Poland/Romania

Sep 8th, 2008, 07:21 AM
  #1  
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Poland/Romania

Hi
We are taking a quick trip 10/17-26/08 flying into Krakow from Chicago and arrive in Krakow at 3:00 PM on Saturday. We are taking a train to Warsaw on Wednesday and flying to Bucharest from Warsaw on Wedesday. We will then take a train to Brosov on Wednesday and fly out of Bucharest on Sunday. We will have 3 days in Krakow. Will we have enough to keep us busy for 3 days in Krakov?
Thanks
Jim
James_P is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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Yes, especially if you include two daytrips to Auschwitz and Wielicza (sp?) salt mines.

I think I've also been to Brasov, Romania -- is that the city near "Dracula's Castle." The better question is whether there's that much to do in Brasov (if its the city I am thinking of) -- while its beautiful, its much smaller than Krakow.
thit_cho is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 07:45 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the response. My niece's husband owns a condo in old section of Brasov, so we have free lodging there. However, maybe we should go to Bucharest on Thursday and spend an extra day in Poland. I am about to book my airfare and found a good open jaw deal on Lot. I have never flown on Lot. How is that airline?
Jim
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Sep 8th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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I think there is plenty to do in Brasov if you are doing day trips from there. Three days is a good amount of time to be there and I don't think you should change it, especially if you are arriving late on Wednesday.

Alice
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Sep 8th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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James:


I would strongly recommend you pick up a car at the Bucharest airport and drive a fairly good highway #1 north, visit Sinaia (Peles Castle), Bran (so-called Dracula's Castle) and then stop in Brasov (Brash-ov where there's a good choice of hotels)
http://tiny.cc/pSIJ4

From Brashov, go on to Sighishoara, worth a night. Try the Casa Wagner (there's also one in Brashov).
En route south, stop over in Sibiu, a very beautiful town...stay the night.

www.casa-wagner.com/

Head back to Bucharest on Saturday or Sunday.

You will have gotten a small, but meaningful cross section of Romania in that short time. Not enough time to get you to the frescoed churches of Moldavia, or the folksy north and northwest of the country.


But IMO a car is very necessary. Have no fear of driving in this proposed circle. Signage and road conditions are very acceptable. I've driven Romania in the 70's and 80's when this was not the case...but also post-revolution when things rapidly changed for the better. On my most recent visit in 2005, we were utterly amazed.

Note: you could run into snow in Sinaia..you'll see plenty of it on the surrounding Carpathians throughout this drive...and Brashov also has a ski resort (Poiana Brashov)close to town.

On Saturday or Sunday you return to the airport in Bucharest. If you you wish to quickly see Bucharest and spend Saturday night...I suggest The Hotel Opera.

www.hotelopera.ro/

The total kms for this suggested "circle tour" is approx.
600+ (say, 360-400 miles)..light traffic. The final stretch from Sibiu to Bucharest is a divided highway.

I have countless digital pics of all of the areas mentioned, if you wish to see them.

Stu T. [email protected]
tower is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Stu
Thanks for the response. I like the idea of getting a car. Although I do not think my wife will vote for this.
Jim
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Sep 8th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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James:


have your wife write to Roz (my wife) and she'll give her an honest opinion. Roz was always a bit reluctant wherever we've been, but each time she admits how great it was to have the car. The sheer independence alone is worth the drive.

Stu T. [email protected]
tower is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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I absolutely second the suggestion to see Peles Castle (beautiful) in Sinaia (by the way, tower, how do you pronounce "Sinaia" correctly?).

Sighisoara is a step back in time (a good thing), and Brasov is definitely worth a stop as long as you stay in the old town area. I also enjoyed Bran Castle, although it is far from spooky as depicted by some.

If you are not comfortable driving in Romania and you end up on the trains, do NOT take the Personal (P) or Accelerat (A) trains if at all possible. They are slow and terribly overcrowded. Ask for the ones you can reserve a seat on. Trains go to all the places tower suggested, but a car may be more convenient.
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Sep 8th, 2008, 08:34 PM
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Driving sounds good. I have driven in France and England recently and aside from a tendency to leave on the emergency brake, I had no problem. We are staying in the old town section of Brosov.
Jim
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Sep 8th, 2008, 08:40 PM
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My 2 cents, three days will give you more than enough time in Krakow including adjusting to the time change and a trip to Auschwitz. I would skip the salt mines--very touristy and not particularly interesting unless you just have to see the pope carved in salt--just my opinion. There are many more interesting sites in Krakow for the limited time you have. If you want to see the castle you must arrive early as once the tickets are gone for the day you are out of luck.
Jayne11159 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 09:42 PM
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Hooked:


>>>Sinaia (by the way, tower, how do you pronounce "Sinaia" correctly?). <<<

There was a Sinai Monastery around which the town of Sinaia was built. The monstery was named for THE mount Sinai. (Seen-aye-ah)..And the Castle is pronounced Pelesh .(see pic..note snow in October 2005)

stu T.

http://tiny.cc/JMhJf

tower is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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James:

just above, link for a pic of Pelesh Castle, October '05, snow on mts.

stu
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Sep 9th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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Hi
We are set on our flights. We have to take a train from Krakow to Warsaw to catch our flight to Bucharest on Wednesday. Is there enough to see in Warsaw to justify going Tuesday and spending half a day there?
Jim
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Sep 9th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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I am using this guide to help plan our Christmas trip to Krakow:

http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/city/krakow.html

If you haven't already seen it, read MaiTaiTom's recent Eastern European report that includes some Krakow info:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35144160

Inyourpocket also has guides to Warsaw and Romania that may help you narrow done sites/attractions.

Have a terrific trip!
mvor is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Jim,

I have a trip report going on right now about Central Europe that has info on our four days in Krakow.

We liked the city tremendously. In the report., I commented about a couple of really terrific restaurants we ate at while in Krakow. You will easily have enough to do to occupy three days. For an opposite opinion, we loved the salt mines, by the way.

Have a great time.

maitaitom is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 01:25 PM
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We also LOVED the Salt Mines (especially my husband). No need to take a tour to get there either. Rick Steves tells you how to get there by bus in his Eastern Europe Book (at the library) or just ask at the TI. And it doesn't take a whole day either. Perhaps 3-4 hours total.

Be sure to enjoy Krakow's magnificent Square and also the Barbacan.

"Going to Warsaw on Tues"??

Gosh, I don't know. It would mean checking into a hotel and getting oriented to another city on Tues. And I loved Krakow so much I hate to see you cut it short. But...Warsaw Old Town and Castle are right next to each other and neat to see. Just depends on how much "rushing" you want to do.


nannibray is offline  
Sep 13th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Hurray for Poland! What you do in Krakow will depend on your interests. Fodor's Poland is current and details itineraries in and about Krakow. The theater may be in business. The University is open. Take the train to Wadowice. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a site to visit and tour. Much of it was dug by men without modern tools or electric lights! The scale of it is immense. There is great nightlife, you can ask the hotel for suggestions. Try the tunnel and cave at the castle. We went up it the wrong way! And then were sent back down it by the guard. No fee though. The train station is fun, it was built for a movie. Be sure you take a fast train. No osobowy!
GSteed is offline  
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