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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    colin whitelock

    Good but has potential drawbacks

    Be honest with your physical abilities - this is advertised as a '6' (Challenging/tough)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ascent of My Rysy - good mix of walk & scamble

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good at ensuring group member interests came 1st and were looked after. Coped well considering the large group size (16 people) and their varied demands

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Maximum group size of 16 could be uncomfortably large. With large groups there is the potential for a wider range of abilities/pace This is an issue when there is only 1 leader as the group has to stay together.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Unsure how the trip grading is calculated. The Exodus trip TVB 'High Peaks of Bulgaria' is rated as a '5' and for me it felt more demanding than this one.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Robin Hubbard

    ?

    Excellent -but group should have been smaller.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summit of Ryzy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Great fun - knowledgable - extremely helpful. Maybe a bit controlling but group was large with varying abilities

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough and have a head for heights

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Optimal group size 8-12. 16 too large. My only real criticism. Otherwise route activities, huts and leader were all excellent
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Kerry Clough

    Poland - What a wonderful surprise

    I loved this trip as we saw a lot of Poland in a short period of time. It opened my eyes to what a great country Poland is. Starting in Warsaw we walked around the Old Quarter, although as with so much of Poland it looks like an Old Quarter, but was in fact completely rebuilt after being 70% destroyed in World War 2. It was rebuilt to look like it did pre-war, based on old drawings. This was also the case in Gdańsk, Toruń and Wroclaw to, all of which we visited, walked around and stayed overnight. Gdańsk was a real highlight for me. It has a great location by the Baltic Sea and has been beautifully restored. Our last few days were spent visiting Krakow, the nearby salt mines, the Nazi concentration/extermination camp Auschwitz (a truly harrowing experience when you know what unimaginable horrors took place there) and a quick walk into Slovakia from the Polish mountain town of Zakapone. Days were long and there was lots of travelling, but for me it was fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The discovery of what an incredible job the Polish nation did to rebuild their country after the near total destruction of many of their cities during World War 2.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael’s enthusiasm, energy, knowledge of all things Polish and patience were exemplary. He had a very difficult group to lead as there was a very wide range of walking ability and expectation of what the tour should offer across the group. Some, like me were brisk walkers who were happy with an overview of what we were seeing. Some were very very slow walkers who wanted to have a lot more information about what they were seeing. It was a real challenge for Michael to keep some people happy but I thought he did a sterling job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, be prepared for long days and lots of travelling around because so much is packed into the week. The trip notes say this and it’s true!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Kerry Clough

    Poland - What a wonderful surprise

    I loved this trip as we saw a lot of Poland in a short period of time. It opened my eyes to what a great country Poland is. Starting in Warsaw we walked around the Old Quarter, although as with so much of Poland it looks like an Old Quarter, but was in fact completely rebuilt after being 70% destroyed in World War 2. It was rebuilt to look like it did pre-war, based on old drawings. This was also the case in Gdańsk, Toruń and Wroclaw to, all of which we visited, walked around and stayed overnight. Gdańsk was a real highlight for me. It has a great location by the Baltic Sea and has been beautifully restored. Our last few days were spent visiting Krakow, the nearby salt mines, the Nazi concentration/extermination camp Auschwitz (a truly harrowing experience when you know what unimaginable horrors took place there) and a quick walk into Slovakia from the Polish mountain town of Zakapone. Days were long and there was lots of travelling, but for me it was fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The discovery of what an incredible job the Polish nation did to rebuild their country after the near total destruction of many of their cities during World War 2.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael’s enthusiasm, energy, knowledge of all things Polish and patience were exemplary. He had a very difficult group to lead as there was a very wide range of walking ability and expectation of what the tour should offer across the group. Some, like me were brisk walkers who were happy with an overview of what we were seeing. Some were very very slow walkers who wanted to have a lot more information about what they were seeing. It was a real challenge for Michael to keep some people happy but I thought he did a sterling job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, be prepared for long days and lots of travelling around because so much is packed into the week. The trip notes say this and it’s true!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Sally Williams

    Magical Tatras

    This was a truly magical week in the High Tatras. So different to the alps, more of a fairytale setting. Apparently this was the best winter they have had in 7 years and we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Loads of snow, blue sky, and although extremely cold you don’t stand still long enough to feel it. If like me, you can’t face a whole week of skiing, then this is a great opportunity to try some different winter activities and really appreciate the scenery and culture in a place that is not spoiled by mass tourism.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The dog sledging was fantastic. It was a fun, yet relaxed experience. The dogs were so friendly, and obviously enjoyed their work, it was a pleasure to meet them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was an inspiration. He obviously enjoys his work and his mountains. It was a real pleasure to meet him, to hear his stories and marvel at his many talents.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vegetarian options are limited but it is possible to make up a meal of starters and sides. We did find a restaurant with a lovely veggie pasta dish but it did get a bit repetitive! Possibly take a little more Polish currency and about €100 less than recommended. There is very little opportunity for gift shopping. The best places are the souvenir shops where you do the cross country or downhill skiing. There is no kettle in the hotel room so if you’d like a hot drink before breakfast (or any other time actually) suggest you pack a travel kettle. And take some tea bags! Don’t expect bars and restaurants like in the alps. The place is very quiet which we enjoyed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The thermal baths were a bit of a disappointment, more like a very busy leisure centre. But it was nice to soak in the warm water following two days of activity, once you’d battled through the crowds. Don’t recommend dinner in the hotel even after the long day out. Better to brave the elements again for a good meal.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Diana Maynard

    Fun way to try out a variety of winter activities

    This trip provided a great introduction to a number of different winter activities at a relaxed pace (the days were very easy - only a few hours' activity a day - with plenty of free time).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering that being nearly 50 doesn't prevent you from learning to downhill ski for the first time! Also that dog sledding is so much more fun that you might think!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dana was both extremely patient and efficient, coming up with alternative solutions when traffic and weather conditions prevented us from even reaching Zakopane for dog sledding. She also dealt with the one injury on our trip effectively. She was also very informative about each day's activities, making sure we knew what to bring and wear, and was very sociable. Nothing was too much trouble for her to arrange or advise on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a selection of warm clothing with a number of layers - some activities you'll get hot very quickly and might only need a base layer and thin jacket, while others needed as many layers as you could get on! The evenings are long and can be boring, as can some of the bus rides, so bring plenty of books etc. Don't be scared to try new activities even if you're an old codger - we all managed everything, with varying degrees of success but an awful lot of fun! Contrary to the advice I received from the Exodus "expert", do bring proper ski trousers as otherwise you may not get your normal waterproof trousers over your ski boots (I could not!). However, a normal waterproof jacket will be OK if you have enough layers, so you don't necessarily need a proper ski jacket, though it's useful if you do have one. Also, do consider spending a couple of days in Krakow before/after the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Due to not making it to Zakopane, we went dogsledding in Slovakia instead on our rest day, and in my opinion this is a much better idea. Also, don't go over New Year, as everything is extremely busy, including the roads, and it's a pain.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Tom Roberts

    Highlights of Central Europe

    This was a fast paced tour that covered features and cities of 5 countries. I found this tour to be very interesting and gave one an insite into this part of the world. I would recommend this tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard question, but I would say the time we spent Vienna. The history ,as we all know, is amazing and it was great to see firsthand thus very beautiful city.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I found Peter to be excellent. He tried very hard to make our holiday as memorable as possible. Being a native to Slovakia, his knowledge of the history of the countries we visited was first rate. He was most helpful to everybody in this tour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fast past tour covering some of the highlights of 5 Central European countries. This tour will provide you with a broad brush look and knowledge of these countries . In my case it has given me a reason for visiting some of the cities again to get a greater look at what they have to offer.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Anne Lane

    Excellent

    This trip was a challenging mountain walk with good mountain hut accomodation. Teresa was a great guide with Helena helping us slower ones. A great holiday even if I trailed 15 minutes later than guys half my age!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Rysy in Poland

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Teresa was helpful, informative, attentive and enthusiastic and a great trek leader. Helena helped Teresa as second professional guide . Helena helped me as I was slightly slower to reach the top of Rysy and back down again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fit and able to trek well

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The return flight was late for those having to return to work the next day
  • Reviewed September 2018

    Great Trek with excellent mountain facilities and excellent guides

    Our guides Teresa and Helena were excellent and did a great job of leading the group, encouraging where necessary and making sure the trek went smoothly. The trek was as described in the trip notes, challenging with some great scenery . The mountain huts were of a good standard, with good Polish food to help us refuel at the end of a tough day. The tacks were busier than I had expected, and at times did provide a challenge for the leaders to manage the flow of our party and other walkers up and down the chains. Overall an excellent trek

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Rysy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent with a great sense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you read the trip notes in advance and are well prepared for a challenging/ tough week of trekking.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Ingrid Crauwels

    Discover the history of Poland

    Poland is a beautiful country. When you are in the cities, you wouldn't think they only are free from the Russians since 1990. All cities are so clean, the buildings have been restored to their former glory. The motorways are excellent, what a difference with the UK.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The museum of Solidarity, it is a must see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a fantastic guide Jurek (Jerry) Sajkowski, he was so passionate about his country, could tell us all about the history of his country and was the most helpful guide we had since we have been travelling with Exodus (since 1991).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We didn't book the Salt Mines in Krakow, but I would advise to book this excursion when you book the trip with Exodus, it is a more difficult when you try to do it in Krakow.