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Day 41: Wednesday, July 13
Daugavpils / Vilnius, Lithuania
(253 km / 158 miles)
From its founding in 1323, Vilnius has survived successive attacks by Crusaders, Crimean Tatars, Russians, Napoleon's armies, Poles and Germans. Nevertheless, structures in Gothic, baroque, Renaissance and neo-classical styles are still standing today.
On arrival, check in to the hotel and later depart for a brief exploration of the city's highlights. A city tour of Vilnius includes visits to the Cathedral, little St. Anne's Church, the Gates of Dawn and Vilnius University.
Day 42: Thursday, July 14
Vilnius / Warsaw, Poland
(489 km / 305 miles)
Founded in 1374, Warsaw became Poland's capital in 1596. For the next 200 years, Warsaw was beset on all sides by the Swedes, the Prussians and the Russians. The late 18th century was Warsaw's "Golden Age", under King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, Poland's last king. Except for a brief time between the two world wars, since then Poland has been occupied until 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved.
A city tour of Warsaw includes the 18th century Old Town surrounding the Market Square, which is mainly a pedestrian area filled with cafes, market stalls and strolling townspeople. The huge Royal Castle looms on the east side of the square, and is now a History Museum. The Royal Road fronts aristocratic residences, historic churches and the University of Warsaw.
Day 43-44: Friday, July 15 - Saturday, July 16
Warsaw / Berlin, Germany
(605 km / 378 miles)
Founded in 1432 when two 13th century trading posts merged, Berlin was the capital of Prussia during the Hohenzollern dynasty, from 1701 to 1918. During the reigns of Friedrich I and II, Berlin made great strides in art, science and architecture, especially in the late 18th century when the Enlightenment transformed the city into a more international place. Napoleon's troops briefly occupied Berlin from 1806 to 1808.
The Industrial Revolution made Berlin a modern giant, and it became the capital of the new German state in 1871. After 1949, the Soviet Union split Berlin into West Berlin and the capital of the German Democratic Republic, East Berlin, and divided them with the concrete Berlin Wall.
In 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, the two Germanys united once again with Berlin as the capital. The revamping of Berlin has included moving the unified parliament to the redesigned Reichstag, rebuilding and westernizing much of former East Berlin, and creating new social, cultural and shopping centers. Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, Olympic Stadium and many museums and parks are the main attractions in this growing and changing city.
Enjoy a free day in Berlin. The tour managers and guides can provide suggestions for touring options.
Day 45: Sunday, July 17
Berlin / Prague, Czech Republic
(349 km / 217 miles)
Called the "Hundred-Spired City," Prague's beautifully-preserved Gothic, baroque and neo-classical churches and palaces make it one of the great cities of Europe. Czech king Charles IV, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355, began work on many of the most renowned monuments, including St. Vitus Cathedral on the castle grounds, the Charles Bridge, the New Town (Nove Mesto) and Charles University, the first in Central Europe. Prague's old section is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its rich architectural and cultural history.
Day 46: Monday, July 18
Prague / Munich, Germany
(340 km / 211 miles)
After breakfast, drive to Munich. Munich, the third-largest city in Germany, is the capital of Bavaria, one of the oldest states in Europe. Its name comes from the German word for "monks," referring to the order of Benedictine monks who first settled here. Munich is a cultural hub, renowned for its museums, art galleries, nightlife and beer gardens. Highlights of the city include the 17th century Nymphenburg Palace; the English Garden, with its nude sunbathing area; the Hofbrauhaus, serving beer since 1644; the futuristic Allianz Arena that lights up when a night game is being played; and the BMW headquarters and museum.
Day 47: Tuesday, July 19
Munich / Zurich, Switzerland
(280 km / 174 miles)
Zurich is Switzerland's largest city and its cultural and financial center. From 2006 to 2008, Mercer ranked it as the city with the best quality of life in the world. (In 2009 it dropped to the number two slot.) Highlights of Zurich include the Fraumunster, a former convent with five stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall; the Cabaret Voltaire, where Dada was born; the twin-spired Grossmunster, begun in the 12th century, architect le Corbusier's last house, and the Kunsthaus Zurich, with one of the largest collections of classic modern art in the world.
Day 48: Wednesday, July 20
Zurich / Troyes, France
(508 km / 315 miles)
Following breakfast at the hotel, drive to Troyes, France. Located on the Seine River about 90 miles southeast of Paris, Troyes has been settled since Roman times. A city of perhaps 65,000 people, Troyes escaped damage during the wars of the 20th century, and boasts a large number of fine old churches, palaces and 17th century houses.
Day 49: Thursday, July 21
(264 km / 164 miles)
Following breakfast, depart for Paris, one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities, which began as a riverside Roman settlement in the 1st century BC. Today it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and boasts one of the world's great museums, the Louvre; the iconic Eiffel Tower; an international culinary reputation; and a UNESCO World Heritage Site along the banks of the Seine, winding its way through the city.
Day 50: Friday, July 22
(264 km / 164 miles)
This day is free to explore Paris on your own.
Arriving at your goal, enjoy a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate your epic journey from New York to Paris.
Day 51: Saturday, July 23
After breakfast check out, say your goodbyes and return home, or continue independently in Europe.