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Q: Photographing great scenics in Austria and Chech Republic ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Photographing great scenics in Austria and Chech Republic
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: sadye-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 16 Mar 2003 15:18 PST
Expires: 15 Apr 2003 16:18 PDT
Question ID: 177061
Looking for professional photographic guide to lead me to locals where
I could photograph very
picturesque scenics in both Austria and Chech Republic the last two
weeks of May 2003.

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 18 Mar 2003 07:59 PST
Are you looking for a person or a book? In either cases - in which language?

Clarification of Question by sadye-ga on 18 Mar 2003 09:58 PST
I am a semi-professional photographer. I am visiting both Prague and
Vienna within their respective countries the latter part of May 2003.
Im am looking for a guide in each country who speaks English and is
familiar with the countrysides of their country as far as guiding me
to incredible sights so I can capture them on photographic film. This
is my hobby and I enjoy creating beautiful scenics whether they be
landscapes, historical castles, lakes and mountain sites or whatever
else would make beautiful protraits by me using my camera.

Request for Question Clarification by cath-ga on 18 Mar 2003 10:04 PST

Can you please tell me how much you'd like to pay, and how many days
of guiding you're thinking of? Thanks, cath-ga

Clarification of Question by sadye-ga on 18 Mar 2003 11:41 PST
It will depend on my travel itinerary which should be formulated
within the next few weeks. I will pay the "going" rate considering the
guide's qualifications. I would imagine I would need a guide in each
country. Please tell me what you have in mind.
Subject: Re: Photographing great scenics in Austria and Chech Republic
Answered By: cath-ga on 18 Mar 2003 13:31 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Sadye,

What a fascinating question! Thank you! 

I’ve given three suggestions for each country below. If these are 
satisfactory to you, you can contact these people for details. Or,
if you prefer, I would be happy to follow up and contact them for you.
That would certainly be included in the original question. Just let
me know what extra info you’d like. Most of these people are not
specifically as "photographic guides," but since they are tour guides
they will know the most scenic spots.

Okay, first Czech Republic: 

If you check out Alberto Sommaruga’s website, below, he looks like a
very promising guide for Prague, since he’s also a photographer. He
speaks English and you can see his rates, and his own photographs 
on the website. 

Prague tour guide and photographer Alberto Sommaruga

You also might want to look at the Czechsite Travel  Website:

If you click on “Take a Guided Tour” on the left side of the page, it
take you to their Tourguide Information. You may book the tours
according to
your own individual needs, i.e., beautiful scenes, or choose from the
ones listed. The rates vary from $60-$270. There are several
beautiful castles ( including the Karlstejn castle, the most “romantic
place near Prague) Cesky Krumlov, a “medieval town”, and “drives
through the countryside” listed.

There is another good site, called “Andel 3W’s Guide to Prague, the
Golden City,” at:

If you click on “Prague Guide,” on the left on the homepage, there’s a
page detailing all the major tourist sites in the city.  If you click
on the
“Czech Republic” button on the left, it gives a little info about
trips into the countryside. It seems that e-mailing Andel at

is the best way to get info from this site. He can answer your
within 24 hours about guides or anything else.

Okay, now for Austria!

There’s a wonderful site called Austriaguides at

If you click on the Vienna/Austria button, it gives you a choice of
city of Vienna, the vicinity of Vienna (the Vienna woods, valley of
Danube, the Alps!) and the country of Austria. It will give you some
ideas of things you’ll want to photograph. If you click on “Guides”,
shows you pictures of the individual guides and tells you which ones
speak English. It also gives little bios (which I translated using
Googles translater). Unfortunately none of them mention photography
You can e-mail them for that info, or if you like, I can. 

There’s a site called Vienna.guides at:

They have a number of guides listed who speak English, but the one
below, Gabi, is experienced not only in Vienna but in the rest of the

Gabi Weisshappel

Home Guides Tours Rates Links and Tips History and Traditions
Guestbook Contact
	 Name:	Gabi Weisshappel
 	Adress:	Scheugasse 22/32A-1100 Wien
 	Telephone:	0043-(1)-6045624
 	Mobile Phone:	0043-664-3258649
 	Fax:	0043-(1)-6045624

Languages:	German, English, French 
Information: 	I like to guide in my hometown Vienna but I do like 
to show the rest of my beautifull country as well.I do work as tour
director as well. 	

If you click on the web-address below,

you will get the website for “Find Tour Operators” in Austria.  The  
“Find Tour” sites represent 1,300 tour companies. By searching under 
Any Category, May-June, Any price, you’ll get a wonderful list of 
Austrian tours. I know you’re just looking for a guide…but you’ll be 
really interested in all these possibilities, they are all in the 
Czech-Austria area, and many sound terribly scenic. You
can peruse these, then tell your guide what you’re most interested in.
The Austrian Alpine Panoramic Tour sounds great. The company that runs
that tour is Smolka Tours. You or I can e-mail them at Their emphasis looks to be big packages, but 
they say they have “private drivers” and can accommodate individual


under “sightseeing.”

Anyway, I hope I made a good start toward finding your European
One question one of us should address is what kind of transportation
prefer- do you want the guide to drive his own car? Rental car OK?
let me know which avenues you’d like me to follow up. It looks as
you almost can’t go wrong, there are so many gorgeous sites to
in those two countries! If there is anything unclear or incomplete in
this answer, please allow me to clarify before you rate the answer.

Sincerely, cath-ga

Search strategy on Google:

Czech tour guide
Prague tour guide
Austria tours
Vienna tour guides

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 19 Mar 2003 15:48 PST
I'm sorry I couldn't answer your latest sooner, I was out of the
office. You have made an excellent beginning for me, it's greatlyt
appreciated. As the exact dates firm up for me, I will be in a better
position to let you know where I plan to be, I will be driving my own
rental car. Can we continue to correspond on this subject?

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 19 Mar 2003 19:35 PST

Yes, of course you can contact me when you know more about your
itinerary. Just ask for a clarification request as you just did,
and ask me to get more info, or contact someone. I'll be happy
to follow up. You might want to look at the photos in the meantime,
and think about whether you'd rather be escorted by a man or
woman, young, old, etc. Thanks for your business! cath-ga

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 20 Mar 2003 13:35 PST

Another researcher was kind enough to forward me another resource 
for your trip:

INFINET TOURS Travel Agency 

Karlik 311 , 252 29 Dobrichovice, Czech Republic 

Phone/ Fax : + 420 257 712 229 e-mail: 
Leo Kustos there has a two week proposal for you on Czech-Austria 
photo touring, to be led by a "keen amateur photographer." 
He could also get you a professional photographer, but of course 
at higher cost. I don't know if you want that,or whether you have 
to plan your itinerary around other business? Let me know if
you'd like to see the two-week proposal, or you can contact
Infinet Tours by e-mail. cath-ga

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 20 Mar 2003 15:47 PST
Dear Cathy,
 ( I assume your name is Cathy)
To begin with, I do not feel I need a professional photographer, I
just need someone with artistic ability to recognize wonderful places
for the shooting of photography. My plan is to arrive in Prague on May
18th. where I should be staying for 5 days, then off my rental car to
Salzberg, Linz to Vienna, another 5 days and finally Budapest for 5
more days. For the most part, while I am in Vienna, for 3 days I'll be
on business. I'll be traveling with my wife. As far as age and gender,
whatever or whoever would be better understanding my requirements. So,
what do you think?

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 20 Mar 2003 16:57 PST

Friday I will contact the sources I have located for more info,
and see who looks best. You mention Budapest...does that mean
you'd like someone in Hungary too? Catherine!

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 24 Mar 2003 13:27 PST
Dear Sadye,

I have several responses to my Friday e-mails. Here they are below.

Alberto Sommaragu
Subj:	From Prague 
Date:	03/22/2003 2:52:37 AM Pacific Standard Time
I received your request.I am available from May 19 to 22.
I think that for Prague 2 days are the minimum for a tour.Out of
Prague at reasonable
distances there are Castles( Karlstejn,Konopopiste,cesky
other towns such as Kutna Hora. The countryside is nice also in the
area of Karlstejn.
Plus there is a nice castle Kokorin in the middle of the woods.There
are no lakes in the
area of Prague. Taking pictures inside castles is not always allowed
and there is an extra
fee for this generally 3-4 USD.
How do they want to get around out of Prague?Have you booked a car or
a minivan?
A minivan for a full day(8 hours,200 km) costs about 160 USD
the fee for the guided tour is the same you saw in my webpage that is
to say 72 USD.
Feel free to ask any detail and please confirm as soon as possible
because I have many requests.
Greetings from Prague,

Subj:	Re: CzechSite Reservation 
Date:	03/22/2003 8:49:35 AM Pacific Standard Time

Dear Ms. cath,
Thank you for your request. We will be pleased to arrange such a
tour for your client. We can provide very qualified guide, who is an
photografer himself and who knows the most beautiful and most
places and also the best times for takeing pictures.
The price is 15 USD/hour/person. The price includes the guide and a
If this offer is accptable for you I will write you some details of
interesting places.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Ivana Tatkova,
Top Travel
phone: +420 602 22 93 35

Subj:	Re: photo tour 
Date:	03/22/2003 12:23:35 PM Pacific Standard Time

Dear Cath,
thanks for your request. It would be a pleasure for me to guide your
clients all over Austria.
I would be available those days! 
If you look for general Austria and Vienna-Information watch our brand
new homepage that
also includes fotos - in English partly still in work -
As you will find out reading we charge about € 230 - 240 for a whole
day. These fees are
without transports and entrance fees. Our tarifs are the same for 1
single person as for 50 passengers. If your client looks for a real
personal care he should contract a guide only at
his disposal. I would be pleased to do that. Otherwise - looking for a
cheaper way to get
around - contact agencies organizing guide tours with bigger groups.
If you love to sea landscapes, mountains, lakes, you should go to the
countryside of Austria. Anyhow, 5 days won´t be enough. You should
calculate 2 days for Vienna
1 day the Danube valley
1/2 Vienna Woods
min. 1 day for Salzburg > 2 days if you want to discover the lake-and
1 day for Graz - city of culture 2003
Innsbruck is fantactic, but 500 km from Vienna
Linz doesn´t seem to be very interesting to me!
Well, I hope that I could give you some first help and please contact
me for any kind of further informations or bookings. Yours sincerely,

Subj:	Phototour 
Date:	03/23/2003 2:09:10 AM Pacific Standard Time

INFINET  TOURS  Travel Agency
          Karlik 311 , 252 29 Dobrichovice,  Czech Republic
	  Phone/ Fax  : + 420 257 712 229   e-mail:    
Re:  Phototours                                                       
Dear Madame,
Thank you for your e-mail of 03-21-2003.
The cost of our guide services is  EUR  139,- / day +  accommodation
and  transport  during the trips out of Prague.
According to your wish , I enclose a corrected  proposal of the
itinerary. To finish it properly I would appreciate very much  to get
the following informations:
a.	Will  the clients require the services of our guide during their
stay in the Czech republic only, or during the whole tour ?
b.	To plan the every day tours we need to know exactly: 
- names and  location  (towns)  of  hotels  reserved already by
clients for the tour- time they want to spend in Linz and Salzburg
c.	Have they reserved also accommodation for the guide (in case they
need him for the whole tour) ?
d.	Will  they  end their tour again in Prague or some other place ? 
e.	Have they reserved the car already or we have to do it  for them
here? We can offer either our own
saloon car with AC driven by our guide, or  very reasonably priced
ALIMAX  hire a car service with
self driven cars. 
f.	Should we calculate  also the admission fees  to the castles,
museums and  other paces of interest, or
Will clients on the spot pay them?  (We recommend the spot payments).
g.	Do you expect us to plan some sightseeing  for  client´s  wife
during his business talks in Vienna or
it will be just a waiting  time for our guide ?
h.	Name and address of your tourist agency and clients´ names . 
i.	Who is  to be invoiced for the services and the way of payment  (
advanced banking transfer  or transfer of deposit  and cash payment of
the rest  at the arrival
Photographic  Tour of the Czech  Republic and Austria.
Day 1.
- Arrival to Prague by air , meeting the guide at the International
airport and transfer to hotel.
-  Informative talk  about  the itinerary and technical details .
-  Informative  sightseeing of Prague
Day 2.
-  Photo tour of Prague Castle,  Lesser Town ,  Charles bridge , Old
Town and Jewish Quarter
-  Evening  boat cruise on Moldau river with dinner and night  picture
taking of illuminated
    Prague architectural monuments 
   Overnight in Prague.
Day 3.
-  Central Bohemia in view finder:  
    Sightseeing and photo tour of  glass manufactories near Prague
(taking pictures of glassblowers
    and glasscutters at work) , central Bohemian castles and chateaux 
(Krivoklat 1104,  Tocnik 1254,
    Zebrak  1485, chateau Horovice  1760, Karlstein  1450)
    Evening:  Dinner with folklore dancers and music.
    Overnight in Prague.
Day 4.
-   West Bohemian spa towns and countryside of Sumava.
    Karlovy Vary  spa ,  Loket castle (1160) with museum of glass and
porcelain, Cheb historical town
    and Frantiskovy Lazne spa.
    Overnight  in Prague.
Day 5.
-   Architectural jewels and country side of South Bohemia. 
     Jindrichuv Hradec  renaissance castle, Trebon  - spa town with
gothic fortifications and ponds,
     Telc – renaissance town listed by UNESCO
    Overnight  in  Prague
Day 6.       
-   Transfer Prague – Salzburg  by car.  (420 km)
     Under way stop at  Cesky Krumlov  medieval town and castle –
architecture reservation listed by UNESCO
      Overnight in Salzburg. 
Day 7.
-     Sightseeing and picture taking in Salzburg.  Castle, historical
town, Mozart´s birth house,
       riverside with mountain panorama, historical churches and
       Overnight at mountain hotel.
Day 8.
-      Transfer Salzburg – Linz  (130 km)
        Sightseeing of Linz :  By  funicular to Postlingberg hill 
with general view of town and countryside,
        Wahlfahrtkirche   (historical church),  Linz castle (880),
Mozart´s house and  historical churches
Day 9.
-     Transfer to Vienna. Accommodation in a Vienna hotel.  (180 km)
       Photo tour of historical center of Vienna :  Opera, Hofburg, 
Burgtheater, Old City Hall,  Mariahilfe
       Strasse,  St. Stephan dom, Mozart´s House,    Imperial chateau 
Schonbrunn with gardens.
Overnight in Vienna.
Day 10.
-      The Pratr amusement park, people and shopping in Vienna.
       Free time in afternoon.  Overnight in Vienna.
Day 11.
Museums and Galleries or a free day for shopping 
       Overnight in Vienna
Day 12.
-      Transfer Vienna – Budapest  (230 km)
 Accommodation at Budapest hotel and  short information walk  of
Budapest City center.
 Overnight  in Budapest
Day  13.
-      Sightseeing of Budapest :  Buda castle with St.Stephan church
and Fisherman´s outlook,  Chain bridge,
        the Parliament and Danube embankment.  City center with
museums and historical buildings, City park
        with Vajdahunyad castle, etc.
       Overnight at Budapest.
Day 14.
-      Historical monuments and sightseeing in countryside around
Budapest (approx. 150 km  round  tour)
VISEGRÁD – castle Visegrád  ( 15th century royal castle) with the best
view of Danube river bend in Hungary,  with Matthias Palace, Chapel
and Beatrix Palace. Hercules fountain.
SZENTENDRE – picturesque little town  full of artists with open air
village museum.
Day 15.
-      Return to Prague via Hungary, Slovak republic and Czech
republic (580 km)
       Underway colorful countryside of Danube river, capital of
Slovakia, Bratislava,  Czech-Moravian
       Highlands, etc.
       Overnight in Prague.
Day 16.
       Transfer to Prague International airport and departure for
I hope to have you  informed properly and look forward to your further
Best regards
Leo Kustos               
Subj:	RE: photo tour 
Date:	03/24/2003 9:16:42 AM Pacific Standard Time

Thank you for your inquiry and interest in services of CoDan Agentura.
We are pleased to offer you the following alternatives:
City Walks (Duration: one or two days)
During this tour, the client will take a walk in first day in Old Town
and visit some of the most beautifull places in Prague: Staromestske
Namesti, Josefov, Charles Bridge, National Theatre, Wenceslass Square,
Namesty republiky and Municipal House.
The next day, the tour will continue in Mala Strana (Little Side)
through Mala Strana Square, Mostecka Street, Nerudova Street, Zamecka
Stairs, the Senat, the Prague Castle and Petrin Hill.
This trip can take place in two or one day depending on the request.
It is also possible to choose only one part of the tour ( Old Town or
Little Side)
Vysehrad (one day)
It is a one day tour and the guide will take the client to visit the
church and its yard, the river side view, the roman relicvs)
Divoka Sarka (one day)
A walk into the surroundings of Prague where you can enjoy the view of
a beautifull valey around Prague.
Karstejn, Cesky Kras, America (one day)
Karlstejn is aproximately at 30 minutes from Prague. The client will
have the opportunity to see the magnificent castle. It is situated on
a huge and dominating rock and is surrounded by deep forest. The
palace was founded in the 14th century by Emperor Charles IV to
protect the Imperial Jewels. On way to Vysehrad, will stop for Cesky
Kras and America - wonders of nature.
Melnih (one day)
It is a one day tour outside of Prague and the client can visit the
Melnih Castle, will enjoy the wonderfull view of the valley and the
old town. Here will be also possible to see the consenquences of the
floods which took place last year in August.
Liberec (one day)
If you want to see the mountains and get out from the city, this is
the tour you should choose.
It is a relaxing trip to the mountains during which you can take
photos, find out more about the relief in Czech Republic or just enjoy
the view.
For all these tours, the prices for a private guide is as follows:
For 2 hours - 2000 Kc (64 Euros)
For 4 Hours - 2600 Kc (82 Euros)
For 6 hours - 3600 Kc (114 Euros)
For 8 hours - 4000 Kc (127 Euros)
Each extra hour will cost 1000 Kc (32 Euros)
All prices above are per person.
For the tours which require transport by car (last 3 tours) the guide
will drive the car and take
the client to the places indicated above and will provide all
available information on these places. The cost for the car is 1000 Kc
(32 Euros) per day.

Please note that we are only able to guarantee pick up from the hotel
for the tours starting at 8:45, 9:00, 9:15, 9:30, 10:00, 10:15, 18:30,
If you wish to make a tour reservation please open the attached
document "Fax Order Form",
fill out all data requested and fax the form signed back to us. If
you're in the possession of a scanner you can also scan the signed
order form and mail it to us.

Please find attached the order form.

After we receive your order form we will confirm your reservation by
issuing a voucher. The voucher is the proof of your purchase. Take the
printed voucher with you and present it to the tour guide.

If you are interested in booking a hotel, transfers or tickets for
cultural events, please take a look at our WebPages at the following

Tickets for cultural events      

If you would like to book please contact us and we will inform you
about the availability and the reservation procedures.

With Best Regards,

CoDan Agentura
Tel: +420 257 327 860
Fax: +420 257 327 862
E-mail: <>

To best serve our clients we have now extended our offerings in the
Central European region. Besides Prague and Budapest, we have added 7
new cities in the region as listed below.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for all your inquiries.

-       Prague (Czech Republic),
-                Budapest (Hungary),
-                Bratislava (Slovakia),
-       Vienna (Austria),
-                Salzburg (Austria),
-       Berlin (Germany),
-       Dresden (Germany),
-       Warsaw (Poland),
-       Krakow (Poland),

Upon the receipt of your request(s), we will send you a tailored offer
within 24 hours.

If you book now in two or more of the above mentioned cities and the
booking dates are within one month from each other we will give you an
overall discount of 5% of the total price!

We are looking forward to hearing from you and will be pleased to be
at your service!

Sadye,  this should give you something to think about! Catherine

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 25 Mar 2003 13:45 PST

here are two more e-mails which came today, Tuesday.

Subj: Re: photo tour guide  
Date: 03/25/2003 8:37:14 AM Pacific Standard Time 

Dear Catherine,
tank you for you mail.
Few questions are necessary to be able to give correct details and
How will your client travel? Will he have a car?
Does he need a guide for all 5 days who travels with him, or shall we
order a local  guide for each town who can travel with him also
arround to the countryside of Salzburg, Linz and Vienna?
If he wants one  guide for all time, he would have to pay beside the
guide fee the costs for hotel, meals and train or busticket if the
guide has to travel back on its own.  There would be of course also
the possibility to start in Vienna and to be back after 2-3 days in
Vienna. In that case he should stay each time one night in Linz and
Innsbruck and Graz with their sourroundings are also very interesting
but it depends on the time how much and  which part of Austria your
client would like to see. All our guides in Austria have a very good
knowledge of all sites in our country because our exames are valid for
all Austria.
Waiting for your answer I send you my best regards
Gitta Pavlovic

Subj: Re: photo tour  
Date: 03/25/2003 3:00:17 AM Pacific Standard Time 

Hello Catherine !
Sorry for my late answer, but I was the last day´s in the Alps where
was no Internet Access.
Before I can make a small list of cost´´s, I´m interested about the
tour: It´s a tour of professional (Copyright for a few sights and some
similar) or private purpose.
Brilliant sights which are picturesque, I would recommend are the
Salzkammergut (between Salzburg and Linz) ,the Wachau (stripe of the
Danube River near Vienna), Neusiedlersee (Lake in the East of
Thanks for contact me !
 (I did reply to Wolfgang and tell him it is for private purposes -

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 25 Mar 2003 17:03 PST
Dear Cath,

You really are incredible supplying al this information. Over the
weekend I will attempt to sort it out and get back to you.
Thanks again,


Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 25 Mar 2003 18:17 PST
thanks for the kind words!
Here's a follow-up from Smolka Tours I received today:


Dear Catherine,
Thank you for your interest in Smolka Tours, specialists in customized
tours to Austria, particularly, but also to all of Central and Eastern
Europe.  We offer a wide range of services, including airline tickets,
rail tickets, car rentals, hotel accommodations, transfers, city
sightseeing tours - both privately guided as well as regularly
scheduled, and we can also offer  tickets to cultural events in most
European cities.
Yes, of course we can do what your client desires in all three cities:
Salzburg, Vienna and Linz.
We have excellent guides in each of these cities and they can be hired
for Half-Day, Full Day, etc.
However, if your client would like to travel into the beautiful
Austrian countryside, then we would
suggest our driver/guide services; again, this can be arranged for
however many hours needed.
Our guides are very knowledgeable do speak perfect English.
Perhaps it would be best if you called our offices to speak with one
of our representatives about more of the particulars of your clients'
trip.  Will they be interested in any other services, such as Hotel
reservation, train tickets, tickets to cultural performances?  We
would be happy to assist you in making your clients' trip to Austria
a photographic delight.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards, 
Lolly Ekdahl
Smolka Tours, Inc.
82 Riveredge Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Ph:  (732) 576-8813
Toll free in US:  (800) 722-0057
Fax: (732) 224-9356
Visit our Website:

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 27 Mar 2003 13:17 PST

here are a couple more follow ups for your consideration. Catherine

Subj: Re: photo tour  
Date: 03/26/2003 2:17:32 PM Pacific Standard Time 

Hi Catherine !
Here my offer for a tour to major and minor beautiful sights of
Austria, with start in Vienna:
For this Tour we need a car (Combi for 3 Persons and luggage which
cost approx. 100 Euro a day excl. fuel (insurance, kilometer incl.),
my cost´s which are 260 Euro/day excl. food.
The hotels, I would recommend to look around in these Web Pages of
If your clients are interested to do the sights-tour with me, I must
be booked latest at April, the 23rd, cause the 23. - 27. of Mai is in 
the main season.
Kind regards
 Subj: Re: photo tour  
Date: 03/26/2003 2:13:07 PM Pacific Standard Time 

Dear Catherine

Thank you for your interest in this phototour through Austria.

I would suggest Salzburg with surroundings , Großglockner , Dachstein
, or maybe Innsbruck , Graz , Vienna , Salzkammergut ,

Linz is not so nice ,..

but give me some more time I will think about a nice tour but I am
very busy this week .

My price for a full day is Euro 180,- and than we have to think about
the overnights and meals .

best regards 

Manuela Maurer

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 31 Mar 2003 10:39 PST
Dear Cathy,

I should have my dates pretty much down pat within the next week or so
when I will send them to you. Then we will be in a much better
position to make decisions.

By the way, where are you located?


Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 31 Mar 2003 11:18 PST
Hi Arnold,

sure, let me know your dates when you get them fixed. I am in California,
and, FYI, I am moving this weekend. (April 5) It's just across the street,
but my computer will be out of commission for a day or two. Should be
a semblance of order here again by Monday the 7th, I hope! Catherine

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 31 Mar 2003 17:07 PST
Dear Cathy,

Your not going to now tell me you are in Los Angeles, are you?

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 01 Apr 2003 08:51 PST
In L.A. County, yes...Catherine

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 15 Apr 2003 15:38 PDT
Hi Catherine,

Well, here's the scoop.May 18 -23 Prague
                       May 23 - 27 Salzburg
                       May 27 - June 3 Vienna
                       June 3 - June 6 Budapest
I would be looking for a guide for my photography taking probably at
least two to three days in each location. What do you think? I will
have a car, landscapes are really my thing. I want to come home with
incredible photographs, ones that would be greatly enlarged and framed
as fine art.
As always, Thanks you fopr all you are doing.


Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 16 Apr 2003 13:10 PDT
Hi Arnold,

If you like, I can choose the guide I think I'd like best for each
location, and
tell you why. Do you want to give your preferences before I do this?
Then I could notify them to contact you directly? Is this what you'd
like to do, or
do you have something else in mind?

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 28 Apr 2003 10:59 PDT
Hi Arnold,

not to be a nag, but I haven't heard from you since my last post. I hope,
at this point, that you have already booked your guides. It is getting
relatively close to your travel date, which is in their high season,
and the ones who responded may be booking up. After reviewing the
materials, the easiest thing for you to do might be to go through
Leo Kustos at Infinet Tours. He has guides in all three countries,
so going with him might entail the least trouble for you. I know
his itinerary is more than you want to do, but you could just tell
him to scale it back. Or you could pick two of the guides who
responded from the other cities, and have him book Prague for you. 
You're probably going to have to do all this directly: I can't give 
him a credit card number. 

Anyway, I hope your travel plans are shaping up. When you get your
photos maybe you'd like to try something special with one or two:
you could scan them into a Photoshop program, run the "Painting"
process on them to make them look like a painting. Then blow that
picture up, and do the "print transfer" process on it to a canvas.
An art gallery can send the photo away, they peel off the top layer,
glue it to a canvas, paint on some more "glue" to give it brush strokes...
Then you have what looks like a real painting, from a photograph that
you took yourself. Just an idea...Take care, Catherine

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 28 Apr 2003 11:14 PDT
Oops! I meant have Kustos book Budapest for you...Cath

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 28 Apr 2003 11:57 PDT
Dear Cath,

I never received your answer from my e-mail to you of 4/15 until today
along with your latest - that's why you havent heard from me. Yes, I
would be interested in having you choose the guides and your reasoning
behind them, as always, it would be greatly appreciated. The tip on
converting the "great" photograph into a canvas sound very interesting
also. I also was out of town from the 24th of April until this morning
when I just read your message.
You're never a nag................

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 29 Apr 2003 10:37 PDT
Hi Arnold,

it's hard to recommend for someone else, especially from e-mails which
not reveal the charm or obnoxiousness of the guide...however, here are
gut feelings.

You will find gorgeous sights no matter whom you pick. The prices vary
about 75 US per day (Alberto) to CoDan Agentura $127 Euros/day to 
Infinet tours $139 Euros/ day  to 260 Euros per day (Wolfgang)

Outside Prague, it sounds as though you really don’t want to miss the
Karlstein castle. Everyone mentions how picturesque it is. Alberto
could take you there most cheaply. He’s the professional photographer,
or Czechsite can fix you up with the amateur photog  for 120/US/day.
If you’re going for convenience, go with Infinet, because they can
care of you in Prague and in Budapest. Also, Infinet is moderately
priced (139 Euros/day). They also a great sounding tour in Southern
Bohemia, which is called the “country of a thousand lakes!” If you
that one out on their website, I think it will be right up your alley.

In Austria, I’d like Gabriella Jemelka. (  She
charges 230-240 per/day, but her e-mail indicates a good knowledge of
the outdoor sights.  Wolfgang sounds great too.  In his e-mail he
quickly listed three “brilliant”
sights which sound as though you’d like them. He’s 260/day,  and
sent a second e-mail with itinerary.  (Apparently these guides get
money based on how many languages they speak ) Smolka Tours suggests
the “driver guide” service in the countryside, which sounds like a
good idea. You could probably talk most any guide into driving.

In Hungary I’d go with Infinet, simply because they are the only ones
I contacted there. Leo Kustos sounds extremely knowledgeable about all
these countries, and I think can really help you. Keep in mind that
I’m not an expert on these countries, only in finding information on
them. If you can take the time to check out the links I’ve found
you’ll be really prepared to ask for the sights that will appeal to
you most. And book soon! We may have already missed
the deadline on Wolfgang. At least you have lots of backups if you
don't get
your first choice. Take care, and feel free to write back. Catherine

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 11 Jun 2003 08:38 PDT

I was just going to e-mail you and ask how the trip went, and I saw
the great rating. Thank you!! I take it you got some good pictures...
I'd love to hear a detail or two of the trip. Catherine

Request for Answer Clarification by sadye-ga on 11 Jun 2003 14:29 PDT
Dear Cath-ga,

I arrived home this past Saturday and still have major jet-lag. The
trip was great, I did take some incredible photos of the Alps as well
as many scenics along the way. We spent 5 days in Prague and drove to
Saltzburg and then on to Vienna and then to Budapest. Country wise,
Austria and upper Czech Republic are absoultely beautiful. The weather
was good, the food greater. The history of the entire area was very
meaningful to me - and the people for the most part were very nice,
especially since they somehow knew we were American. When I get my
photographs printed, if you give me your e-mail address, I'll send you
one of ther better ones.

Thanks again for everything. 

Arnold Barco

P.S. If all goes well, I am planning a trip next year to England,
Scotland and Ireland. I'm sure I need your help in Ireland at that
time, so let's keep in touch.

Clarification of Answer by cath-ga on 12 Jun 2003 18:28 PDT

I'd love to see a picture from your trip. The country there sounds
gorgeous. I have to check with the Google editors to see if I 
can post my e-mail address. I'm pretty sure I can't, since this whole
board is public. An alternative might be if you develop the photos
through Shutterfly or another on-line source, you could give me
the password and I could view the picture there.

I'd love to help plan the trip to Ireland. I have an old boss who
lives there and I could query him about the favorite haunts of
the locals. If you need help with that you could just post
a question: "for cath-ga only." When would you be going?
I'm having surgery in July, so I'll be out of commission for
at least a month...Anyway, thanks for the update, and
hope your jet-lag is abating. Catherine
sadye-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you Cath-ga, you really made my trip. The information you
researched was incredible - thank you again.........AJB

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