Rick on Public Radio: 2006
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Peru vs. Ecuador, native diversity
While I enjoyed hearing about Peru in a recent podcast, I want to correct a point made by guest Kurt Kutay. My Peruvian wife and I shook our heads in disbelief when he said that there was much more indigneous diversity in Ecuador than Peru (my wife has a degree in tourism from the national tourism institute, while I did my dissertation field work in both countries).
To start with, if we restrict ourself to the highlands, Peru has two main highland language groups (Quechua speakers in the north, Aymara speakers along the Bolivian border); because of its more northern position, Ecuador has only Quechua speakers. The real indigenous diversity, though, is found in the Amazonian lowlands, of which Peru has substantially more area, and thus more diversity. Ethnologue.com records 93 living languages for Peru, versus 23 for Ecuador. Even when we scale that for population, Peru has twice the linguistic diversity (Ecuador roughly 12 million people vs. Peru roughly 25 million). In my experience, there is a much greater diversity of traditional dress in Peru than Ecuador. (Probably scaled to population, my current home in Panama, which has 14 native languages for a population of under 3 million, is the Latin American leader).
Ecuador is an amazing country: Quito is my favorite Latin American capital, per sq. km. it has the greatest diversity of bird species, and the biological endemism in NW Ecuador is perhaps the highest of any place on earth. But its much larger neighbor to the south is home to undoubtedly much greater indignous diversity.
Balboa, Panama Sun 12/24/2006
Encountering Sheep on your Travels
I have just listened to a very interesting podcast about Sheep, and have passed the web link details to my husband's neice, whose partner is a sheep farmer here in the Highlands of Scotland. It was magic to hear Alun demonstrating his sheepdog whistles down the phone from Wales and Rick trying to interrpet them in Seattle. I now see from our TV listings that the BBC in the UK is showing the finals of the 'One Man and His Dog' series just this evening. For non-UK viewers, this is a competition, filmed for TV, to find the best sheepdog and handler.
Inverness, Scotland Sun 12/17/2006
Encountering Sheep in your Travels
Please note that about 10% of the sheep of the world are covered with hair and no wool. So, don't think that a difference between sheep and goats is the coat. Most hair sheep are in warm climate areas of South America and Africa but hair sheep are gaining numbers in other climates throughout the world as the price of wool continue to decrease. A popular hair sheep in the USA is the St. Croix breed.
USA Mon 12/11/2006
Our sheep browse. The breeders on the Dec. 10 broadcast used this trait to differentiate between sheep and goats. I wonder if their sheep have interesting browsing possibilities. Ours love blackberry vines, tender Douglas fir branches as well as other kinds, and will definitely stand on their hind feet to browse the apple trees!
Scholls, OR USA Sun 12/10/2006
Today we heard an interesting programme about sheep which was preceeded by a section on travel in Europe during Christmas season. I would like to suggest Rick Steves does a little more research on architecture - he made a comment about the Victorian buildings in Bath (England) - and this city has famous examples of late Georgian/Regency architecture.
Indianapolis, IN USA Sat 12/09/2006
Wait your turn please.....
It's frustrating to listen to this radio program as Rick Steves consistently interrupts and talks over guests or callers. Rick has a lot of great information but he needs to use his manners and wait his turn.
Woodinville, WA USA Mon 12/04/2006
Travel in Peru
My partner and I had a wonderful trip to Peru. We are both senior citizens and were cautious because of the language barrior, so we used AAA travel services, one of which allows you to purchase small packages. We then customized our packages to have "free days" and to add 2-4 days to each one. Thus we got to spend 4 days at Agua Calientes and Machu Picchu, 3 at Nazca area, etc. It was just the right balance of being on our own and being on tours.
On the other hand, we believe we could have easily done the trip on our own because there are many local tour companies and we didn't have trouble using our rudimentary Spaish.
As other travelers stated, Peru is a very spiritual place. The ancient people completely integrated the spiritual into their life. I think today's Peruvians are living that heritage. Even my partner, who is a lapsed Catholic and rather bitter, noted how Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu filled him with a feeling of awe he hadn't experienced since childhood.
We thought the museums were varied and well done.
Portland, OR USA Sun 12/03/2006
Alternative to Macchu Picchu
Macchu Picchu can be somewhat dissapointing when you take into account the copious amounts of tourists. Choquekirao is a great alternative. The ruins are equaly impresive and there are far less people since you have to hike in. The hike usually takes only about three days and is beautiful. In the solitarity of the ruins you may even see some condors flying overhead as I did on my trek.
Middlebury , USA Sun 12/03/2006
We went to Fiji between coups and loved it. We kayaked for 2 wks in the Yasawa islands and camped in the villages, with the chief's permission, which is imperative! The highlight was snorkeling in caves, and in general sorkeling in live reefs. Beautiful people, great food, incredilbe scenery. We were completely removed from telephones, cars, electricity. I would highly recommend staying out of the large hotels and resorts as you wouldn't have a real Fijian experience or get to know any Fijians except those who work at the hotels. Most diverse culture with indigenous Fijian native culture and E. Indian population where there is no visible intermingling in public.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 12/02/2006
We went to Peru, and Equador with WIldlands and it was the best place we have ever gone! In 3 wks we dwere able to travel to Machu Picchu, via the trail, the rain forest, Tampapota Research Center, Gallapagos islands, and Quito. It was seamless with no time wasted planning lodging or transportation. We focused on botany and orchids and had our own guide for Machu Pichhu and in the rain forest! I'd recommend this trip to anyone. The hike was incredible, and for those who don't backpack hirking from milepost 104 makes the hike 8 miles and doable, even at the elevation 8K+. We loved the town of Aquas Calientes and the Ingaterra Hotel there and glad we didn't miss that!
Seattle, wa USA Sat 12/02/2006
The ugly American
Listening to your show today, I was reminded of the challenges and importance of traveling responsibly. It seems that so many travelers I have seen on the road just want to "get" -- experiences, memories, trinkets. They are not thinking about what they are giving to the host culture (beyond just money) or what they are taking away from it that should be left there, metaphorically or actually. There is a way in which too many US American travelers "trash" the places they are visiting -- perhaps unconsciously, but in a very real way. Alas, the ugly American lives.
Dummerston, VT USA Sat 12/02/2006
Traveling to Peru
I spent three weeks in Peru in January 2005 and loved it. I flew into Lima, made all my arrangements with a travel agent there, except for my trek on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I had been led to believe that reservations for the trail had to be made three months in advance, but this wasn't the case. I could have made reservations once there and saved a fair amount of money.
From Lima I traveled to Lake Titicaca where I spent several days acclimatizing. One great thing to do there is take a boat to one of the islands on the lake. I spent New Years Eve with a family on the island and had a wonderful time. It was also memorable to take the local transit from Puno and visit a number of the small towns along the lake.
The hike to Machu Picchu was a memorable experience, archeological sites are everywhere along the trail. Getting to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail is the only way to go, you approach the site from above at the Sun Temple and get allowed in earlier than the other tourists. I spent the night in Aguas Caliente, which I think is preferable to staying at the hotel near the ruins, which is quite posh and doesn't give you any of the local flavor.
The next morning I was able to hike the three miles up to Machu Picchu and again be allowed in before the people taking the shuttle. By the way, Machu Picchu itself is not at a very high altitude.
I highly recommend this trip and would love to return and see more of Peru.
USA Sat 12/02/2006
After years of adventuress travel we finally got married and decided to take our honeymoon in Fiji - and prior to departure we were worried about how exciting/interesting it would be...
Well, a year after speding 4 weeks moving around the islands with David Stanley's excellent guide book (Thanks!), we cannot wait to return. The people actually met their lofty reputation and are the friendliest we've ever met, and it was easy to avoid resort areas to get to know them in their villages and remote islands. Throw in the unexpected cultural interest (the Indo-Fijian population) and history (like in Levuka on Ovalau) and the more expected exploration of stunning reefs, tropical rainforests and you have a wonderful group of 300 islands with options for everyone.
Everywhere we went, people greeted us like we were old friends (it took a few days to realize they really didn't want anything from us (other than
smiles)) - We've told everyone we know to find a time to stop by Fiji if at all possible (my in-laws are heading that way next spring).
Tacoma, WA USA Sat 12/02/2006
Austria podcast and question
Asking someone who has never experienced an Empire what it's like to be a fallen superpower is akin to asking you what you thought of using a horse and buggy to get to work each day. It's not relative to their life and was a bit silly Rick, no offense. I love the podcast, have bought your books and used your experiences in my travel plans, but it was odd.
As for show ideas how about something on staying frugal in Belgium, I have been pondering a beer wander through the country and would enjoy hear tips for cheap travel and accomidations outside of Brussels.
USA Wed 11/29/2006
my trip to China
I often listen to your show on Sundays and really enjoy the information and tips.
I thought I would write and pass along my experience in China. With the 2008 Olympics coming and the increase of travel to China, I think many of your listeners may be very surprised at what could happen to them on the streets of China.
I am a person of some size. Not huge, but, hey, I'm fat. I have traveled the world and have been welcomed and treated kindly where ever I go. I am a humble and greatfull traveler and find wonderful adventures where ever I go. But, my experience in China was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.
As I walked the streets of Beging and toured the Great Wall, a huge number of people pointed at me, stared, openly laughed, and actually went to the extent of running off to grab friends and bring them to look at me, all the while pointing and laughing. I asked a tour guide to confirm what I thought was going on. She said, "I'm glad you can't understand what they are saying. I'm sorry this is happening."
I don't believe that the Chinese are inherently mean. I just think they don't know any better. Is there someone in the government that would be interested in promoting a better image of China to visitors? I would be happy to write. I know the Government TV is running an hour of English lessons every night to get ready for the Olympics. Maybe they need to run lessons on how to be gracious to visitors.
I would like to return to China. But, I hesitate to subject myself to the humiliation. Honestly, it was not just a few people. Conservatively, I'd say 20% of the people I walked by were offensive.
This was so unusual and pervasive that I wanted to put out a warning to your listeners.
Bend, OR USA Mon 11/27/2006
Visiting Vienna --
I have listened to the Rick Steves radio broadcast from November 25 on Vienna. Rick was trying to define the word "gemuetlichkeit." I have lived in Germany for a long time and I know "gemuetlichkeit" means cosiness.
For more on "gemuetlichkeit," please refer to:
Cologne, Germany Mon 11/27/2006
Visitors to Vienna should not ignore the Hundertwasser housing development,the museum and the wonderful restaurant and garden. Hundertwasser was a multi-talented contemporary Swiss architect, designer and painterwho designed ecologically and whimsical houses and painted brilliant, individualistic ,intricately designed works.
Lorraine B. Widman
Portland, Oregon USA Sun 11/26/2006
Henri Levy interview
The radio interview of Henri Levy was extremely interesting and informative, and I enjoyed it. However, his new book American Vertigo was mentioned but hardly discussed, even though the subject was supposed to be about it. Please do another show pertaining to the book and his French perspective on America.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Sun 11/19/2006
Travel with children
For families considering travel with children my comment is that children will make you stand-out and other times make you blend-in. It will encourage others to trust you, help you and treat you with greater respect. Travelling with children opens your eyes to the necessity and often subtle difference between tidy and clean; between potable and unhealthy; between enough, too much and insufficient. Ten years ago my husband and I packed everything we owned into a 10'x20' storage unit, including our car, and set off on a round the world adventure. Our children both experienced birthdays abroad turning 6 and 8. We did our own research based on Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, Fodors then plotted our own course, purchased our own tickets and booked our own accomodations. Our key airport stops were Singapore, Dehli, Athens, Stuttgart, Boston, Minneapolis and finally home to Seattle. Our schudule started as six months and extended to seven. At the end we had visited 14 countries via modes of plane, train, ferry, car, foot. We learned that Nestle products can be found all over the world (and were often thankful for that), that it is important to have a day of rest each week, and, that you really can live out of a backpack. We learned how to say "bread", "thank you", "please" and "good-bye" in a variety of languages. That it takes a surprisingly small amount of water but a fair amount of energy to handwash clothes for four. We found excellent bookstores in surprising locations and learned tips by picking-up beginning English picture books in the language of the country we were visiting. We were invited into homes, locals gave us tips on foods, government processes, local events and in general smiled at us more often than not. The kids were often offered treats but after awhile they did tire of strangers trying to touch their light skin and hair. We learned to trust each other more and how to appreciate a moment alone, away from each other. It helped us understand that Americans can be unwelcome but people the world over can separate a national agenda from a personal agenda and relationships can be established. Travel helped our family be more aware of the dynamic community we have access to everyday and to practice being kinder, smile more often and offer conversation to strangers living in our hometown.
Bellevue, WA USA Sat 11/18/2006
The radio show today with Bernard Henri Levi is excellent. Steve, you show that travelling is not only herding old monuments and shopping but understanding other cultures. Many of our leaders would benefit from travelling with you before touching any foreign affairs job! I am getting the book.
Altha, FL USA Sat 11/18/2006
I cannot hear the current program on Brazil and was hoping to since I had been listening to others recorded earlier today. Is there a technical "glitch" or are these not being streamed live to the web? I was truly looking forward to this and the solo traveler segment. Oh well, thank you for doing as much as you do - it is appreciated and enjoyed!!
USA Fri 11/17/2006
When I traveled as a solo woman in Turkey fifteen years ago, men were generally helpful, invited conversation and offered tea. I didn't see many Turkish women. Maybe there weren't customs to apply to me, so I was simply treated as an interesting tourist. Do you think that was it and would things be different now?
Here's an example: I had a local style rental car and in rural areas picked up hitchhikers--residents heading home from the market--because I guessed that was the custom. The middle-aged hitchhikers were surprised that I was a solo woman, but they climbed right in, figured out how to let me know where to drop them, and were appreciative. Later, I found out from other Turkish people that I'd done the expected thing and they were kind of proud that a woman did
WA USA Fri 11/17/2006
Bergen, Norway and moonwalks
My husband and I enjoy your show very much and thrilled to hear it every weekend on WOSU, Columbus, Ohio. I was so surprised to hear you talk about your experience in Bergen at 14 when the USA landed on the moon. When I was 16, I too was in Bergen (with my parents) when the US landed on the moon and we had the same experience you described. Norwegians in the hotel were practically falling over themselves trying to get to us with their handshakes, hugs, and toasts!! It was amazing to see their excitment and tribute to us! I've told that story many times since and when I heard you recounting the same one I almost fell over!
OH USA Thu 11/16/2006
Why not learn another language ?
Regarding your speech to the Rotary Club in Portland (?) or Seattle - How can you be against ethnocentrist Americans when you don't advocate learning another language for travel to another country ? Learning another language is the first step to break the ethnocentrist wall. It is the first step to learning about another culture. Many Europeans speak 3 or more languages and it is not a big deal.Why can't Americans do the same ? Assuming the rest of the world will speak English anyway is ethnocentric.
Rapid City, SD USA Sun 11/12/2006
I hate to be picky, but THERE ARE NO TIGERS, in Africa! You might? see a lion, kill a Hyena, but unlikely to see it eat the Hyena.
SF, CA USA Tue 11/07/2006
South Africa is worth the trip!
I spent the summer of 1993 in Durban, South Africa, with a small group of students from my university. It was truly my gateway to international travel and what a start! It is a beautiful country with a complexity of culture, languages, and people that I could not comprehend at 19 years old. :-) That summer gave me some of my richest travel experiences: getting my hiking boots stolen in the Jumah Mosque (the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere), watching a world-renowned surfing competition on the Indian Ocean in Durban, eating a "bunny chow" (a loaf of bread stuffed with curry), getting two marriage proposals on the street, and going on safari in the Umfolozi Game Preserve. We saw a herd of white rhinos and at night, I don't think I ever been to a place where the sky was so clear and I could so clearly see the Milky Way ~ and the silence was astonishing, being out in the bush.
Seeing the shanty towns in Durban where children live in such abject poverty has shaped my cultural perspective on the world in ways I will never forget. In Durban, the cultural layers bump up against one another so that there is no way of avoiding them ~ there is very little that is "touristy" about that city. You can experience Islam, Hindu, Zulu, Afrikaans cultures...the list goes on. Durban is gorgeous and South Africa is a country not to be missed!
USA Sun 11/05/2006
In the Spring of 1998 I drove in a rental car with a friend across South Africa for 3 weeks. Starting from Johannesburg airport, we visited national parks and reserves (Kruger, Pilanesberg, Mountain Zebra Nat'l Park, Golden Gate Nat'l Park, etc.) small towns and larger cities, from north to south and east to west. We stayed mainly in B&B's and small hotels, calling ahead, using a prepaid phone card, to reserve a place for the next night or so. What a wonderful first-time experience, seeing such natural beauty and sharing it with the locals we stayed with in every town. I won't recount every stop, but we stopped at the statue of Jock of the Bushveld; walked through the house and yard of the woman artist made famous in the play ROAD TO MECCA, by Athold Fugard; went to the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas; drove through the breathtaking sights of Franschoeck (sp?) and Stellenboesch; and finally into Cape Town. Two days in Cape Town gave us time to drive up Table Mountain, and to the Cape of Good Hope and surrounding areas. We flew out of Cape Town back to our respective homes, having what we considered a real exposure to the country and its culture. I highly recommend a cross-country trip to anyone who has the time and a spirit of adventure!
Seattle, WA USA Sat 11/04/2006
Hawaii to Europe travel--jet lag
the caller traveling from Hawaii to Europe should consider a polar route. I don't know what airlines fly out of Honolulu, but if he went to Anchorage or Seattle, he could skip to Northern Europe much faster than going lengthwise across the US.
West Linn, OR USA Sun 10/29/2006
Ambien for travel
Today (29 Oct.) I heard you tentatively recommend Ambien to ease the strain of a long airline voyage. From personal experience I must advise great caution in using Ambien or any other prescription sleep aid. This is very strong stuff, and if you haven't used it before, an airline trip is not the time to start. I have had to take it twice for medical reasons, and while it sent me off into a deep sleep, I was very groggy for another TWO DAYS. Plus, do you want to be in a sort of sleep-coma if, god forbid, something were to happen to the plane and you had to evacuate? Best to prepare for a long trip by getting plenty of rest in the days before, avoid alcohol and even caffeine right before and during the flight, and perhaps arrange to arrive late in the day so that you can go almost directly to sleep upon arrival and so wake up on European (or wherever) time.
Coral Gables, FL USA Sun 10/29/2006
There is an island to island relationship between Bainbridge Island, WA and the volcanic islands of Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua since 1987: www.bosia.org One of the long lasting projects which has resulted in potable water systems, school libraries, university scholarships is Cafe Oro: organic, treeshaded, free traded coffee grown by the coop on the volcanic hillsides , roasted and marketed by volunteers on Bainbridge. The coop has a guest house ...more like a second home to friends. For over 15 yrs our local high school spanish class has had a spring break home stay with Islenos. Many students have returned for extended volunteer opportunities after graduatiion. This is beyond eco-tourism... For more info: http://www.bosia.org/cafe/cafe.html
Bainbridge Island, WA USA Sat 10/28/2006
A Trip to Romania
I was just listening to a caller discuss Romania. I visited there almost ten years ago. I met up with a friend in Germany and we took the train on an 8 day exscursion. The last place we stopped was Brasov, Romaina. We stayed in an apartment that was used as a kind of hostel. The main part of the city was the ugly grey cement you imagine an eastern block city to be, but the old part of the city was lovely! We took a bus to Castel Bran, Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula's Castle. Vlad Tepes himself had never been there but did own it. Looking at the countryside I could understand why he'd so volently defended it. We took another day trip to Sinaia, which has Peles and Pelisor Castles. They are walking distance from each other and both are beautiful. From our hostel we were also able to take a short trip to Sighisoara, another beautiful old town which is said to be Vlad Tepes' birth place.
Bakersfield, CA USA Sat 10/28/2006
Islam in Turkey and Rome's Jewish Ghetto
I knew just enough about these topics to be aware, but after listening, I actually feel well-informed! I love your style of interviewing, Rick. You're always so enthusiastic and inquisitive with your guests. And they seem to flourish, perhaps because once you've asked a question, you get out of the way and let them answer! Plus, your questions are always relevant and insightful. This is pure gold for us listener-travelers.
Thank you for a fabulous show. I can't wait to land on Turkish soil!
Wishing you all good things,
Daria in Dallas, listening on KERA
Dallas, TX USA Mon 10/23/2006
Belize follow up (Oct 2006)
I wanted to follow up with a previous post I had made on Belize. I actually had visited Belize a few weeks ago. October is typically still the "rainy" season although there are some days where it does not rain. As far as the Belizean dialect of English goes, it seems people there speak two variants - one close to standard English, and another using a more "pidgin" vocabulary when speaking between themselves. Most people are kind and friendly but beware of the "squatters" especially along Haulover Creek and the Swing Bridge, as well as along the way to the "Tourist Village". Most people are honest, even the taxi drivers, and are respective of traveller sensitivities although some people may be a bit aggressive.
Some places in Belize can be reached by simple public transit (intercity buses consisting of the "Blue Bird" type, without air conditioning). Take for instance the Western Highway route from Belize City to Belmopan, and then to Dangriga along the Hummingbird Highway or to Benque Viejo del Carmen close to the border with Guatemala, for up to $4.00 per direction. The Belize Zoo is accessible from the Western Highway - just tell the bus conductor to stop at the covered bus stop if already en route, or flag down the next passing bus - which can be a challenge in inclement weather. Other places may need to be arranged by a tour agency, or your hotel if they offer such services.
Frisco , TX USA Sun 10/22/2006
Pope Pius XII assistance to Jews of Rome
I very much enjoyed learning more about the Jewish ghetto of Rome from Rick's interview with Micaela Pavoncello on Oct 21, 2006.
Yet I found something lacking in the treatment of Pius XII.
From a Catholic website, "...one of the Nazi commanders demanded of the Jewish community in Rome payment of one hundred pounds of gold within thirty-six hours or three hundred Jews would be taken prisoner. When the Jewish Community Council was only able to gather only seventy pounds of gold, they turned to the Vatican.
"In his memoirs, the then Chief Rabbi Zolli of Rome writes that he was sent to the Vatican, where arrangements had already been made to receive him as an 'engineer' called to survey a construction problem so that the Gestapo on watch at the Vatican would not bar his entry. He was met by the Vatican treasurer and secretary of state, who told him that the Holy Father himself had given orders for the deficit to be filled with gold vessels taken from the Treasury."
from http://tinyurl.com/yawgpc (this website has full citations to support this point)
So, while I enjoy Rick very much, I found myself wishing he were more knowledgeable about just how Pius XII was respected by the world-wide Jewish community as a righteous gentile. That is, until the fiction presented in the 1963 play, The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth.
Fresno, CA USA Sat 10/21/2006
Giving to beggars
On a podcast on 9/30 a caller talked about giving candy and money to beggars in India. This is a very bad practice for many reasons. Often beggars are forced to work for criminals, analogous to pimps, who take the money the beggar gets, and well-meaning tourists just perpetrate the crime. Giving candy to kids causes tooth decay, which normally doesn't exist in third world countries. Encouraging kids to beg destroys the sense of pride and dignity the people have in their own culture. And if you take out money to give, you will surely be mobbed, often pickpocketed, and regret the experience. There are many, many grass roots charitable organizations in these countries--I know of several in India that I have visited and am personally familiar with. If you are moved by the poverty--and it's hard not to be--make sure the money you give gets into the hands of the people who need it. Don't ever give to people on the streets.
USA Thu 10/19/2006
I didn't fully apreciate the age of buildings until my 1st trip across the pond. I started with a week in London but didn't come to grips with "old" until I traveled out into the country-side, to Malvern and was standing ALL ALONE in the nave thinking about the construction when it dawned on me that the structure was 'old' before Columbus tripped across the "new world"
Portland,, OR USA Mon 10/16/2006
After listening to an archive radio program about train travel in Italy my guard was up. In the train station in Rome, a woman was being suspiciously helpful. I knew something was up when she insisted on helping to put our bags on the train. When she put the first bag in the rack near the train exit it was obvious she planned on stealing it as we were finding our seats. Taking all our bags and storing them in the rack above our seats kept them safe. The woman then wanted us to tip her for her "help". We sent her away.
Tampa, Fl USA Sun 10/15/2006
what I heard you say on KUOW 14 Oct 2006
I just heard you say that you believe there are forces that want to turn us into mindless consumers...agreed.
nothing personal, but they have been at this for 60 years! dude! this can't be a new thought for you! (wtf/lol/omg)
WA USA Sat 10/14/2006
Oct 1st radio show
Hello Rick: Your guest Christoph mentioned the Islands in the Baltic Sea (Ostsee). They have an opposing part on the North Sea Coast. This summer we spend a week on the the northernmost, Sylt, and found it to be just phantastic. Endless miles of sand beaches, beuatiful nature, fairytale villages and sophisticated city. The best part is how you get there: Drive your car on a train and it takes you over a dam through through the low-water marshes to the island.
During the week we saw five non-German license plates - from Austria and Switzerland. This is not for budget travellers, but if an extra Euro or two don't matter, there is a ralxing time to be had there. Go Sylt.de
Salem, OR USA Tue 10/10/2006
crime and Sicily
Hello Rick Steve:
I recently returned from the Rick Steve Sicily Tour- what a delightful experience this was for me.
Things to consider: I recommend that you remind people with some frequency:
a) that our own biases come up regularly when talking with others about their Country and customs
b) when you commented on crime issues with fellow from Sicily I did a 'double take' that is who are 'we' to discuss problems of infrastructure and crime with regard to Sicily given the foibles/crimes within our own Country- I am especially sensitive and uncomfortable with commenting on crime in Sicily given my awareness of loss of civil liberties, poor education /medical/ mental health care of US citizens - I work in this arena for past 30 years and now and I was concerned that your question/remarks implied that US does not have organized crime, runaway crime, children with weapons at school, people living on streets without benefit of care and so on.US is dropping in standards re: safety/care of infants/elderly/school children etc..
c) AND, on my tour I heard a lot of biases and talk of how other people live, with some arrogance and unawareness of many people in US/plus some disregard for monuments/special art of the area we toured-- I believe that some people on tour had odd attitude towards the monuments/some touching and other behavior which I question.
Thanks for listening. And I know you share concerns re: US conduct and image in the World.
Carol Ann Reich, MSW (lic. SW/MFT/Mental Health Professional) Wife/Mother/Citizen
Carol Ann Reich,
USA Tue 10/10/2006
Festivals in Sicily
Great show - brings back wonderful memories and longing!
A few years ago we attended the annual couscous festival in San Vito Lo Capo a beach town in the NW corner of Sicily. Several days of outdoor food booths, cooking demonstrations, live music and a big professional competition among chefs from six or eight Mediterranean countries to make the "best" couscous. It's held every year in mid-late September.
Are there other local food/culture/religious festivals you can recommend?
Thanks, George & Nancy
Also, the Vucciria market in Palermo is a standout, as is the beach town outside Palermo - Mondello. Great show - brings back wonderful memories and longing!
USA Sun 10/08/2006
Hi Rick, I think of you as more globally enlightened than most but I just listened to the show on Cuba and was struck by all of the talk of Latino culture when the island is primarly populated by the decendants of Africans brought there in chains.
Julie, USA Sat 10/07/2006
With all the turmoil in the middle east, we had some concerns for our safety prior to our trip through Turkey this summer. It was my daughter's introduction to this historic and exotic place. What a wonderful surprise to find the land and people just as friendly and welcoming as ever. I ate twice as much as when home and still lost weight from all the energy spent sightseeing. I can't wait till I return.
Chicago, IL USA Fri 10/06/2006
Laura of Varenna
Our first time in Italy.We felt like we handed over to the care of a relative when we met Laura of Albergo Olivedo in Varenna on LakeComo. My husband left his favorite jacket on the train from Milan. When arrived at the hotel quite upset, we were about to explain that we needed to find a store to buy a new jacket whereupon Laura without prompting picked up the phone and called the train system. The jacket was found and we were able to retrieve at the little station in Varenna a few hours later that same afternoon. Laura made our stay in Varenna especially memorable with her special care WAY beyond expectations. We thought you would like to know.
West Chester, PA USA Mon 10/02/2006
Weimar, Weimar, Weimar!! It was fabulous in 2003 for MayFest. Still being reconstructed, and very few people then spoke English. But it was fabulous to walk in Goethe's house.
Vancouver, WA USA Sun 10/01/2006
Travel destination to eastern asia
I listened to your radio special this morning at our local NPR about traveling to turkey and then going east to Uzbakestan and other estans until you reach mongolia. In advertantly, you exposed what Armenians have been telling the world about PAN-TURKISM treat and idealogy to the west. For example massaccer of 1.5 million armenians during 1915 in ottoman empire was part of PAN TURKISM movement. By the way, please visit internet ecyclopedia for the meaning of the word NAKHICHEVAN or NAKHJEVAN (where armenians have told of landing of NOAH). Massacer of Armenians in Sumgait azerbeijan in 1989 all part of ungoing PANTURKISM. Thank you for exposing the truth eventhough is was for travel and leasure purposes. I hope you will have the opportunity to travel to Armenia and see for yourself.
Turkish vs. Turkic
I want to correct you on your segment on Turkey that you just aired. The countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. that Malika (?) listed are not Turkish but Turkic speaking countries and people there speak their own distinct languges such as Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek, etc. Turkish belongs to Turkic language family, so do all of other languages.
Also, Uiguristan does not exist as a geographic name, it is known as Eastern Turkistan or Xinjiang.
from Kyrgyzstan, Sat 09/23/2006
Your segment on travel in Armenia was quite good but I think you may have left out an important bit of imformation that many travelers will enjoy. I traveled in Aremenia in about 1984 and decided that Armenia is where the term "tall, dark and handsome" came from. The men there were quite striking. I've traveled alot since then and not observed so many very handsome men in one place. Enjoy!
Portland, OR USA Mon 09/18/2006
These shows are available as podcasts
Mark, Since you had trouble finding the shows on the radio, you might be interested to know they are available free as podcasts from iTunes. When I signed up, I got access to a large number of past shows.
Santa Maria, CA USA Thu 09/07/2006
Searching for your radio show
Rick, The website lists showtimes as 1pm on Saturdays and 8am on Sundays on KYCY 1550 am in the San Francisco area. Only once have I tuned in and your show was actually on the air. This radio station recently started airing Oakland A's games and seems to be trying to become more mainstream or should I say lucrative, thus squeezing out your show. Maybe it's time for a change. The public radio station in this area is 88.5 fm. How about a show about tricks on how to best redeem your award mileage tickets.
richmond, CA USA Thu 08/31/2006
trains in France
I was listening to your show today and was surprised to hear your advice to a young lady inquiring about student-budget travel in France. She wanted to know the cheapest way to get around, whether it was buses or trains or what.
You mentioned that the buses were cheaper but slower, and that the TGV was more expensive than "slow" trains, but you did not once mention the benefits of purchasing a Eurail Pass before you arrive in France!
Especially for students, but also for everyone else traveling in this manner, Eurail is always the cheaper way to go! (Believe me, I tried traveling without one after I surpassed student-age, but ended up spending way more on individual tickets.) The Eurail Pass sometimes requires that you purchase a reservation for certain destinations, but even with this added cost, is still cheaper and more convenient (more convenient because you've already spent a certain amount of money buying the Pass before you've left the States so that you don't have to worry about budgeting money for train tickets while you've got plenty of other things to think about on your trip.)
I even bought a Eurail Pass for traveling in Spain last summer (even though I knew, as you mentioned, trains in Spain are not the best): I only bought a Pass that covered four or five days of travel for my three weeks in Spain, knowing that I would use the Eurail "days of travel" for longer jumps, and buses for shorter ones. For example, I used a Eurail "day of travel" from Madrid to Barcelona, but opted to buy a bus-ticket to make my way from Cadiz to Malaga.
USA Mon 08/21/2006
I lived in Hungary for one year in 1992-93 -- and must join in to recommend that people make the trip from Budapest southwest to Pecs (pronounced "paich"). It is a lovely town, with a fascinating view into Hungary's history--particularly the Turkish invasion--in its mosque. The surrounding area is hilly and full of lovely lakes. Worth renting a car to wander and explore.
Thanks for a lovely program, and koszonom szepen to your guest --
Seattle , WA USA Mon 08/21/2006
I have had the great opportunity to visit Hungary with my husband who grew up there. Lovely city, wonderful people. If you get the chance to go, go.
USA Mon 08/21/2006
I listened to Saturday's show on Hungary. We visited there ten years ago and loved it. We're thinking about going back. Are there homes available for weekly rentals? We really enjoyed Italy more by renting a house and staying in a community for a week or two.
Seattle, USA Mon 08/21/2006
we have to tell you about our great stay at Ca Centopietre in Venice. a room for 4 was extremely well priced, large and a perfect location. Rick should be recommending it.
winnipeg, manito canada Sun 08/20/2006
Hungary Bike Racing
A former team mate of mine is currently racing as a neo-pro (new professional racer) in Pecs, Hungary. This is a link to his blog which offers some insite into the launguage (fun.) as well as some insite on the culture from a young Seatte-ite living in Pecs. The name of his blog means bike racing in Hungarian, I think.
Seattle , WA USA Sat 08/19/2006
corrections to scottish show
A couple of corrections to last week's radio show on scotland. I was just there for two months.Kirkwall is the capital of mainland Orkney, not Stromness. Kirkwall has one of Europe's best midevil cathedrals and a fine museum of Orcadian life both free. Also the Orkneys are filled with neolithic sites in fairly good condition. Scotch whisky is aged exclusively in charred white oak barrels,Spanish wine casks are preferred but used Jack Daniels casks are also used. The casks are what give the whisky its color and flavor. It might be woth mentioning that in the Outer Hebrides English is a second langauge and that banks are few and far between. The islanders are serviced with step vans that come around 1 to 4 times a month depending where you are. Most places don't take credit cards or checks. Sundays are strickly observed, transportation and shops are sparse if at all. I worshipped with the locals and was invited to share a home cooked meal with new friends. In the cities I was delighted that most all major museums and art galleries were free of charge. Cheers, Neil
Aurora , Oregon USA Thu 08/17/2006
I really laughed about the old man on his bicycle (Chiang Mai) laughing so hard at (and with) the US woman bicycle traveler. One of my best laughs was in Chiang Mai, also. We'd stopped in the post office there to mail some letters, and upon purchasing stamps, I proceeded to lick them and to seal the envelopes. One middle-age lady there watched me wide-eyed and as I went through this licking ritual, caught my eye and started to giggle. It didn't take me long to realize how silly we foreigners must look as we lick stamps--the Thai folks have sponges on the counter and the process is done in an easy and much more sanitary manner! The two of us nearly fell apart laughing--the tears were rolling down my cheeks--and it was just one of those unique moments I was lucky to share with a lady with the same kind of humor. That was eighteen years ago, and it still makes me laugh today!
Whitefish, MT USA Tue 08/15/2006
Heard your program for the first time today on KVPR Fresno. I normally live in the SF Bay Area and neither NPR station carries your show. I'll have to try and do something about that.
I really enjoyed listening to the show. It was the one on Scotland. It reminded me alot of the couple of times I was there. My first visit (at age 22. In fact I think I carried your guide.) Inspired these Haikus.
Hostel kitchen lass Bobbed auburn hair. A pencil sketch Never said a word
Mid Fall mist. Sun peaks Squatting near the National Dim apple drips, shines
All the best. Hope to hear you soon in the Bay Area.
Producer's note: Paul can hear Travel with Rick Steves twice a week on KYOU-Radio AM 1550 in San Francisco. Except when it's pre-empted by Oakland A's baseball. See the Where You Can Hear link in our Radio section for stations and airtimes [http://www.ricksteves.com/radio/whereitairs.htm].
Kensington, CA USA Sun 08/13/2006
Am listening right now and the show is bringing back so many fond memories. My husband, best friend and I traveled to Scotland in 1999. We landed in Glasgow, spent three days in Deniston, had an interesting encounter in a local pub, drove up the east coast to Aberdeen, Cromarty, took the ferry to Nig, continued on up Scrabster, took the ferry to the Orkneys, stayed in St. Margaret's Hope at a farm where our friend's 3rd cousin, a gillion times removed lived (the family had been there 600 YEARS!!!!), took the ferry back, drove down the west coast and flew back to Seattle from Glasgow. And we want to return.
We were all on the trip to find our family histories and found more than we had ever imagined. In fact, I discovered my mother's "family myth" was actually true! And the current Lord and Lady Forbes welcomed us into their home for a private tour!!!
I wanted to comment on the tragedy of WWI - everywhere we went, there were war memorials - from the largest city to the tiniest, out of the way spot. It was one of the saddest things any of us had ever seen. Some of the monuments had three generations listed - the grandfather and father killed in WWI and the sons and grandsons killed in WWII. Unimaginable and unfathomable to this soft generation of Americans.
Love the show!
West Seattle, WA USA Sat 08/12/2006
Best & Worse food
Best & Worst Worst is when I was traveling to Austria as a representative of my city. They placed before me Liver dumpling soup! As I smiled, ate some of the broth and then broke up the huge dumpling into pieces. The best was in a small pub in Eisenstadt Austria. I was there playing in the Music Festival and a group of us found this local pub for lunch. Garlic Soup! Wonderful. Basically a potato based soup with LOTS of garlic. The surroundings had a lot to do with the experience too, in a small garden hearing Frau pounding out sniztel (spelling?), lots of beer and local wine. Unusual? Ordering Chinese in German (also on same trip)
Springfield, IL USA Sat 08/12/2006
Rick's podcast in the news
I thought people might be interested in some nice press Rick got recently, some recommendations for his podcast.
The September issues of Men's Journal listed Rick's podcast as one of the 4 best podcasts for adventure travel.
Also the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recommend the podcast in a recent article (http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=481535)
Chris (Amateur Traveler podcast)
San Jose, CA USA Fri 08/11/2006
Paris audio guides
I downloaded the Paris audio tour podcasts. The Louvre guide might as well not be there. They've moved too much stuff since the recording was made. The Orsay is only a little out of date (Whistler's mom is on vacation, for one) but was much appreciated. We would never have seen anything but the 5th floor except for the podcast. Good job on Orsay, but the one on the Louvre is not gonna work any more.
(We're still in Paris as I write this)
Richardson, TX USA Tue 08/08/2006
rick steves on sirius
I was pleased to hear Rick on NPR Now Last Sunday. I work in Louisiana but live in Portland.It is wonderful not to miss the NPR broadcasts that I am used to in Portland. As a merchant sailor the signal almost reached south to the Panama Canal. Thanks again. Richard
Portland, or USA Mon 08/07/2006
Take your rv to Europe
Hi Rick, We enjoyed your radio program on RV travel this week.
Thanks again for all your great programs.
Pat Wiman & Susan Martin
Salem, OR USA Sun 08/06/2006
As a widow of 13 months, I bought an RV as a way to reinvent myself. I was married to the love of my life for 24 years. However, camping was something I enjoyed in the 30 years prior to my marriage. Thus, I am enjoying hobbie that isn't laden with memories.
I bought a 23' leisure van and it is GREAT. It is good on fuel (Mecerdes Diesel engine). http://www.leisuretravelvans.com . I put a rack on the back and am able to carry my Vespa scooter -- that is the way to scoot off for groceries or to tour an area.
I always meet nice people -- campers are good, helpful, creative, and friendly people!
Hollywood, FL USA Sun 08/06/2006
RV - buy new and do it all
Hi Rick and Listeners - As a family of 5 and 1 dog, we're big-time RV-ers when we're not "Rickin' it" in Europe. I heard your show on August 5th about RVs and have advice about buying. My wife and I bought a 26' Travel Trailer (towed via a ball hitch on our truck) in March. It's been great! Our recommendation about buying - buy new BUT talk them down in price. These things are WAY overpriced. By doing your research and playing hardball, you can talk it down 1/4 to 1/3 in price! Watch out for used RVs because sloppy owners can trash them and they too are over-priced. There are so many being made, and with high gas prices, it's easy to make a great deal. ALSO, we use our light-weight trailer for everything from city visits via KOA campgrounds, CA beach campgrounds and National Parks. You can hook up and get all the amenities, or "dry camp" in more remote locations. RVing is a great American experience when you have kids and dog! Unlike our guest house trips in Europe, you can't do as much for as cheap for the WHOLE family here in our own backyard --- to include having your dog with you! ...One more point - you actually meet quite a few Europeans in RV campgrounds here in the US. Take care! Skip
Fresno, CA USA Sat 08/05/2006
I listen to your program at 5am each Sunday morning on my way to work at an airline at the Philadelphia Airport. I wish every traveller I come in contact with would listen to your program. Your program does not speak down to or over the heads of new travellers while at the same time, it manages to be interesting to those who have travelled to the places you are covering that day. The exchanges with that program's 'experts' and with the callers make it quite different than your television program. Thanks for being on.
Philadelphia, PA USA Tue 08/01/2006
Volcanoes, Volcanos, Volcano
Cultural Sensitivity: In Sicily, they make molds from Vesuvious' lava flows. In the continental USA, they sell containers of ash from Mt. St. Helens. In Hawaii (USA), Pele will destroy any of those who defile her or her children!
Just a side note to a volcano.
I now get to listen to your radio program on KERA 90.1 FM (Fort Worth/Dallas TX) on Sunday (5:00 to 6:00 pm) which breaks my summer heat; especially when you visit Lapland, Greenland, Norway, etc., during the same solar period.
TX USA Sun 07/30/2006
We just rode from rome to naples to pompeii and back to rome all in one day
...And coming back we had a couple hours to kill. We followed your guidebook to a local restaurant - since it was hot outside we got to have a view of many couples intensely enjoying each other's company out-of-doors. Interestingly our waiter also told us at the end of the meal that although the "gratuity" had been added to our meal that one was "for the boss" and he wouldn't get any of it ... so we'd need to leave more just for him. In addition to paying the "seating charge", charge for bread which we didn't get so didn't eat - it turned out to be quite a tip-heavy meal.
The amount of graffitti on the walls was amazingly repulsive and there seemed to be a trash collector's strike with mountains of trash in central areas waiting to be collected.
Hey, we just wanted out of there and were glad to be going on the late night train back to Rome!!
PS - You're right- watching the world cup games in Italy was an amazing experience for soccer loving Americans, too.
USA Mon 07/24/2006
I listened to your program on France and French culture. I wanted to write and tell you that my wife and I travel to France often. We have many friends there and never stay in hotels, always with friends.
We were there in May traveling with some friends by car. We needed a place overnight between towns and our friends couldn't locate a place with a vacancy. So I pulled out my trusty Rick Steeves travel book of France. We found a place with rooms in Orches. We stayed with Isabel Raby in the hills outside of Beaune. Thank you for the recommendation.
We used the book again and stayed at the B&B looking out to Mont St. Michel. Loved both places. Our friends were very impressed and satisfied with "les Chambres D'Hotes."
We will not leave home without your latest book when we return next July to see the lavender in bloom in the south of France. I love France and know it so well, I speak the language fluently and am a true Francophile. Thanks for all you do to promote France. I lived and studied in Europe in the 70's I have been returning to Europe every year. I can't get enough.
Terry and Anne Mosher
USA Mon 07/17/2006
our experience in Paris and all over France with the french people has always been nothing less than magnifique. We love the french culture, language and people.
Our appreciation and understanding and consideration of the beautiful country is reciprocated 100 fold. We have been in the presence of loud, inconsiderate, demanding americans who don't observe the customs of the french. We cringe right along with the kind french who have to tolerate this kind of disrespect from tourists who should be opening their eyes to such wonderful food, art and culture. Any negative experiences are due to the negative attitued of the traveller.
We adore all things french and hope to spend many lovely months there!
USA Sun 07/16/2006
Adventures in French Eating
I am in the middle of moving furniture so, as much as I would love to talk to you in person, I am going to email this story.
After a long weekend of outdoor work on a French 'farm', the family was excited to share with me shiskabob and asked if I liked shiskabob. Thinking of the US version, I was hungry and equally excited and said, "Oh yes!"
I didn't realize that their particular form of shiskabob was to grill all types of organs from several types of animals on a stick. Eeeyu! However, figuring that I would never have another chance like this, I tasted each one and was grateful for a delicious sauce that helped me get each down.
It wasn't great eating, but it makes for a memorable eating experience!
USA Sun 07/16/2006
I have only had the opportunity to travel once. The trip was to Japan as a chaperone for high school students.
We had just finished with a three hour play at the Kabuki theatre, standing the whole time, when our hosts invited us to a meal together. My daughter will try anything but I am a bit more reserved so i ordered scampi in this Japanese "Italian" restaurant. As an American, singing in Italian strolled through the Japanese restaurant, I was served what looked to be a giant spider! Long hairy legs arranged beautifully on the plate with squid and other unknown delights. I REALLY do not like spiders and my initial impression made consuming this meal most difficult. There were shredded potatoes grilled to the open belly which I dutifully ....ate.
Meanwhile, my daughter and our wonderful hosts were having a great time smearing "ink" from the squid all over their mouths and teeth and grinning from ear to ear!
We enjoyed many wonderful meals, visited unique restaurants and enjoyed elaborate home prepared food throughout the remainder of our visit. Seven course meals in a restuarant with room dividers made with stalks of wheat hung between plates of glass, and an amazing breakfast served by our host family in the temple they lived in that included roasted corn with the brazier sitting on the table cooking the corn as we ate.
I have a deep abiding ache to travel now that I have had a tase of what it is like.
Forest Grove, OR USA Sun 07/16/2006
Travel & France
I very much enjoyed your show today on France.
I had the fabulous good fortune to live in France for a year while studying at the Université de Poitiers in central France. I look back on that time as the very best year of my life (so far). It was a complete and amazingly satisfying delight on so many levels: intellectual, cultural, culinary, historical, personal growth. In all of those areas, that year in France was the most satisfying, significant, valuable and enjoyable of my whole life.
Here's one example of an amazing experience that you could never have elsewhere:
My year in France was a long time ago now. It was the school year of 1981-82. In those days, there was still a significant lingering memory of the Second World war. (American bombers had even accidentally hit the Poitiers train station; something my French friends took great pleasure in joking with me about). As a student at the university, perhaps for a report of some kind, I requested to meet one of the top administrators of the University, the Rector of the university, as I recall.
After I was ushered into his office, I got one of the great surprises of my life. This gentleman stood up from behind his desk and extended his hand. In a voice that expressed an almost reverent tone, he said that he wanted to thank me, personally, for saving his life during the war. Then he related how American GI's had parachuted into his village in Normandy, and how his life, and the lives of his neighbors and all those he held dear had been spared by the heroic actions of our countrymen. He extended his hand in friendship, but so much more than that that I was overwhelmed.
Not knowing what to say or how to respond to such a welcome, I stammered (in French) that I was indeed grateful for such recognition, but that I myself did not merit any such attention. He replied that his gratitude was so great that it extended to ALL Americans, and that I should be proud to be from such a great country.
I have never felt so proud to be who I am.
Rick, my whole year was filled with experiences that rival this one in intensity, in opportunity for personal growth, in the satisfaction of learning to know and understand our fellow man.
USA Sun 07/16/2006
Rick, et al--
This needs to be said:
Americans (and Canadians) visiting Normandy and coastal France in the month of June will be welcomed as descendents of heros.
My family and I toured the Normany coast by rented Renault van on the 6th of June, 2000, the anniversary of D-Day. We were treated like welcome cousins. We witnessed old soldiers from both sides toasting each others' health in numerous roadside picnics. Unforgettable and poignant.
Every American who plans a trip to France should, in my opinion, make an effort to see the coast along which the liberation of Europe began. I promise it will be a moving, profound experience.
Oak Cliff , TX USA Sun 07/16/2006
I just listened to the interview Rick did for NORML's new podcast feature and I'd like to thank him.
Salt Lake City, UT USA Thu 07/13/2006
Belize's Channel 7 on Windows Media
I listened to the Belgium & Belize show this afternoon (on KERA 90.1 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas). There was one of the tour guides who spoke the Belizean dialect, which I found interesting to hear. It sounds a bit easier to understand than the Jamaican dialect. For anyone who would like to watch a news broadcast from Belize, there is Channel 7 news, at "http://www.7newsbelize.com/". The newscasts are available only Monday to Friday excluding holidays, and generally in Belize dialect. The broadcasts focus mainly on Belize and the neighboring countries Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras, but other world news is covered from time to time. There are also commercials unique to Belize that should not be missed. The transcripts are written mostly in standard English, except when there are interviews with people, in that case, the actual Creole is written down as well, so the original discussions are not mistranslated. I have seen a couple of these myself and really like these. Noteworthy is the fact that the weather broadcast is reported in English measurement, not metric (feet, degrees Fahrenheit, instead of meters/centimeters and degrees Celsius). Also, there are Spanish subtitles with the weather report, and even then, the temperatures are in Fahrenheit. Anyhow, have a look sometime and see how well you might be able to understand the Belizean creole.
Frisco, TX USA Sun 07/09/2006
I am listenting to your special on Slovenia. Rather than call up and possible ruin your show, I am writing to tell you that I lived in Slovenia for over two years in the late 1990s. I worked for and with a top orthodpeic surgeon as a chiropractor and served the public. I was on television twice and professionally publised in magazines several times.
I lived in Kranj and had many friends. My American girlfriend and I were married there and were the first American couple to be married in Slovenia. We were married in Bled in the Castle. Could tell you a lot of stories but we must be the only American couple who have had a genuine Yugoslave style wedding!
Dr Mark La Rue
Vancouver, WA USA Mon 07/03/2006
i just listened to your sunday broadcast and there are a couple of camping experiences i had in yosemite not heard on your show: the firefalls which ocurred in the 1940s-1950s. during the day park rangers would collect fallen bark from around the valley floor and hall it up to glacier point, about 1500 ft above. they would start a huge fire and at night push the glowing coals over the edge...incredible show as they fall to the valley floor.
in addition, when camping (1940s-1950s) i would hear late at night people calling out for elmer. it was a holdover from many years before when a parent lost a child named elmer and during the subsequent years campers keep it going, including myself.
USA Mon 07/03/2006
I am listening to the "Traveling with a Musical Theme" podcast and just over 30 minutes into the show you mention that the only person you knew of who could afford a Stradivari violin, viola, cello and bass were the King and Queen of Spain. We just got back from seeing the Medici quintet at the Acadamia in Florence. The quintet (2 violins, alto viola, tenor viola, and cello) are dated 1690. They were commissioned as a gift by the Cremona nobleman Bartolomeo Ariberti in 1684 for Ferdinando de' Medici. (The 2nd violin was lost at the end of the 18th century.) The entire musical collection is not to be missed. They even have an amazing computer program featuring recordings of the intstruments, history of music at the time, use of music in different aspects of life, etc. Check it out! Blessings,
USA Wed 06/28/2006
credit card fraud
Hi, Rick. I'd like to share an experience my husband and I had after a 3-week trip to Europe. We mostly used ATM's for day-to-day funds, but used our Visa card one time in Spain for a souvenir purchase. Two weeks after we had returned home we got a call from our credit union, asking if we had been in Spain recently. The dates they mentioned occurred after we had returned home and there were many large purchases that had been made using our Visa number. While we didn't have to pay for these purchases, as they were determined by the credit union to be fraudulent, changing our credit card to a new account, filing a police report, etc. was time-consuming and inconvenient.
Do you have any tips for avoiding such a situation in the future, other than, of course, to avoid using the VISA card at all?
Milwaukie, OR USA Mon 06/26/2006
Out of Date Passport?
Hi, Rick - Recently, a friend was denied permission to board his overseas flight, because his passport was due to expire ..............in SIX MONTHS. As his return ticket was for just ten days later, he was stupified! He's an employee of Sabre and his travel arrangements were made by the company.
How many holidaymakers are going to have their annual vacations ruined by this action? Do you know what purpose this serves? Surely, a passport should be valid until its expiration date.
Any light you can shed on this situation would be most helpful.
Dallas , TX USA Sun 06/25/2006
Hi, I went on a trip to Slovenia in 1973 from Cleveland Ohio for $300 complete. Air, hotel, 2 meals a day, and lift tickets included. They were running a group deal for immegrents to go home to visit.
We landed at Zagreb and took a wild bus ride to the sking area. I couldn't ski, so I took a sled to the top and rode it down, angering some skiers. I was 17 and we took a train to Venice, I recall the border guards being quite thorough.
Lake Bled was another high point of the trip. I learned not to mix Shlivavitz and lambrusco wine. We also went up to a ski jumping contest at a jump constucted by the nazis.
I have always wished we would have gone to Murano while in Venice because I am a glassblower now. It is a hidden gem that I hope won't be overrun after your show.
Thanx for bringing back good memories.
Coupeville, WA USA Sat 06/24/2006
I recently heard your radio show on European tours. One point on cancellation insurance: ask for a copy of the fine print before you pay for it. It may well exclude preexisting conditions, such as high blood pressure, and their secondary effects, heart attack. Read before you pay because you can't cancel cancellation insurance.
Boise, ID USA Thu 06/22/2006
Egypt - Traveling as a single woman
Was just listening to a podcast about Egypt and there was a lady there wondering if she should travel with her young daughter alone or with a tour. You recommended a small tour company.
I toured Egypt in 2004. As a woman I would not recommend traveling there alone or with a small tour company. I booked a tour with a small Egyptian company, Summit Tours, which showed me great reviews and is even used by A-Z Tours out of the U.S. HOWEVER, I was occasionally sent off on my own without the tour leader or a guide because I was the only person in the tour group and they didn't have the capital to provide a tour leader who was there every day (at least that's what they said, even though I paid double the rate because I was a single traveler).
While you might think this would be a bonus because you would get closer to the Egyptian people, it wasn't because I was at times a single Western woman traveling alone and that seemed to be a red flag in front of a bull to the Egyptian men. Even though I followed all the recommendations about how to dress modestly and to wear a fake wedding ring I was almost raped by one of the soldiers guarding Abu Simbel and was harassed nightly while staying at the Holiday Inn in Sharm el Sheik (one of the dive resort destinations on the Red Sea) by randy Arabs who thought they'd call my room number to see if they'd get lucky (I don't know if I need to say this, but I hadn't given out my room number to anyone who was not on staff and also needed to know). I wound up eating dinner in my room and taking the phone off the hook as soon as I got back to the room from the dive boat.
BUT, I would say to still go. Just go with a larger tour group that has more resouces. I talked to some people who booked their tour through Big 5 travel out of LA and they couldn't say enough nice things about it. While my cruise down the Nile was on a boat with nothing but Germans (this group of Germans didn't seem to speak much English, so aside from hello and good day I pretty much had no one to talk to), they had been booked on a boat which had quite a few Americans and Britons, so never had the problem of finding someone to talk with.
At one of the archaeological sites my tour leader hadn't found a guide, so I wound up being tagged onto the Big 5 group. All their guides are Egyptologists, it seems.
Further, as as an American you are almost always surrounded by armed guards keeping the Egyptian populace away from you. About half of the running capital for the Egyptian government comes from American aid, and you'll see signs everywhere showing that this or that site was being restored/improved by the Egyptian/American foundation, and the government doesn't want to jeopardize that. So they've got soldiers with machine guns surrounding the tourists sites, barricades and soldiers outside all of the hotels, and even soldiers with machine guns on camels on the hills surrounding the pyramids.
I must say that I had a very nice encounter with some young women who were learning English who were very happy to have someone to practice on. I had been left to my own devices for the day in a hotel in Middle Egypt because half of the tombs I had gone there to see were closed, and the tour company did not substitute the museum or the tombs at Beni Hassan, which was nearby. So since I was at loose ends I thought I would go to the bank down the street to get some small change for tips. It is impossible to get anything smaller than a 10 pound note from the currency exchange people or an ATM (more usually hundreds are all you can get) so I wanted to get some money to give out as tips, for example, at washrooms. Anyway, as I left the high walled grounds of the hotel I was stopped by the tourist police guard. He then had to radio someone because he had no idea what to do with a westerner who wanted to go walking around (maybe also because I was a woman). I had to wait 5 or 10 minutes before they decided that yes, I could go to the bank but the captain of the tourist police would need to accompany me. Armed. So I had to wait another 5 or 10 minutes until he arrived, then we walked down the street about 3 blocks to the bank. The first line he got me into the teller ignored me (I think because I was a woman). Then he put me at the head of a line which was only women. The teller there did make change, but never once said a word to me. When I said "Shokran" (thank you) to the line of ladies I had been jumped in front of the looked astonished and pleased, I'm not sure whether it was because I had thanked them or had done so in Arabic. On the way back we crossed the street so we were on the corniche, and after I took a couple of pictures of the feluccas with the boatmen waving at me, seeming very pleased to be photographed and offering to take me for a boat ride in sign language, we stopped for a coke. The captain then hit me up for a bribe. Once I had given him 10 pounds, he wandered off to talk to his friend who ran the snack stand, then talked to this group of young women who were studying English. He then came back to me and told me they would like to meet an American. I said I would be glad to and he escorted me to the group, and they said hello, how was I, and did I like Egypt. After I assured them that I liked Egypt very much and that I thought it was a beautiful country, they looked very pleased and giggled a bit and then said goodbye. I think that simple walk to the bank was one of the highlights of my trip.
San Diego, CA USA Sat 06/10/2006
Rick on Radio
I just listened to 2 archived radio shows via the internet -- wonderful. Have been a fan of your PBS TV programs for many years -- now with this advantage I can listen any time. Thanks for the in-depth, new and fresh travel outlooks, and interesting topics.
Oklahoma USA Sat 06/10/2006
This is one of my favorite podcasts. Great job.
I am an 30 year old avid traveller, having had the good fortune to work for a French bank, I have a lot of vacation time each year and have taken advantage of it. I have been to 25+ countries and many states here in the US.
One area which you have yet to broach is one of my favorite. Like Rick with India, my trips to Africa (specifically Tanzania/Zanzibar and then South Africa/Botswana) were life changing events, and truly showcase so much of the type of travel and spirit of travel Rick speaks about so often.
Come on! Can we have some Africa adventures on the air?
PRODUCER'S NOTE: Jessica, you wrote us just as we were preparing the release the interview on "Meeting the Maasai in East Africa" the following week. And we're preparing a program about travel to South Africa for the weekend of November 4. We certainly hope to have many more interviews on destinations and subjects related to Africa and other non-European subjects in the future.
USA Tue 06/06/2006
I have noticed that your listeners seem to believe they will find what they are searching for when they travel ie. they have a pre-concieved idea about what they wish to consume and the area or Country must supply it or suffer the wrath of their disregard. When will you tell people that the world is not there for their Disneyland entertainment but are cultures far more developed than N. A. and they should open their narrow vision to accept what is there, not what they want to see.
Canada Sat 05/20/2006
I've been enjoying your program down here in the Keys. But please let me comment on something that came up yesterday, Sunday, May 7, on your program which aired on WLRN Miami.
Some fellow called in asking if it was reasonable to take his 38-foot RV to the Keys. You folks did not have a very good answer for him, only telling him (correctly) that the Overseas Highway is a real highway and is navigable for such a vehicle.
So to help you out, and this guy, too hopefully, from a Lower Keys resident's perspective:
Though the road will handle his big RV, the traffic may be horrendous for such, and even if he's lucky to hit lower traffic levels, the road is extremely dangerous in certain areas and he MUST be 'on his toes' at all times with no casual driving over the bridges or anywhere else. If he wants to catch the view he should pull over, get out of the vehicle, walk the bridges available for it, and relax, for heaven's sake. If his visit must occur during high tourist season (Christmas to Easter, or any weekend, esp. holidays), he may be better off reconsidering his visit as the highway will be packed with overzealous speeders and just too many cars, period.
May until Christmas is a far better time to come here. There are very few facilities for the RV anywhere in the Keys, less all the time, and spaces are generally reserved many months in advance (at Bahia Honda State Park, a year, though this place is worth the wait).
A word of caution: If his desire is to stay in a big RV in Key West, please do us all the consideration of NOT taking it into town, going no further than Stock Island (with a reservation, of course). The streets are narrow and overcrowded, there are lots of bicycles (the best way to get around town....should be the only way other than golf carts), turns will be difficult if not impossible, and he will definitely be personna-non-grata to most locals if he does. These things simply do not belong in Old Town Key West, and if he asks around the RV community, he will find the wise and gracious RVer already knows this.
Most of those in the tourist biz will welcome him regardless of how and when he comes down, but not everyone is in the tourist biz and many folks, in and out of the tourist biz (except for the rich 2nd and 3rd home types, we struggle to remain living here), are 'over it,' having had to deal too long with too many belligerent, pushy visitors who use too much water, drink too much, dump too much trash, and generally treat this overdone, fragile area with a total lack of respect, especially our waters, which are no longer anywhere near pristine, sad to say. (And yes, most of us care about the natural environment and are trying to deal with developers and greed in a way to preserve what we still have of this fragile place.)
We're still here, and some of us will stay even if the natural environment crashes, local tourism tanks causing the local economy to totally collapse (the fishing is already dismal), the property values tumble into the toilet, and gas prices shoot up past $5/gal. If A/C became unavailable and mosquito control ceased there would be no overpopulation problem here and the environment would improve on a local level in some aspects; globally, however, we are indeed in trouble environmentally, and locally that's translated into the rising of sea level and the lousy condition of the coral reef.
I hope this helps you and anyone who may contact you about the Keys.
Lower Florida Keys, FL Thu 05/11/2006
I happended to tune in to the Mexico and Yucatan review on NPR today, Sun, 5/7. I have had a love affair with the Yucatan since my first trip at the age of 12 years, when "Cancun" as its known now didn't exist. Back then hotels along the coast didn't exist -- just a few very small camp grounds on the beach that offered palm trees to string one's hammock between! I'm over 50 now, so I've seen many changes to the area.
Your guests that answered phone in questions were knowledgeable and provided accurate information. However, two items of importance were overlooked: (1) Mexico does not have good recyclying programs. Therefore, the countryside away from tourist areas are littered with plastic debris. Visitors would do well to keep this in mind, making purchases of items in containers other than plastic. (2) The coral reefs have decreased particularily over the last ten years due due to humans using body lotions (sun screens and such)prior to going into the water and snorklers touching the coral. Hopefully, folks that read this post will keep these things in mind when they visit this diverse area filled with history, comtempory culture, wildlife and nature.
P.S. What's your call in phone number?
Wilsonville, OR Sun 05/07/2006
Listening in Dallas around 17:10 Sunday May 7, in your answer to visa in Europe, you included "traveling from Switzerland to Germany..." as not needing a VISA, went on to explain that within Europe you don't need VISAs. Just to point out: Switzerland is not a part of the EU. You do need your ID to cross the border, and they are very strict.
Dallas, tx Sun 05/07/2006
compliment on a recent program
Rick, your interview with Princess Martha Louise was quite revealing - about your integrity, knowledge and focus. While I thought she missed most opportunities to be...well, regal and demonstrate her knowledge of Norwegian culture and politics, you were the one fascinating and inspiring us with details of the royal family's immigrant past, local Oslo color, and the Norwegian royals' (at least some of them) respect for public service. You've obviously researched your roots and celebrate their progressive elements. Please keep your observations and opinions out there. (I'm including your recent work on legalizing marijuana.) Who needs royals plugging their books? Go ahead and do a Steves family Norway episode!
USA Tue 05/02/2006
I have one word in regards to eco-friendly travel, Bicycle. I am 56 years old and have been bicycle touring since I was 12. I have been to Europe by bike 3 times, the last time, for our 30th. anniversy, my wife and I spent 3 weeks in Tuscany. My family and I have toured the West and East of this Country and in Canada as well. I can't imagine traveling any other way, to me sitting in a car, bus or train is mind numbing. On a bicycle we are immersed in the country and culture. We take the little roads through the little villages and stop at the little shops that the locals use. It's really the only way to travel.
Salem, OR Sun 04/23/2006
Hi Rick. I love your television show but think your new radio show is even better. I really enjoy hearing from the native people about what to see and do. I also enjoy the way you address cultural issues on the radio, in a way that you don't do as much of on the tv show. Thanks!
One minor criticism. You have a lot of shows on tv and on the radio dealing with France. You are such a cosmopolitan and well-traveled guy that I would think you would learn to pronounce some of the basics of French. For example, in French the "n" at the end of a word is silent. When you say "Bon Voyage" (which you said today on the radio) you do not pronounce the "n." Also, the "s" in the word "des" is silent. "Place des Vosges" (which you also talked about today on the radio) would be pronounced PLACE DAY VOSGES.
Seattle, WA Sat 04/08/2006
Hello Rick thank you for drawing a clearer image to travellers from america
I am very surprised or rather hoping to hear one of your next shows about Morocco and what it is for an american to go to Morocco.
Whenever i go back home to Morocco it is packed withe spanish french italians britons and scandinavians and now also chinese people in Casablanca i think we re gonna have our Chinatown in Casablanca.
I also see australians in southern Morocco in small villages like taghazout as surfing destination
but i always find it hard to find americans exept the ones i meet casablanca but live there and work for the consulate.
Also rick what do you think about the booming in Marrakesh and other cities of tourism
the incredible growth and success of the traditionnal guest houses called riads moroccan wines world music festivals like the festival of fez and the gnawa music festival of essaouira?
There is also a lady from Oregon that opened a rick's cafe in Casablanca must check it out
seattle, wa Fri 03/31/2006
Bonjour Rick very interesting as always to hear what a french thinks about America especially a french philosopher like Bernard.
One thing that got me questionning my IQ is when you were both so proud of the billateral solidarity between the two countries during the most painful times and i could feel that the both of you were so proud ,but i don't know why Monsieur bernard claimed that FRANCE was the first country to recognise America and you also confirmed that with him
we always have heard that the first country in the planet to recognize the USA as a state was the kingdom of Morocco
Please correct me if wrong
There is also the moroccan american treaty of friendship that stands as the oldest non broken treaty betweeen america and any other country also the first american property ever owned abroad was in Tangier Morocco.
seattle, wa Fri 03/31/2006
I heard most of your interview with Bernard-Henri Levy and came away wondering if he got his blinders and rose colored glasses when he arrived at the airport, or brought them with him. He didn't seem to like seeing all the flag waiving, but instead of comparing it to Germany in the 1930's and 1940's, he found a way to make excuses for it. His excuse could not have been weaker. Canada and Australia do not do this and they are also "new" countries. And then he went on about our "patriotism," which I thought was way off base. I agree more with the famous Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca, who thought patriotism is one of the worst crimes of humanity. Patriotism seems to lead to wars, and where have they got us? I think your guest came here with his pre-conceived ideas, that were formed during WWII, which ended sixty years ago, and he was determined to make what he saw here fit his fantasy. Thanks for trying.
Seattle, WA Mon 03/20/2006
I enjoyed the interview with Bernard-Henri Levy. It was clear, however, that you had your own agenda. You attempted to insert your opinion of the role of government with regard to several issue. I was glad that Mr. Levy did not allow himself to be distracted from his topic. Thanks.
Salem, OR Mon 03/20/2006
Your interview with BHL was brilliant! As an American who has lived outside the U.S. for the past 11 years, and in light of the current political climate, it was incredibly interesting to hear some insightful observations about our country. There is hope yet! Great work Rick, and thanks.
Singapore, xx Mon 03/20/2006
caught your show 3/19 pm with Bernard-Henri Levy - bought the book as soon as the show was over
bingen, wa Sun 03/19/2006
RE: Your recent radio caller planning a car trip with her dog into Canada. Unless things have changed in the past few years your road-trip expert missed an important consideration: Dogs being taken into Canada must have documentation of up-to-date shots. We drove 30 miles from our camp in Glacier Park to the Canadian border (into Waterton Lakes Ntl. Park) and had to turn back with our hound because we had no evidence that his shots were up to date.
Love your show. When are you going to do a Greece book? I need one before May! Lonely Planet is good but I need a back door guide.
Vancouver, WA Sun 03/19/2006
Thanks for the excellent show of yesterday (3/18/06) with Bernard-Henri Levy. It was really great-- not holding my breath for an American philosopher to achieve "rock star status" and be a household name as BHL is in France... So, all the nicer for us in the States to hear from such a great mind-especially when he is reflecting on us. Popular American media certainly doesn't share the world's perception of us enough in this day and age. so thanks again for the thoughtful program. Well done!
Bellingham, WA Sun 03/19/2006
We want to plan a trip to Switzerland and especially want to see the Alps when they are snow-capped. What months would give us the best chance, outside of the coldest of winter?
Tacoma, WA Sat 03/18/2006
Rick, please be careful when referring to global warming. Yes, we do contribute to the warming through emissions, etc., however we are not the only or main cause of it. As a Euro traveler you are probably familiar with warm and cold periods that have taken place. For example, the French Revolution was caused, in part, by a cold period killing the crops of France, and then the subsequent potato farming, etc. All caused by a cold spell lasting a hundred years or so. Also, the warming periods that have taken place enabling the Vikings to explore other lands. You may want to read some geography books like "The Little Ice Age", and "Why Geography Matters" to get some insight into this phenomonom. I just think it would be good if you would approach the subject with the understanding that human impact is minor compared to the larger natural forces on our planet.
Dallas, TX Tue 03/07/2006
I have to say Egypt was the most facinating trip due to the beautiful history and vivacious people. It was the most difficult and wonderful travel experience I have ever had.
I went to Egypt in the mid 90's when Muslim extremists shot a British Tourist. We avoided tour groups since those were being targeted. I am a white American woman and traveled with another white woman.
Nothing - even reading guide books prepared us for what was in store for us.
As soon as we got off the plane we were herded into a travel office where a man tried to sell us a tour package. We already had a hotel booked and planned to site see on our own due to the shootings. He warned us we would be harassed by men and sales people. We practically had to beg to get out of the tour guide's office. It turned out he was telling the truth!!!
We had an amazing trip but were bothered quite a bit by Egyptian men. They chased us down the streets trying to sell us things.
We fared better when we were protected by hiring a horse and carriage or camel rides at the pyramids. As soon as we were walking on the streets, we were constantly harassed, men yelled at us and tried to sell us everything under the sun.
Luckily we found an Egyptian owned small tour boat to take us up the Nile. He stopped at many obscure temples and we had tea at a very small town.
Shoreline, WA Mon 03/06/2006
Suzanne Union , WA 08/14/2005
Siena Culture Center 6pm to 9pm
Via Pian D'Ovile, 21, Siena
Phone: 0577-920451 (local) 333-7526246 (cell)
My daughter & I took an evening cooking lesson at this place. Found it on-line & booked through Chicago. It was the only reasonably priced one day school I could find. And, it was delicious! I've made the spinach stuffed ravioli with butter/sage sauce twice, and that was one of three courses, with wine. Let me know if you'd like any other info - I might be able to help.
Nashville, TN Fri 03/03/2006
I recently discovered your show (tho I've been a fan of the TV show and books for years), and think the variety of topics is great. I've been consistantly impressed with the music on your show. Would it be possible to list the songs with possible links to the artist websites, or where we could purchase them?
Burbank, CA Thu 03/02/2006
I enjoyed last week's show about traveling with a disability. I, myself, am a wheelchair user and have been to Europe several times.
Being a young person, I want to see the world and have only just scratched the surface of Europe. Rick's book "Easy Access Europe" is an invaluable resource that myself and my co-workers at MIUSA use and recommend to people all the time. In fact, we all have a copy on our desks.
I am writing to let your listeners, whose passion for travel may lead them to want more, know about a great companion book to Easy Access Europe entitled "Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities" wherein more than twenty experienced travelers with disabilities share stories, tips and resources related to participating in international programs. This easy-to-use guide addresses the disability-related aspects of going on an international exchange, including choosing a program, applying, preparing to travel, adjusting to life in a new country and returning home.
My International Travel changed my life and gave me the skills I needed to become employed, and live independently. This year I am planning my first cruise! Travel helps people with disabilities see that there are people like themselves all over the world, and (as was mentioned in the show) people are still good at heart--- despite what the five o'clock news would have us believe.
Melissa - Outreach & Training Coordinator,
National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange Mobility International USA
Portland, OR Tue 02/28/2006
Hi Rick - Sorry I missed your last webcast! I think these are great, since I can listen (discretely) at work! I recently wrote in regarding etiquette regarding "Kissing on the cheek." We, Americans, are very "huggy" as one of my european friends commented. Is it 3 times in France, twice in Switzerland, do you kiss them on the left first? I've had some pretty embarrassing moments because I just don't know...
Portland, OR Tue 02/28/2006
Unfortunately it has been a few years since I have actually been to Europe, but I travel there every day! I have found a way to escape to my favorite European places whenever I need a break from the day. One of the increasing benefits of the internet are the number of web cams that are from around the world. Search the internet for web cams in a specific country or city and you can find more than enough. I have saved numerous web cams addresses in my favorites under specific countries or cities folders. If I want to see what's happening in my favorite German city, I have a few great web cams that can show me. Some web cams have satic pictures that update only every hour but some are updated every few seconds.
Now I am transported away and can watch the trains come in and the skiers start down the run with the magnificent Alps in the background when I watch the web cam from Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland!
Salt Lake City, UT Thu 02/23/2006
Hello, This radio show is the best! Either because you learn something travel related that you didn't know before or becuase it just makes you laugh (in a good way) at hearing how different cultures can be... Anyway. I was just wondering if there could be a music log of the songs played through out the radio shows. I wouldn't mind knowing who some of the artists are. Also, would there be a chance for a radio show that has a cruise theme. Specifically, the Cruises in the Mediterranean or European area? Thanks, Monika Keep up the great work, as usual! :)
Toronto, On Mon 02/20/2006
I post this in response to the caller who was curious about taking a 9 year old to Egypt. I had just read this article in the Chicago Tribune about taking a 6 year old to Egypt. Here is the link and hope it helps:
Madison, WI Mon 02/20/2006
Hello Rick and all listeners! I'm listening to the topic on water rafting, interviewing River Oddysseys West, with Peter.
I am newly engaged and would like to take my fiance` and his 8 year old son on a "white water" couple day trip BEFORE we go on our own "parent trip" this summer. Is there an acceptable and safe outfit that specializes in this type of "family outing" that we can go to, located in the Washington, Idaho or Oregon areas? Thanks!
Kirkland/Seattle, WA Sat 02/18/2006
This is probably one of the most worthwhile shows on radio. No fluff. Intelligent questions and comments from Rick. Local experts. The show has me interested in places I have no intention of ever visiting and I have rejoined KUOW because they host the program. Thanks for the great work!
Seattle, WA Tue 01/31/2006
I was listening to the January 21 radio broadcast and heard the Mexican tour specialist comment on stingrays . He said that, if they sting you, it's just a scratch and nothing to worry about.
I grew up in Florida and beg to differ with that assessment. The "stinger" on a ray is a barbed harpoon several inches in length. They might jam it into an unwary wader's ankle or calf if they are trod upon. It's not toxic, but the barb is covered with an irritating substance that further inflames the wound.
A stingray won't end your vacation but it will certainly send you to the emergency room for a day.
Largo, FL Wed 01/25/2006
Hello all! I was wondering if there is anyone that can help me a travel problem that I am facing. I am looking for an inexpensive flight that would take me from Lourdes France or Toulouse France and take me into either Spilt or Zadar Croatia and/or Mostar or Sarajevo Bosnia? This is my first trip to Europe. I have been looking for inexpensive flights on the net but it's been frustrating. Can anyone point me in the right direction? If you can help me please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am leaving for this part of the world on April 25, 2006. Thank you so much for your help.
Los Angeles , CA Tue 01/24/2006
I've been listening to your radio program on packing lightly. After we purchased some of your books, we have used only 21" or 22" suitcases and used to be able to carry them on planes. However, this past spring we went to New Zealand and found on both our domestic flight to L.A. and Air New Zealand that carry-n luggage was limited to a maximum of 15 pounds weight. For the first time we had to check our suitcases. We are usually gone for 3 to 4 weeks on our trips, and cannot get our suitcases below 15 lbs.--esp. coming home with some souveniers. Have you run into this and if so, how do you handle it?
Baker City, OR Sun 01/22/2006
Regarding the radio discussion of foreign exchange students 01-14-06, there was some misleading information given. Hosting a foreign exchange student is fun and exciting, and will give you and your family a different perspective of both your culture and the student's culture. However, the focus should be on bringing the foreign student into American culture, and integrating them into the community here. This means supporting them in the school activities and providing opportunities and support for participation in sports, plays, and other school and community clubs and activities. Hosting a foreign exchange student should not be undertaken in order to meet someone from another country so you can visit them in their home later. If that is your goal, there are other avenues to support it better than hosting an exchange student. Hosting a FES is a great experience, and if you have the time, room, and affinity for it, I strongly suggest looking into the various host organizations. Your local high school counseling office can provide you with organizations that are active in your community.
Bainbridge Island, WA Sun 01/15/2006
Love Rick, sure.
But I wish he would pay more attention to pronunciation of foreign words.I heard him chatting with a greek tour guide. She kept pronouncing the place delphi as "delfee". Rick never picked up on the correct way to say it...repeating Delfeye! Also, Rick,in Italian words that have the letter i or e after g or c ex: ciao, the vowel is not pronounced. We dont say CHEE-AO we say CHOW. likewise, Giuseppe isnt GEE-OO-SEPPEE...but JEW-SEPPEE. Same with Giovanni.. Ciao.
seattle, wa Sat 01/14/2006
When makeing copies of your credit cards etc, who many copies should one make and where do should you keep then while you travel?
Portland, OR Thu 01/12/2006
Going to Provence in April. I'm thinking of renting a car. What are the pro's and con's of driving in southern france? Is it difficult to follow the signs? Is it intimidating driving in another country, not know the language too well or at all. thanks for any reponses!
NYC, NY Wed 01/11/2006
Rick was talking today with a cyclist, who forgot to mention one development in technology which basically relieves ALL of the "saddle-soreness" of long-range cycling: the advent of the modern RECUMBENT bicycle. These are just as sophisticated as conventional bikes, and faster in almost all situations except for extended steep hill climbing.I've been using one now for going on three years, and won't be returning to the upright bicycle. Not only is your "rear" comfortable, but so are your neck, arms and wrists. Plus, you are looking straight ahead (not down) and enjoy FAR more of the view. With we baby-boomers becoming more "experienced" in life, this form of the bicycle is becoming more popular all the time. Maybe you should consider this type of a bike (and the aging of the boomers) for a focus of one of your shows...
Salem, OR Sun 01/08/2006