Centrum celoživotního vzdělávání Experimentální univerzita pro prarodiče a vnoučata Klub aktivního stáří Klub vzájemného porozumění Cestování Trénování paměti


People who lived in Czechoslovakia between 1948–1989 had very limited possibilities to travel abroad. Their travels were confined to the countries of  the communist block. And after  the velvet revolution when the possibility to travel became freely available, many of them were already retired, depended upon a fixed pension, did not feel so healthy and did not feel like to travel with a travel agency.

In 1990 Dana Steinova, who was running the U3A offer grade in Prague, came with a new idea: RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE with seniors from foreign countries.

The very first exchange group arrived from Boston, MA, USA on April 29th, 1991, formed of 23 American seniors who were keen to learn what the country behind the iron curtain looked like. And the Czechs showed them not only the beauty of their country but opened their hearts to them. The Americans loved the personal attention of  the Czech senior students, their cooking, guiding, homes. They repaid the Czech hospitality in a splendid way in October 1991 when 23 Czechs arrived for the same lenght of time.

What a wonderful way to explore the world!

Since that time the Czech senior students went litterary around the world, 37 exhanges have been implemented up to now. They have been 4× in the USA, 4× in Australia, 3× in the U.K., in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, 3× Austria, 3× Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Neatherlands,Ger­many, Poland, France, Switzerland, Hungary,etc.

The exchange partners were similarly motivated seniors, usually members of U3A groups /e.g. South Africa, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Poland/ or Institutes for Learning in Retirement / the USA and Canada/ or other forms of educational programs for seniors /Institute for Senior Studies in Glassgow or ZAWIW in Ulm/.

The philosophy of such exchanges is very simple: „Do you best for your guests, they will do the same for you when the roles reverse“.The hosting party is always paying the stay of the guests and  everyone is paying his own travel costs. 

Reciprocal exchanges are a great form of activation of seniors, a visible demonstration of their physical and mental potential, the more energy they put in, the cheaper trip they get. And travels based on personal bases ,giving the chance to the participants to learn , appreciate and respect mutually their cultures, history and mentality are very different in comparison with the trips done by travel agencies.

Dana Steinova
Center of Lifelong Learning, Prague
Example of an exchange program:
Hosting group: 24 Czech senior students from Center of Lifelong Learning, Prague,Czech Republic
Visiting group: 24 senior students of U3A from Cape Town and George,South A­frica

International Gathering of Seniors in  Prague

combined with the Grand tour of Central Europe
May 25-June 15, 2008
Itinerary is subject to modification if required
May 25 Sunday                arrival day –the full assistence with your arrival will be provided,
                                          your hosts will be holding a poster with your name
                                         Welcome party with a concert given by a famous violinist
                                          Alexander Shonert –winner of many international competitions
                                          Accommodation with the Czech hosts during your stay in Prague
May 26 Monday               9.30 am Vysehrad –the first residence of Czech Kings
                                          Lunch in the Restaurant Male Divy, Janovskeho 3, Praha 7 
                                          /daily,unless  indicated otherweiss/
                                          Four seasons in Czech folklore – concert 
                                          Dinner with Czech families
May 27Tuesday               9.30 am Bertramka – Mozart´s Prague retreat or free time
                                         lunch as usual /meeting point in KD Vltavska at 1.15 pm/
                                         2.30 pm Army band –concert of the worlds evergreens
                                         Walk through the Jewish Quarter
                                         6 pm Dinner in a medieval cellar from 11th century
                                         8 pm Blacklight theatre – Palace Metro
May 28 Wednesday          9.30 am Conference on senior education with lunch in KD Vltavska
                                           and Classic Jazz Collegium concert
                                           2.30 pm  Reception at the Old Town Hall- guided tour of 
                                           representative  rooms and outlook tower                                          
                                           5 pm Vltava river cruise from Kampa
                                           6.30 pm Official opening of painting exhibition in KD Vltavska
                                            Buffet supper
                                            7.30 pm „Dear Amadeus“- fictive dialogues  of Wolfgang 
                                            A.Mozart, his  wife Constance and Josefine Duskova and
                                            Mozart´s music
May 29 Thursday               9 am  Royal Route and Charles Bridge guided tour
                                            lunch and rest  on the route in McDonald´s
                                            3 pm Prague Castle-guided tour of representative ro­oms
                                             packed supper with the hosts in the Malostranska Garden
                                             6.30 pm concert of classical music in Palffy´s Palace
May 30 Friday                    Optional morning program:
                                             1/ 10 am       National Museum visit 
                                              2/ 10.30 am  stroll through the Exhibition ground from 1891
                                              3/ free morning
                                             lunch as usual /meeting point KD Vltavska at 1.15 pm/
                                             Petrin Hill by cable car, Petrin Tower and Mirror Maze
                                             6 pm Supper in KD Vltavska
                                             8  pm Antonio Vivaldi-Four Seasons-Krizik´s fountain
May 31 Saturday                10 am visit to the Contemporary Art Collections–National Gallery
                                             12 noon lunch in KD Vltavska
                                              2 pm opera Don Giovanni by W.A.Mozart in the Theatre of 
                                              dinner with your host
June 1 Sunday                    9.50 am Senate –Waldstein Palace and Waldstein Garden
                                             Sunday lunch with your host 
                                             free afternoon
                                             6 pm Farewell party with Swing12 men-band and dance, 
                                             in KD Vltavska
June 2 Monday                     8:30 am Meeting point VOLHA
                                               9 am departure for Olomouc with packed lunch
                                               Stop for an excursion of the glass manufacture on our way
                                              Guided tour of the historic city center /UNESCO listed fountains/
                                              Reception at the University with supper and music – meeting
                                              with the local U3A
                                              Accommodation : Kolej B.Vaclavka,
                                              ul. 17.listopadu, Olomouc –one night
                                              / three double rooms with private bath and toilet in one suite/
June 3 Tuesday                    departure for Zlin
                                               /BATA´s town, the famous shoe maker /,
                                                Excursion to Bata´s museum and skyscraper 
                                                1.30 pm Lunch at the Bata´s university
                                                departure for  High Tatras after lunch, with packed supper
                                                3 pm excursion to the destilary in Vizovice
                                                with tasting of the famous plum brandy
                                                arrival in High Tatras
                                                accommodation in HOTEL BANIK
                                                Strbske Pleso  /three nights- double rooms ,private bath/
June 4 Wednesday                    High Tatras-an impressive mountain range up to 2.600 m
                                                   above the sea level     
                                                       a) walk along  the glacial lake
                                                           lunch in Hotel BANIK
                                                            free afternoon
                                                        b) after lunch hike to Popradske Pleso 12 km loop
                                                            beautiful sceneries, reaching the snow level
                                                      dinner in Hotel BANIK
  June 5 Thursday                        Bus trip to Levoca 
                                                       visit of St Jacob Church-Master Paul of Levoca´s
                                                       highest gothic alter in the world
                                                       lunch in a historic Hotel Arkada
                                                       visit of the ruins of  the largest medieval  castle in 
                                                       central Europe–Spissky Hrad 
                                                       served as military fortification since early 13th cent.
                                                       UNESCO listed site
                                                       Dinner in Hotel BANIK
June 6 Friday                               Departure for Hungary with packed lunch
                                                       Estergom, Basilica of St. Mathias
                                                       Szentendre, picturesque baroque town on Danube river
                                                       Free time for self-exploration
                                                       Accommodation in ETAP Hotel, To utca 1,
                                                       H 2045,Torokbalin­t,Budapest – one night
                                                       double rooms with private bath
                                                       dinner in a popular wine cellar-Hungarian cuisine   
                                                        and gipsy songs and dances
June 7 Saturday                           Budapest day /capital of Hungary/
                                                       city tour by bus with a local guide 
                                                       Mathias Church, Fisherman Bastion
                                                       Market place,lunch in a nice restaurant in the city center
                                                       Departure for Bratislava with packed supper in late
                                                       afternoon /three hour drive/
                                                       accommodation in double rooms with private bath
                                                        /SZU, Limbova 12, 833 03 Bratislava-two nights /
June 8 Sunday                                Bratislava day  /capital of Slovakia /
                                                         See the city from the  Castle area
                                                          walking through the Old Town
                                                          St Martin Cathedral,Michal´­s gate,
                                                          Main Square
                                                          Lunch at the nursing home
                                                          Memory centrum – excursion of the AD Day care center
                                                           free afternoon
                                                          6 pm Supper in the Restaurant „Biela pani“, Jozefska 7, 
                                                           in the  city center-near the Presidential Palace
 June 9 Monday                               Vienna day /capital of Austria/-only 40 km from B.
                                                          Hundertwasser´s u­nique architecture,box lun­ch
                                                          Anker Uhr, Hoffburg, St.Stephan´s Dome
                                                          Guided tour on foot through the historic center
                                                            free time 
                                                            Departure for Moravia in the late afternoon
                                                            /two hour drive /
                                                            wine cellar in Hustopece near Brno
                                                            wine tasting and dinner
                                                            Accommodation in Brno –two nights /double rooms,
                                                             private bath /Pension Palacky, Kolejni 2, 612 00 Brno/
 June 10 Tuesday                              Departure for Kromeriz- UNESCO listed town
                                                           Castle tour, visits to two unique churches
                                                           Lunch in UNESCO Senior Centre
                                                           Flower garden from 17th century with breathtaking
                                                           artistic garden creations
                                                           Art Nouveau Architecture- unique   
                                                           hospital complex from 1905 -excursion           
                                                           Box supper
                                                           return to Brno
June 11 Wednesday                         Departure after early breakfast for
                                                          Moravian Karst -complex of caves
                                                          with beautiful natural stalagnites and stalactites
                                                          Boat trip on underground river Punkva –optional or late
                                                          breakfast and rest in your room
                                                          12 noon lunch in Brno
                                                          Trebic- Basilica of St.Prokop (UNESCO listed site)
                                                          stop in  Telc (UNESCO  listed town), packed supper
                                                          accommodation in Velesin for four nights –2 double rooms in
                                                          one suite, OSSE, U Hriste 527, 382 32 Velesin / boarding 
                                                          school /
June 12 Thursday                           Ceske Budejovice day  /regional capital of Southern 
                                                          Bohemia /                                                 
                                                          Reception at the Townhall, 
                                                           folk songs and dances performance of children choir
                                                          guided tour of the  historic city center
                                                          Lunch at Masne Kramy –historic butchers shops /belong 
                                                          to the world famous Budweisser Brewery /-Budweisser 
                                                          goulash / ,excursion to the  Budweisser brewery 
                                                          Free time in the city center
                                                          Christmas dinner as a special treat in local nursing home
June 13 Friday                              Cesky Krumlov day / UNESCO listed town /
                                                        Castle tour / 2nd largest Castle in the country/
                                                        lunch according to your choice-100 CZK in cash
                                                        Free afternoon in the unique historic center
                                                        5 pm departure from the parking area-be prompt please!
                                                        Dinner in Velesin, concert of classical music
                                                        given by the local conservatory of music
  June 14 Saturday                        Holasovice (UNESCO listed village, unique rural baroque
                                                        Departure for Trebon -Rennaisance town with the largest
                                                        man made pond „The World“in Southern Bohemia 
                                                        lunch   in „Bily Konicek“ an impressive Rennaisance hotel  
                                                       1)enjoy the beautiful Castle park and historic square during
                                                           your free time                                    
                                                       2)take a scenic walk along the pond and visit the  
                                                          Swarzenberg Crypt
                                                          supper in Velesin, early bed time
    June 15 Sunday              
                                                     1.30 am departure for Prague- half of the group
                                                      departs at  7 am from the airport
                                                     5 am meeting with  the Czech hosting group-packed 
                                                      breakfas for those who are leaving, those with later
                                                     departures will be taken home , bus is taking off from the
This is the itinerary for the  exchange group formed of  U3A members  in Cape Town and George, S.A. Accessible only on the basis of reciprocal exchange. All costs are covered by the hosting group, which is the U3A group in Prague, Czech Republic: accommodation, admissions, three meals a day, including drinks and all the transport according to the itinerary. The participants need only pocket money. Both parties are paying their own airtickets and take care of their own medical insurance. The Czech exchange group is interested in a direct exchange of 1.000 Rands into Czech crowns on the personal bases.
The S.A. group will repay the Czech hospitality  for the same lenght of stay and the same number of participants from June 29 till July 20, 2008.
The participants  are kindly requested to bring a cabin size luggage only, if they can make it.
 Dress code for Prague: there will be many official events where a tie and a jacket are desirable such as welcome and farewell  party, Don Giovanni opera  in the Theatre of Estates and Wednesday 28th events.On the other hand  take only informal clothes for the tour, think about layers, weather can vary from 15 to 25 °C . Jacket can wait for yor return in Prague.
This itinerary should be carried  along during your entire stay because of your own safety, includes  important addresses  of your accommodation and Dana´s mobil phone number.
Try to avoid to carry around documents such as driving licence, passport-except its copy, or credit cards, if it is not absolutely necessary under circumstances­.Emergency number is 112.
 Contact address: Dana Steinova, Leckova 1520, 149 00 Praha 4, Czech Republic
Telephone and fax 00420 272 93 12 48, e-mail: dana_stein@volny.cz
mobil phone number 00420 608 552 113  
Visiting group: 24 Czech senior students from Center of Lifelong Learning, Prague,Czech Republic
Hosting group: 24 senior students of U3A from Cape Town and George,South A­frica
June 28,2008 departure from Prague
June 29, 2008 arrival in Johannesburg,stop st the Panorama Carlton Center for a view 
                          across the city
                          Constitutional Hill, Law Courts, Apartheid Museum
                          Township of Soweto, Nelson Mandela´s House
                          Departure for Cape Town
                          Dinner with hosting families
June 30,2008 Welcome meeting at the U3A ground with lunch
                         City tour by bus
                         Welcome party with local folklore band- Xhasa tribe
July 1–2, 2008 Klein Karoo tour, a semi desert region with beautiful sceneries  
                         Outshoorn –the Ostrich country, visit to an Ostrich Safari-
                        Optional ride on  the ostrich back!!!
July 3, 2008 travel to Grahamstone
July 4–5,2008 Grahamstone National Art Festival with a rich cultural program
                        Visit of concerts, museums, a lecture of local musical instruments in the 
                         Musical Museum, street dances, choir performances
July 6–7,2008 ADOO Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape with a night and day  
                         jeep tours. Overnight stay in the bush huts with game viewing (Big 5: 
                         elephant, leopard, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo)
July 8, 2008 Pletenberg Bay
                         Elephant Sanctuary-walking with elephants
                         Monkey Land-sanctuary of previously caged monkeys
                        Birds of Eden the largest single free flight aviary in the world
July 9–10,2008 Knysna, located between mountains and the Indian Ocean on the 
                          Garden Route, famous for its Oyster Festival
                          Meeting with the local U3A- memory training lecture
                          Lunch with the S.A. Navy Admiral and the U3A board
                          Township tour
                          Boat trip across lagoon  to the Western Head-scenic view, walk back
                          Dinner and a concert with a local U3A
July11–12,2008 George, located on the Garden Route
                          Welcome party with the local U3A in a grand mension overlooking
                          the Victoria Bay
                          Wine tasting and visit of the local vinyard
                         Bus tour of Queniqua Mountains Scenic route,
                         Waterfalla and wildlife
                         Dinner with the local U3A at the harbour restaurant
July 14–15,2008 Hermanus, hosted by the local U3A
                           Whale museum, whale watch from the shore-unique!!!
                           Dinner and a concert with the local U3A
July 16–19,2008 Cape Town and Western Cape
                            Reception with the mayor at the Town Hall
                           The Bolders- pinguins sunctuary
                           Bird Watch
                           San Recreational Park –a lecture on a history of a bushman
                          Table Mountain by a cable car
                          Dr.Bernard´s museum- the world first heart trasplantation 
                          Trip up along the West Coast to see the Fossils
                          Jakkelsfontain nature reserve-walk along the beach
                          Wine Route- wine tasting in Stellenbosh and Fransch Hoek
                          Township tour
                          Waterfront experience
July 20,2008 Departure day
July 21,2008 Stopover in Istanbul, Turkey
July 22,2008 return to Prague