Adventure Travel: 2009
Hiking in the Swiss Alps, skiing in the Dolomites, hut-to-hut backpacking, cycling in the Netherlands and more. There are lots of fun active adventures to enjoy Europe. What are your favorites? Share your tips and advice here.
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Bike Tour of Tuscany
The fun starts with the van ride out of Florence to Poppiano--the guides from Scotland & Ireland were entertaining and hard-working while always keeping us safe & comfortable. Tour of castle, winery & olive press with wine & olive oil tasting followed by mixed level of ride & riders on nice, geared bicycles. Stopped at a family-run, very good restaurant for lunch. If you're too full to ride the steep parts, you can ride in the van. Topped off with Keith & Andy's best picks for Florence to go back & explore the city! Great deal for the price!
Greensboro, NC USA Mon 10/26/2009
Cycling Southern France
My wife and I just got back from 4 weeks cycling in southern France. Started west from Arles on old Santiago Pilgrimage route. Joined the Tarne river to Moisaac and down Girond to juncture with Lot and back up Lot to Cahors. We were savaged by the heat in Sept, 37 - 39 in the shade . We were on the sunny road. There is a great deal of traffic in the region and few secondary roads. Food and accomodation are good, mostly Logis-de-France hotels. Friendly people. Would not recommend this area for cycling due to traffic.
Vancouver, BC Canada Sun 10/18/2009
Travel to Egypt
Hey Rick, Just got back from Egypt and had the time of my life. Where else can you touch 6000 years of history?? It blew me away. Here's how travel is more fun w/ some lavender. Even the sphinx and camels agree. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7AchzS4gmI
Chicago, IL USA Thu 10/01/2009
Self Guided Bike Tours
Self Guided Bike Tours.
My wife and I have taken self guided bike tours in a several countries. Ireland, UK, France and Holland. All have been wonderful. Because there is not space to give a full review of them here (or anywhere else I've found). I started blog to post reviews on tours that are suitable for normal people. http://www.babyboomerbikers.org
So far I have a detailed post up on our Ireland tour and am working on our Holland tour. I would be pleased also to take submissions from people who would like to do a detailed review of any bike tours they took.
Racine, WI USA Mon 09/28/2009
klettersteig between muerren and gimmelwald switzerland
there is a klettersteig between muerren and gimmelwald that is an excellent source of 3 hours of entertainment. you can rent a the climbing harness, helmet and carabiner sling at the sports shop in muerren. you don't need a guide, a partner would be nice but i did it alone and lived to tell about it..lol you are climbing along the mountain hooked to a cable walking on rebar with nothing but that between you and the valley floor below. you cross canyons walking on a cable and at the end there is a long sway bridge. check it out on u tube. i actually got to meet the guy who made it, he and another guy from bozeman mt (the only person i met from montana in europe) were base jumping from there. maybe next trip i'll try that..... :)
bozeman, my USA Mon 09/28/2009
Biking in France
We just spent a week biking in France. It was great. The car drivers are courteous to bikers and all the roads are well paved. It was a great way to see lots of the real country. And our kids (teenagers) loved it. We did have trouble adjusting to the fact that most everything shuts down in the middle of the day - just when we wanted a grocer for lunch but soon we remembered. We organized our trip with Detours du Loire / Detours in France and had some trouble with their organization honoring our plan. That was very frustrating. Next time we'd find a different company or none at all and organize it ourselves.
VT USA Wed 08/05/2009
Cost of Single vs Double Travel
I sometimes travel as a single, and very often if it's a commercial tour, they want fares for two for the best rates for each person. Single rates seem to cost about 50-100% higher. Aside from bugging friends or advertising, is there a way to reduce these costs?
I'm considering a 7-9 day trip to India. Maybe I don't need a tour. Go RS style!
Nevada City, CA USA Sun 08/02/2009
Fantastic time exploring caves in the Dordogne
While staying in the Dordogne, my wife,myself and our 2 teenage sons spent an amazing 6 hours exploring caves and troglodytes with Walking Dordogne. You can see the trips they offer on there web site, but believe me they are much better in real life. If you are in the Dordogne, get away from the crowds and explore the caves of the Vezere Valley. 10/10 www.walkingdordogne.com
Franklin, NC USA Sat 07/25/2009
My 18-year-old daughter and I went on our first tandem skydiving earlier this month near Prague (Pribram). We found Emil Franek (email@example.com) on the web. Emil has jumped some 1700 times and once coached the national team. It was absolutely fabulous. Emil is great and so were his colleagues. He even picked us up at our hotel. I highly recommend it.
Sebastopol, CA USA Fri 07/24/2009
Cycling in Austria
In late June my daughter and I spent a week cycling along the Danube bike trail. In spite of the flooding of the Danube and lots of rain and on the spot problem solving, it was the favorite part of our 4 week trip. The bike path is flat (I like that) and we used Donau Touristik, out of Linz, Austria to organize the tour. We opted for staying in farm houses, which we really loved.
Sebastopol, CA USA Fri 07/24/2009
Spain Foodie walking easy adventure
small group Spain walking & eating trip with MagicalSpain.com Hola! We are back from Spain & loved it! ! We did joined a 7 day small group educational food & walking trip of andalucia, spain that was BUENISIMA! Way more history, good food, walks, and educational fun than we would have had wandering alone. Our guide was very good, smart & fun, US expat Dan Oburn. more info http://www.MagicalSpain.com PS Dan recommended Extremadura where we went and loved it also. Where you may ask???? This is the west of Spain and borders Portugal...It's so AUTHENTIC and not overun with tourist. Dan connected us to some contacts of his. happy spain travels and avoid the cheap touristy paella sangria rip offs!!!!! Greg & Kathy Hardy
Greg & Kathy Hardy
Chicago, Il USA Tue 05/12/2009
Morocco/Erg Chebbi dunes
Rick doesn't talk much about Morocco, but has included it as a side trip from Spain in one of his books. We just got back from two weeks in Morocco and if you want to really step outside your comfort zone - this is the place! One of the places we visited was Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara. We stayed at an augerge called La Maison Rurale and the Sahara was rolling into its courtyard. It was easy to walk to the dunes, although hard to climb - the highest one is over 800 ft - or take that camel ride to the dunes or to Berber tents for an overnight experience in the desert. Everything seems to be negotiable in Morocco, including restaurants and hotels. Morocco will really test your independent travel skills! Check your bottled water carefully to see that it has its factory seal and take your own antidiarrheal meds with you. Then enjoy the tajines and mint tea!
Prairie du Chien, WI USA Thu 04/02/2009
Fly Fishing for Michelangelo's Trout in Tuscany and Umbria
Italy is so much more than the typical tourist can experience but I was one of the lucky ones. Over the Christmas Holiday, while reuniting with my foreign studies student past, I found an old friend who is now a professional fly fishing guide in Umbria. Luca Castellani has a web site at http://www.flyfishing-tuscany-umbria-lazio.com to answer any questions but basically, he will take you to the river (more than 30 km of reserved, private water for fly fishing) and provide all that is needed for a delightful and amazing day. You won't experience anything like this anywhere else on Earth. I recommend a fly fishing day as a side trip to all those traveling these regions. FYI, As a vegetarian, I was happy to learn it's all catch and release.
St. Petersburg, FL USA Fri 01/09/2009