I was stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany in the 90’s when the “wall” came down. Many of us had traveled to other places in Europe, but this opened some very unique opportunities for us to travel into areas that were once forbidden to us. One of the first places I went was to Prague and although it was not the beautiful city that it is now, it still had the old world charm that I was looking for.
The people were very happy to see us and to finally be able to communicate with Americans and our spending was welcomed as it would help their economy. On that first trip I exchanged $200 and came back with a crystal chandelier and a lot of other Bohemian crystal. I went back on a second trip to Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) and right before I left Germany, I went to Krakow, Poland. I have a lot of good memories of my travels and they were recently awakened by an email I received.
Tom Conrad from Heart of Europe Tours contacted me to let me know that they are planning a 10 day Summer Antique Extravaganza Tour into Central Europe that will include visits to Leipzig, Prague, Saxony, the Bohemian Highlands and Northern Bavaria. According to Tom, who will be leading the tour, “the antiques trade is still relatively underdeveloped so you can still find interesting things at good prices, even with the strong Euro.”
Tom has been buying antiques overseas for several years and has developed a network of retail dealers, markets and trade sources. This tour group will shop in castles, old factories, shops, farmsteads and warehouses. He also said, “Many American antique buffs we run into are starting to feel that France, Italy, Belgium and the U.K. are ‘shopped out’ and too expensive. That’s why we focus on Central Europe. Prices there tend to be more affordable and the selection is immense.”
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