|Day 1 ||-5 Fri.-Tues., Sept. 23 - 27 Fly to Bucharest, Dracula’s Castle & City Tour (3 B, 2 D) |
Fly to Bucharest, Romania, staying three nights in the country’s capital and cultural center. Discover this “Little Paris” on a city tour. Tour Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle), Peles Castle and the city of Brasov on a full day tour outside of the city. Use the local transit bus to travel to Tulcea (5 hours), which is located on the Danube River where it flows into the Black Sea, it has been under Byzantine, Genoese, and Ottoman rule. Two nights in Tulcea.
|Day 6 ||& 7 Wed. & Thurs., Sept. 28 & 29 Danube Boat Ride & Travel to Comrat (2 B, 2 L) |
Ride a speed boat through the Danube Delta, one of the world’s largest and most biodiverse wetlands. Stroll down Comrat, Moldova’s main street, see the statue of Lenin standing near a memorial to the victims of Communist repression.
|Day 8 ||& 9 Fri. & Sat., Sept. 30 - Oct 1 Chisinau Winery & Monastery (2 B, 1 L, 1 D) |
Taste Moldovan wine and visit the capitol of Chisinau, built in a Stalinist style after being
destroyed by Nazis and Soviets both. In tiny Orheiul Vechi, visit the 14th-century monastery, the country’s most important historic site. At the church of the Ascension, the real treat is the cave monastery still used by monks 700 years after it was built. Enjoy is a local feast at a family home.
|Day 10 ||& 11 Sun. & Mon., Oct. 2 & 3 Transnistria & Tour of Tiraspol (2 B, 1 L) |
Enter Tiraspol for a two-night stay in the breakaway Transnistria Republic. During a walk around town you’ll see new homes sitting next to crumbling soviet apartment buildings.
Take a trolley bus to the buffer zone between Transnistria and Moldova. Stop at the 16th-century
Tighina Ottoman Fortress.
|Day 12 ||& 13 Tues. & Wed., Oct. 4 & 5 Odessa & Nerubeyske Catacombs (2 B, 1 D) |
Cross into Odessa, Ukraine, a gem on the Black Sea founded as a summer resort by Catherine the Great. Enter the unique underground Museum of Partisan Glory a labyrinth of catacombs running through the hills. Stay one-night in Odessa before flying to Kiev, Ukraine’s capitol.
|Day 14 || & 15 Thurs. & Fri., Oct. 6 & 7 Tour Kiev & Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (1 B, 1 L, 1 D) |
Stay three nights in magnificent Kiev, a diamond in the raw where Soviet grandeur mixes with
medieval architecture. Tour Chernobyl, standing by Reactor Number 4, now covered by the huge sarcophagus, the world’s largest moveable land-based object. Visit the ghost town evacuated after the disaster, meet a village of self-settlers, people who chose to come back to their homes.
|Day 16 ||Sat., Oct. 8 Depart Kiev & Fly to San Francisco (B) |
Fly to Frankfurt, Germany then to San Francisco. Return to Manteca, Stockton and Lodi.