The Hendersons       Preparations and getting to Prague


2010 Trip to Eastern Europe and the Baltics

Journal Pages
Click a pic

Getting There




Lithuania & Latvia


Latvia & Lithuania


 Getting Home

Preparation and Getting to Prague


How can you resist an invitation like this? Mel’s cousin, Robert, from England, decided to celebrate his 70th birthday in style in Estonia, where he and his wife, Venetia, have purchased property and enjoy spending holiday time. Robert invited friends and family from all over the world. This would be a unique opportunity to meet more of Mel’s extended family and see a part of the world that was virtually closed to Americans just 20 years ago.

We had long wanted to see Eastern Europe, and this seemed like the ideal time. Flying to and from Kuressaare in Estonia would be a hassle. Anyway, once you are in Europe you might as well spend several weeks. We contacted son Tom (hereinafter referred to as TTS - Tom the Son) and invited him to join us for at least part of the trip. He would be able to get away for a little over a week, so we planned the itinerary accordingly. TTS wanted to see Budapest and parts of Poland and was able to arrange flights from Houston to Budapest and from Warsaw back to Houston. We found that a flight from Seattle to Budapest would be considerably more expensive than one to Prague (no idea why), so we arranged to fly to and from Prague and rent a car there. TTF (Tom the Father) got to work on the itinerary.

We scheduled our departure so we could get into Prague early enough to drive part of the way to Budapest the day before TTS would arrive. We could then pick him up at the airport and continue into Budapest. We would continue from Budapest to Krakow and then Warsaw. From Warsaw the two of us would continue up through Lithuania and Latvia to Estonia. We originally planned to overnight in Vilnius, Lithuania. Then we realized that the highway from Warsaw to Vilnius went through Russia. Ooops! We altered the route to overnight in Kaunas instead. We learned that there is a Russian exclave named Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic. It is separated from the rest of Russia and the highway to Kaunas goes between the two parts of Russia. On the way back we would visit Gdansk, and then stop in Wroclaw on the way back to Prague. Once the route was complete we loaded it into our TomTom GPS. We found places to stay all along the route and made reservations. Preparations were now complete, so….passports in hand, off we go.

July 17 and 18 - The Flight

After the events of 9/11, flying has become more difficult and uncomfortable, but we cope. We flew from Seattle to Paris. Our flight was about 45 minutes late in departing, but we arrived in Paris nearly on-time. However, Air France, thinking that we were going to miss our connection to Prague, gave our seats away, so we had a four hour delay. Charles de Gaulle airport, outside of Paris, has to be the worst airport in the world. It's difficult to find your way around inside the terminal and nearly impossible to hear and understand the announcements of flight boarding. You just have to find your gate and keep an eye on activity. Finally, we boarded our flight, landed in beautiful Prague, were met at the airport by a driver and taken to the Eurocar rental agency in the city center. Paperwork complete, jet lag setting in, we headed east, toward Budapest. Tom had found a hotel on the outskirts of Brno – it was rather strange, but comfortable. It was next to a motorcycle racing course and the décor was heavy to Harley. The drive from Prague to Brno was uneventful, but we were both feeling the effects of the long trip and were extremely grateful for a clean, comfortable bed. Before turning in for the night we had a surprisingly good meal in the hotel restaurant.

Top of Page