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Best of Eastern Europe Alumni question about Day 6

I am hoping on the tour alumni might be able to help us with our question. We are taking the Best of Eastern Europe tour in June. On Day 6 we travel from Eger to Budapest with a stop at a village school. How realistic is to skip the school visit and cafeteria lunch and just explore the village on our own? The school visit doesn't hold any appeal and one of us is celebrating a birthday so we thought it might be nice to look at our options. Thank you
JoAnn

Posted by
6381 posts

Depending on where the school is what you propose may or may not work.

I would contact the RS office with your question

Posted by
3580 posts

I would ask the tour guide at the beginning of the tour. Tour schedules change according to conditions. Within reason, your guide will probably help you with logistics. I have taken the RS tours and have opted out of activities in order to do something else. Just keep the tour guide informed.

Posted by
1855 posts

Both posters above have given you excellent advice. I was on this tour last August/September and as a former teacher, I enjoyed the school visit very much. We were ever served lunch in the school cafeteria! Unfortunately, we didn't meet any students as school was not in session at that time. I remember having to take the bus into town for our visit that day and frankly don't recall whether that happened before or after the school visit. We had plenty of time there and it's a terrific village. Do call the tour department. I find them to be helpful and knowledgeable no matter what question is asked! Also, follow up with your guide. All that said, you are always free to opt out of any activity. Just be sure the guide and/or your "travel buddy" knows you will not be joining the group for the planned activity. It's a wonderful tour and I sure you will enjoy it.

Posted by
610 posts

The school we visited several years ago was in Recsk, FWIW.

Posted by
844 posts

The school we visited wasn't in session that day. There were some students (about 6 I think) that came in to meet us and to practice their English. They were charming, The classroom looked great and a teacher was there to talk to us.
Our tour guide, Etelka, was Hungarian and great, besides speaking multiple languages we got a great education from her. The lunch was a school lunch, but driving into the town didn't look like there was much appeal to see a place close by to find a place to have a nice birthday lunch.

I also would like to suggest you call the RS tour office and chat with them.

Have a Great Trip!
Mimi

PS on the free day in Budapest Etelka told everyone that she was going to the Baths that is shown in the RS videos if anyone wanted to join her. Hubby and I were the only ones who did and it was a hoot! (Most others went shopping) We felt like we were in a RS video! The older men (in speedos) in the pool playing chess were there and waved at us. They are in the RS video of Budapest. There weren't many Americans there, some European tourists and many locals. That was a great day. If your tour guide gives you this opportunity do it! If not it's easy transport so go, rent a locker and changing room and have a great time!

Posted by
546 posts

Last September, we stopped at the school. The conversation with the teacher was very interesting, and we did have some interaction, although minimal, with students as we passed them, or met some outside. The lunch was not that good, but what the heck, it was only one lunch. I don't recall seeing much of a "village" to explore. My thoughts are you may not know your options until you talk with your tour guide.

Posted by
119 posts

I'll echo what others have said about discussing the possible options with your guide, but I also don't remember seeing much in the way of other options when we did the school visit on our tour. Basically, the bus pulled up right at the school, we visited a classroom for a bit to hear about their education system and meet a few kids and then we had a quick lunch and left. We didn't see or do anything else in the area.

I do want to add that this experience was much shorter overall than I thought it might be. It wasn't particularly interesting for me as I'm not a teacher and I don't have kids so I wouldn't have minded skipping it. But overall it was maybe 2 hours out of an otherwise fantastic and very interesting tour, so even if you can't find something else to do during this time, I encourage you to just go with it and let this be part of the experience. It might not be a highlight for you, but you will have plenty of other "wow" moments on this tour. It's an amazing trip!!

Posted by
78 posts

Thank you to everyone who replied as it is always helpful and informative. I did message the Rick Steves tour office earlier this week and I am waiting for a reply. My gut feeling, based on the comments, is we'll need to do the school visit as it doesn't sound like there is much near the school to explore. We will need to do a special birthday lunch on another day.
Thanks again
JoAnn

Posted by
22 posts

We did the tour last year, and though we are both educators and therefore slightly biased, we found the school tour extremely interesting. The students were in sssion and were anxious to show us their US states project. But even more interesting was their interaction with us on the playground. Some of us played basketball with them or watched their drawing (art class was outside) and all interacted with the Romas (gypsy) children. VERY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE.

Posted by
503 posts

I did this tour about 2 years ago. The school visit was fun and interesting (and, honestly, I wasn't looking forward to it). The children were so happy and proud to show off the projects they had done on the individual States. The main point of our visit was for the kids to speak with native English speakers so they could practice their English and we did that. Afterward, we had lunch in the school cafeteria. Unlike a previous poster, our group was really impressed with the school lunch. We had what the kids had been served and it was a hot, homemade lunch. Started with chicken noodle soup, then baked chicken and a side vegetable and then some type of cake dessert. Nothing like the microwave pizza in the US schools! As far as skipping the visit and exploring the town on your own, I'm not sure how that would work out. I don't remember the town being much of anything to look at and not really close to the school.