I participated in Contiki Eastern Road, a 12 day Eastern Europe tour with overnight stops in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, and Warsaw. Also included in the trip is a stop in Auschwitz.
The ultimate collision of history and modernity happen here in the arms of Eastern Europe. Commencing in Berlin with the option to loop back around or end in Warsaw, you will flutter from traditional meals and royal castles, to eclectic clubs filled with well-dressed locals.
Contiki Eastern Road: Day 1 & 2
We arrived in Berlin several hours later than planned and missed the kick-off meeting, but I was excited for the next two weeks. I wasn’t really sure expect – when I think of Europe, I tend to think of cities like London, Paris, Rome, cities were NOT on our itinerary, but, knowing the relationship between Eastern Europe and WWII – ending with a trip to Auschwitz – I knew I would learn a lot on this trip.
Contrary to my last Contiki trip, out of 50 travellers, I was the only YouTuber this time. I wondered if I’d even be able to make friends if people knew I was the mole?
Our first full day in Berlin started with a visit to the former Berlin Wall – or at least, a part of it, known as the East Side Gallery.
We spent the afternoon exploring Berlin on foot – visiting Museum Island and other historical sites (such as Checkpoint Charlie and the bunker where Hitler committed suicide) and monuments dedicated to lives lost during various wars.
Of course, the site that made the biggest impact was the Holocaust Memorial.
There isn’t a lot of signage to indicate that it’s there and to a regular tourist, it may just seem like an outdoor art installation. The concrete slabs of various heights and widths are designed to create an uneasy, confusing atmosphere. I thought I thought it was a fitting tribute and it would only be the first of many Jewish memorials that we would see throughout Eastern Europe.