Festival Tours International's


Rescheduled to October 12 - 28, 2002

$2,695 (early bird price if deposit received by 5/15)
Wednesday and/or Thursday extensions in Prague - $75 per night
Land package / per person / based on double occupancy

Tour price includes:
All Hotel accommodations * Castle Hotel in Slovenia * All breakfasts in Prague, Budapest & Slovenia * All internal transportation including First Class train from Prague to Budapest * Welcoming dinners in Prague, Budapest, Slovenia and Vienna * BBQ in the Hungarian countryside * Entrance to the famous Gellert Thermal Baths in Budapest * Visit to a working farm in Bela Kranj with lunch, music & local wine * Postojna Cave & Predjama Castle * Medieval Banquet in Otocec Castle * Full day trip to Lake Bled and Triglav National Park * Winery tour & tasting * Tour of Vienna's Museum of Sound * Farewell lunch in Vienna * Plenty of free time and lots of extras!

Due to the personal nature of the trip and the places we will be going, attendance will be strictly limited. Sign up early!

"Nancy's trips have a real spirit of exploration and adventure. She takes you to amazing places tourists never go. We made contacts and new friends and did so many things that you just couldn't do on your own..."

     Musician HENRY KAISER

Festival Tours International
Nancy Covey * Joey Thompson * Carole Raye
15332 Antioch St., #17, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Fax/Tel (818) 346-5146    (310) 454-4080
E-mail: Festtours@aol.com

WWW: http://www.gumbopages.com/festivaltours/
BCM Festival Tours, London WC1N 3XX
Fax: 0207 435-7779


ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS -- Central Europe Music Tour 2001


Princezna Hyacinta

Buda Castle

Daniel Hamar's home

Ljubljana, Slovenija

Otocec Castle Hotel

Nancy in a vineyard in Slovenija

This will be a very personalized trip to Central Europe where we'll experience these diverse countries as insiders. We have wonderful hosts who not only speak English but are key people in the vibrant traditional music scene of their country. Because of the unique nature of this trip and the size of the places we are staying, trip attendance will be very limited. Following is our tentative itinerary which is always subject to change so we can be open to spontaneous events. This just touches on some of the exciting things we will be doing . . . We hope you can join us!

Saturday, October 12 - Depart USA
(Optional arrival in Vienna)

Sunday-Tuesday, October 13-15:  VIENNA
Our tour officially starts tonight with our welcoming dinner at the oldest wine tavern in Vienna where we'll meet friends and be serenaded with music. Our hostess with the absolute mostess is Milica who for years ran the Vienna Folk Festival. Needless to say, she will be our perfect connection here in Vienna. Our hotel is located right in the heart of the Old Town of Vienna just off St. Stephen's Square. Monday morning will start with a personalized trip to Vienna's newly opened Museum of Sound. Our next two days we'll have plenty of free time for sightseeing and wandering the cobbled streets, seeing the famous Spanish Riding School, exploring the magnificent palace or just drinking coffee and enjoying fine pastries at the most famous coffeehouses in the world. An invitation to the home of Vienna's most famous art nouveau artist and evenings free for opera or music will make our time here complete.

Wednesday-Friday, October 16-18:  SLOVENIA
Travel to Slovenia, known as the Green Treasure of Europe and indeed it is just that. Slovenia is half the size of Switzerland, tucked into a mountainous corner between Austria, Italy, Hungary and the Mediterranean (Venice is only 50 miles away!). It has gorgeous mountains, lush vineyards, beautiful lakes and friendly people. We'll visit Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia, whose Old Town is built on an ancient hilltop castle alongside the banks of the river. Our hosts for this trip will be "Alligator" who owns the local record store and the famous Slovenian musician Andrej Sifrer. Andrej is of legendary status here in Slovenia being the most well known and loved songwriter and performer in the country (the Bob Dylan of Slovenia!).

One of the many highlights of our time here is a trip to Predjama Castle whose rooms are connected by secret passages and the Postojna Caves. Take a tram into the deepest reaches and walk through winding trails inside these most popular caves in all of Europe. One of the most beautiful things about Slovenia is its spectacular mountains and the world renowned Lake Bled with its picturesque island in the middle. We'll enjoy a spectacular drive to visit Lake Bohinj, Slovenia's largest lake, and the unspoiled mountains of Triglav National Park.

Saturday-Sunday, October 19-20:  BELA KRANJ / OTOCEC CASTLE
We drive out to the countryside to the area which is the most famous region for the traditional music of Slovenia. We'll visit a working eco farm which specializes in handmade linens and cloths produced in the traditional way. This is the real deal as they have preserved this soon to be lost culture. Traditional musicians will greet us and we'll have lunch and local wines before our hands-on demonstrations of how the farm works. Tonight check into the unique Otocec Castle on its own island in the middle of the Krka River. We have the entire castle to ourselves and tonight we will enjoy a fabulous medieval banquet. Sunday is free to relax on the castle grounds, have an informal lunch at the courtyard cafi or take a trip to the nearby thermal spa or the Carthusian Monastery. This evening, we'll visit a local winery for a Slovenian country-style dinner of local foods.

Monday-Thursday, October 21-24:  BUDAPEST
Travel into Hungary and the exciting city of Budapest and check into the historic Gellert Hotel overlooking the Danube and bustling Gellert Square. The Gellert is an Art Nouveau masterpiece and certainly the most famous hotel in Budapest. One of the features of the Gellert is that it houses the ornate Art Nouveau Gellert Baths which are the most popular of Budapest's renowned thermal baths. Tonight we will have dinner at a beautiful traditional Budapest restaurant to sample the local specialties. We will meet the exuberant Daniel Hamar who is the leader of the Hungarian band, Musikas, the most influential traditional band in the country. We could not have a more wonderful and knowledgeable host than Daniel!

Start your day the Hungarian way with a soak in the natural thermal waters in the Gellert Baths. The hotel has its own private elevator leading directly into the baths and this is an experience not to be missed.

Free time to explore this great city... take a walk up to the Gellert Hill from where you can view both hilly Buda and the flat Pest side of the Danube River. Spend some time walking through the old cobbled Buda Castle district and enjoy the fabulous view from Fisherman's Bastion. Walk along the Danube, take in a museum, sip an espresso at a coffee bar or head down to the Central Market Hall to pick up some hot paprika. We have been invited to Daniel's house in the countryside to join him at his home which has been completely restored in the traditional Hungarian way. We will join Daniel and his family for a BBQ, visit the fort up the hill from the village and stop in at the local potters's studio. On Wednesday night Budapest is alive with the gypsy music at many of Budapest's lively dance hauses. For our last night in Budapest, we've been invited to a special jam session at a tiny local club with some of the musicians and dancers of Musikas... a very special treat.

Friday-Sunday, October 25-27:  PRAGUE
We board our First class compartment for our romantic train journey from Budapest to Prague. On this three country day we'll travel through Slovakia before entering The Czech Republic while watching fascinating towns and country-side go by, so have your passport ready!

Our lovely hotel here in Prague is The Maximilian, which is located down a cobbled street just off the 11th Century Old Town Square in the heart of the most beautiful section of the historic Old Town Prague. The Maximilian is a small boutique hotel managed by Dagmar, a fascinating woman who has great stories of Prague before and after the "change" in the Czech Republic, who will join us for our welcoming dinner at a local traditional restaurant.

Spend your time sightseeing here in Prague. It's worth it! Prague is one of the most breathtaking cities in all of Europe and so we end or trip on a very high note. Every hour you can gather in the Old Town Square to hear the famous Astronomical Clock chime and see intricate mechanical figures perform above the zodiac signs (no Small World here). Everywhere you look there are museums and art galleries and beautiful art nouveau touches as this was the home of the famous artist Mucha. Prague is also experiencing a true renaissance and has an incredibly vibrant music, art and theater scene. We will offer tips and tickets for some of the best events. If you are an opera fan, you can get box seats for a quarter of the price they would cost elsewhere in the world.

Monday, October 28
Our tour officially ends today, but you can extend your trip for a few extra days if you like.

Want to know more? Phone, fax or write to:

Nancy Covey or Joey Thompson
Festival Tours International
15332 Antioch St., #17, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Fax/Tel (818) 346-5146   (310) 454-4080
E-mail: Festtours@aol.com

Nancy Covey

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