeing cruise on the Vltava River in Prague. I didn't book anything in Poznan, because we are there only one night.  The Prague Castle is something we could've done on our own, but it looks too big and daunting. In cases like these, having a guide is ideal and worth the money.  I also have tentatively planned some free walking tours that we can partake in if we choose. These are tours where you show up and then tip the guide at the end. I have found others in Europe to be really good and great for getting an overview of the city you are in.  
Take off is in 10 days. Getting excited! 
- Jamie

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