Rick on Public Radio: 2008
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New Year's Eve traditions
My family always open the front and back doors at midnight, and then we throw out a pail of water out both doors. I have always wondered where this tradition came from. We also eat 12 grapes at midnight, which is a Spanish tradition.
Hendersonville, TN USA Sat 12/27/2008
Hi Rick, I just listened to Johnnie Jet bragging about how he visits 20 countries a year and then adding that he is an envirnmental enthusiast because he supports paperless tickets! I was astonished. Shouldn't we all be reducing the amount of carbon we burn by reducing our number of flights? This is a dilemma that I look forward to hearing addressed with more intelligence in your upcoming shows. Thanks.
seattle, wa USA Sat 12/06/2008
Hi there! Just sitting on the commuter train from downtown Montreal to my home while listening yet again to another great Rick Steves podcast. I love that they're about world travel rather than just Europe. I remember poring over Asia Through The Back Door way back when, so it's great to hear Rick's continued enthusiasm for India, Japan, Iran...
He's a terrific interviewer - affable and curious - and each podcast is as entertaining as it is informative.
Thank you so much and keep up the great work!
Montreal, Canada Mon 12/01/2008
Rick and Turkey
Dear Rick, I live in Miami Beach, FL. I have been a close follower of your shows on TV, Radio and Podcasts. As a Turkish, I would like to say that you have been a great ambassador for teaching the history, the people, the culture, the sights and the facts of Turkey. I will propose to the MINISTRY OF TOURISM that you should be honored, recognized and awarded by our government for your stellar work. Our country could not get such positive exposure even if our government spent millions of dollars of advertising or marketing money on US soil. I am genuinely and greatly excited to see the outcome of my attempts to have you receive the recognition by the people of Turkey. With respect, Cem Onur
Miami Beach, FL USA Mon 11/17/2008
In listening to your program about collecting the art treasures reclaimed after WW II, I fondly recall my father-in-law's stories about being hired by the U.S. State Dept, to help collect treasures that were not located -- one being the Nefertiti.
His name was Johann (Hans) von Schmidt auf Altenstadt, and he was a prisoner of war in Indonesia and India during the war. In 1945 he was put on a ship and dumped in Hamburg, so he walked home to Frankfurt. Subsequently, he was hired by the U.S. State Dept to help collect art treasures. He found the Nefertiti in a cave and carried it out personally. Of course, today it is in Berlin.
After completing his job, he flew to Washington, D.C. to make his report. That was the end of his job. However, many new job offers awaited him. He chose the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, and worked for them for 25 years until his retirement and return to Germany. He never tired of telling that story. He died in the 1980's.
OR USA Mon 11/10/2008
I was introduced to Europe in 1993 at age 16 when I opted to go on a partial exchange that summer. I had been fortunate enough to express my travel wishes to my teachers at school, who helped me find AFS, which in turn awarded me a scholarship for a 6 week program abroad. What an eye-opener for a teenager from the midwest! I chose to go to "Eastern Europe," which included stays in Budapest, the Hungarian countryside, Bratislava, 2 smaller towns in Slovakia, Prague, and Olomouc, Czech Republic. My host family in Hungary (town of Pecsudvard) spoke no English, I spoke no Hungarian, but picked up a few words from my stay with them. They were very welcoming and nice people who had 2 teenage kids I assumed were close in age to me. I remember my trip there very fondly and would love to go back to Hungary, especially Budapest. My first trip abroad created a life-long love of travel, and I am lucky enough to have a husband who shares my enthusiasm. We took our honeymoon in Italy (with Rick's advice), and are planning a spring trip to France. So excited, and love reading all the travel stories on this site.
Chicago, IL USA Thu 11/06/2008
Turkey: Beyond Istanbul
Greetings: I am listening to Rick and Meli talk about Turkey. Sadly, I cannot call in (the program is not 'live' today).
I just wanted to note that in addition to being an amazing tour guide Meli is an accomplished and published photographer. Two years ago I signed up for her tour of Ephesus - what a joy!
In our conversations over the two days I found out about her other talents. Discovering my interest in photography, she arranged our times around the 'best light' and 'best sight lines' - amazing!
I hope to go to Turkey this summer or next, signing on to one of her select photography tours.
Meli is the BEST!
Cornelius (west of Portland), OR USA Sun 11/02/2008
French Onion Soup
A big thank you to Rick and the team for making the radio show available on podcast. I'm a frequest flier, er, listener. Yesterday I listened to one of the earlier shows about European Comfort Foods, and enjoyed hearing Rick and Arnault discussing Parisian cuisine. My wife and I visited Paris for the first time and had dinner at Le Bosquet. No surprise that half the guests were Americans with their Rick Steve's guidebooks, so hopefully the waiters did not think too badly of me that I ordered the French Onion soup in June. I now understand how much of a cliche this was, but am all the richer for the experience. My first bite was heaven. One of those rare moments in life when everything was perfect - I literally forgot to breathe. That moment was and is one of the highlights of all my travels. While I will always try to be a "temporary local", for the onion soup, I will gladly be called a tourist.
Sacramento, CA USA Thu 10/16/2008
I'm Jones'n for the most recent podcast. Where is it? not on itunes.
USA Thu 10/16/2008
What a delightful surprise to find, in the recent archives, an entire hour devoted to this interesting author and Italian food authority. Back in 1995, I had the good fortune of meeting him rather serendipitously in the coastal village of Camogli while he was researching his book on foods of the Ligurian region of Italy ("Recipes from Paradise"). My traveling companion and I enjoyed two thoroughly enjoyable and memorable evenings with him: one at a restaurant in a neighboring village, where he educated our palates on the unique features of the foods of the region, and the next in his apartment overlookig the Camogli fishing harbor, where he used as us more-than-willing testers (and tasters) of a couple of his developing recipes. The food was memorable, as was the company. (And yes, basil was a featured element of both meals.) I can't wait to get this latest book!
Kapaa, HI USA Tue 10/14/2008
European Explorers of America
I was listening to Rick's radio show on European explorers and thought they left out one. When visiting north-central Minnesota, I found a small museum about a stone etched with old Norse writing in Alexandria, MN. It appeared true evidence that Norsemen were there more than 500 years ago. The writing was just about common things like the number of men and provisions, not anything crazy.
This seems ignored by historians of North America. Shouldn't this have been included in places to visit that show Europeans' early presence here?
I found my replica of the stone. It is called the Kensington Runestone, and is in the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, MN. It was found by a farmer in 1898. The stone has a date of 1362 on it. Very interesting, and I don't have a clue as to why it is ignored.
Columbus, OH USA Mon 10/13/2008
I can't understand how a sign reading 'Girls above 9 must adhere to Islamic dress code' translates into 'We want women to be respected in our society'. It goes along the same line of thinking that blames the woman if she is the victim of rape.
I'm not from an Islamic country, although I can say my dad raised me with such an influence, I did not feel loved nor respected. It's more about the girl or woman representing the man, being his property if you will, and the man not wanting someone else looking at 'the goods'. It is not beautiful nor loving, for a girl to grow up in that environment is terrifying.
I think we have it right in America, crimes against females happen but I never was disrespected by someone in the street no matter what I was wearing (maybe in one or two occasions and all instances were men who were not American).
I live in Spain, and again, European men have never disrespected me in the street, I cannot say the same for men from Morocco, Egypt and Algeria (I speak from my own experience in Spain and France, sorry if I can't be politically correct).
This Islamic mentality is similar to some aspects of Christianity, blame the woman, because men cannot be held responsible for their actions.
Madrid, Spain Tue 10/07/2008
Iran-and a what if question
Today's session on Iran answers the question what a Rick Steves visit to Nazi Germany in 1938 would have been...perhaps with Anne Morrow Lindberg as a guide.
Not any travel discussion...simply a gosh don't worry about their politics...
Bakersfield, CA USA Sat 10/04/2008
Interesting program about Iran but i dont agree with the somewhat rosey picture of that country painted by you and Abdi.Iran's government is on the verge of perpetuating another Holocaust in regards to the members of the Baha'i faith, the largest minority religion in the country.This is the first time since Nazi Germany that the State is going after a defenseless segment of the population with absolutely no recourse available to them. Simply advising the Baha'is to stay out of Iran was somewhat insulting Steve, I suggest trying to tell the 300,000 Bahai's currently living there under unimaginable hardship. My wife and I have been very loyal fans of your work for many years and do not travel without consulting your guidance, but I felt that you trivialized this issue in your show and I felt offended. I hope you can find a way to ammend your comments on this issue to your listeners, Ali Agahi
visalia , Ca USA Sat 10/04/2008
I can't believe you described Iran as "not wanting their women to be disrespected." Rather, they don't want their women to play an equal role in society!! They totally disrespect their women by not allowing them an independent existence apart from a man (who must be responsible for them)! This is the ultimate disrespect.
Gig Harbor, WA USA Sat 10/04/2008
Iran and the environment
While the subjects of women and politics are fascinating I am interested in the environment - is there any sense of protecting it, are the birds and plant life species suffering? What about the stray animals - dogs and cats are they treated kindly. The owned animals - donkeys and livestock are well care for? Recently there was a "fatwa" about humane slaughter would like to hear more about that. Maybe not as bad in Iran but I read that in Saudi the men are so bored because there is no where they can for entertainment at night they drive around in their cars just to have something to do. With gas being 52 cents a gallon all can afford to do this. Is it as bad in Iran? May all countries protect the causes of women, children and the animals and environment as well. Inshallah!
Lake Forest Park, WA USA Sat 10/04/2008
Visiting Seattle from the UK, Steve, and listened to your programme with great interest -- good show. Some of the comments already posted reveal how brain-washed Americans are about Iran because they only get their information from the rabble-rousing mainstream media which has a vested interest in whipping up fear and antagonism against Iran.
A couple of your remarks made me smile. You spoke of how university professors "kiss up" to the authorities in order to keep their jobs. Do you think academics in the US don't live under the self-same constraints? If they show dissent or buck the system how long do you think they'd last? A week at most. Americans (and UK citizens for that matter) prattle on about how "free" they are in comparison with countries like Iran -- and it's a fiction. US professors "kiss up" to the authorities as much as anyone else or they wouldn't have a job.
Also, you mentioned several times that Iran had made threats to Israel. Funny you never thought to mention that Israel has over 200 illegally held nuclear weapons (funded by the US) that could wipe out Iran in 48 hours. Imagine, Steve, that you lived next door to an unfriendly country that had all that nuclear arsenal that could obliterate you in a trice. How would YOU feel? Yet not a whisper on your otherwise excellent programme.
Keep up the good work.
best regards --
Rochdale is in the UK, not USA
Rochdale, Lanc USA Sat 10/04/2008
David Sedaris Show
It was a great idea to interview David Sedaris about living abroad. It doesn't hurt that he's one of the most engaging people alive, but Rick's ability to ask the questions that would interest the rest of us really made it such an interesting, entertaining, and informative show. All the programs are great, but departing from the usual format once in a while like this is terrific. Now, if Rick could only help me persuade my wife to move to France with me for few months...
Marietta, GA USA Wed 10/01/2008
Berlin Music Tour!!!!!
Great section on Berlin...
If a music fan, check out www.musictours-berlin.com Fritz music tours, run by Thilo. Depeche Mode, Bowie, Iggy, Nick Cave, U2 Etc Etc Etc.
Tell him WIlliam from Legion Within in Seattle sent you.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 09/27/2008
Tour of Germany
My son and I just got back from traveling all over Germany. I can't thank Rick enough for highlighting the rooms in the Residenz in Munich. Room 95 with the relics was amazing and we would have never found it if Rick hadn't written what was in there which made me determined to find it. We did wish we had know more about Oktoberfest. First, reserve your seat in a beer tent for about 11:30am to 4 to 5pm before you leave the states it is so worth it. This will help make sure you get in and experience the real fun. Wear layers it gets hot in the beer halls. The parade ends at noon at the Oktoberfest grounds so it is best to see it there at the first beer tent because the bands leave the parade route and go into their own beer halls so there isn't live music before then. If you are older you may not want to go to the Hofbrauhaus beer tent because it is a lot of young people and very rowdy. We went and took pictures at every beer tent. If you forget to make your reservation get to the Oktoberfest grounds before 9am and stand in line and you might get in. The beer halls are free. We made the mistake along with some friends to follow the crowd and we paid 25 euros each to get into the area we thought were the beer halls only to find out it was a home/farm show that was showing farm equipment, irons and vacuums etc. I could go on and on about the different places we visited like Berlin which was amazing and has changed so much since I last visited it when I was 18. Buchenwald which you need at least two hours to visit. Linderhof Castle of Ludwig II and the fountains etc. The biggest language challenge was the menus to order food. Luckily several people spoke a little English nad I had Ricks German language book. Thanks Rick Warmest Wishes Mary Langsdorf
Wake Forest, NC USA Fri 09/26/2008
David Sedaris interview
I wanted to express my gratitude and delight with your choice of David Sedaris for today's show. Aside from some travel related things/tips, it mostly a fun romp and I'm sure that I, like most of your fans and clients, never thought that I would learn of the vagina's gender through Rick Steves. It had me laughing out loud and curious about how much negative feedback it might draw. Hopefully none.
I used your guide books on my recent trip to Italy and just mailed my boss your Ireland book. He's in St. Louis and had not heard of your company. Anyway, from your great travel books and your progressive mind, expressed on the public square to our benefit, I wanted to let you know that I consider you a real treasure. Keep up the great work!
Everett, WA USA Sat 09/20/2008
Thank you for conducting such a wonderful, insightful interview with Baron Alderdice. I lived in Northern Ireland for 3 years and I enjoy hearing from leaders from the region with positive, progressive views. I am very impressed that you, Rick, are so broad-thinking to have somebody like Baron Alderdice on your programme. Many Americans have no clue what is going on, or what did go on in the North of Ireland; your programme is a wonderful resource for learning about contemporary issues throughout the world. I love all of your radio podcasts-- especially the ones concerning Ireland! Best wishes!
Austin, TX USA Sun 09/14/2008
Poor choice of guests on this one. Lord Alderdice had nothing to do with travel. That show was one big philosophy lesson, please get back to Travel.
Saginaw, MI USA Tue 09/09/2008
As an avid traveler i love your radio show. Your program with Lord Alderdice was especially interesting and i appreciate you having discussions beyond the "where to go and how to get there". His comment about Saddam needing to "save face" made an impression. Americans are so egocentric most don't take the time to find out how other cultures think. Our way is not the only way. Imagine how many lives we could have saved if we had approached the Iraq situation differently. To say nothing of the billions of dollars that could have been put into our failing intrastructure. Thanks for all you do.
Oregon City, OR USA Sun 09/07/2008
Trip to Itay
Dear Rick, Thank you for your Italy book. My family and I traveled there at the end of July to the 1st of Aug. The only hotel that I did not pick from you book was the worst. The hotel in Venice, Hotel Campiello was just perfect. The hotel in Florence was more than we could ask for. Sergio and Lorenzo could not do enough for us. No matter what we asked they would either anwser it or find the anwser. The hotel il Villino was a dream come true. We also at a few resturants in Florence, for lunch Sergio told of a very good resturant just down the street, but for dinner we found the best in you book. It was Trattoria la Burrasca, we had the best time there. Thanks so much you made the trip so much fun and easy. The Spinelli's
Baden, PA USA Sat 09/06/2008
Lord Andyce was a terrific guest. I recommend that he talk to our US congress and the 4 candidates. Because we do not need more war. Our economy is in such a slump now and we are spending needless money on it.
Joan Judge Mirabal
Dallas, TX USA Sat 09/06/2008
I am not a routine listener to your programs, but came across today's interview with Lord Alderdice. It was am amazing, and heartening, interview. I will be sure to tune in to future shows. Thank you for seeking out someone like him.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 09/06/2008
Lord John Alderdyce
I usually have your program on, largely because I tend to listen to NPR all Saturday long. Mostly I am vaguely aware of your show, and sometimes I learn a few helpful hints. But not today. I was riveted by your hour-long interview with Lord Alderdyce. I suggest you send a CD of today's show to both Obama and McCain.
Mercer Island, WA USA Sat 09/06/2008
The European Union
Your show is usually full of helpful travel information but now I must protest that you are in danger of being carried away by your pro-EU enthusiasm. You appear unaware that though many Europeans like and respect their neighbouring countries, they do not wish to be governed by a remote elite in Brussels, which is not elected and increasingly disregards democracy itself, refusing to accept the results of the few referendums allowed by some nation states on the continuing enlargement of EU power. Indeed in Britain, which you appear to know well, over 70% of the population view it negatively. Many cannot name a single Commissioner or even their own EU representative (MEP). The majority were (mis)led to believe the EU was "merely" an economic project to facilitate easier trading; not, as Monnet himself intended, an eventual total political union with all ruling powers accruing to the EU in Brussels - which would be "hidden from the people" for as long as possible by proceeding with small incremental steps, Previous attempts at European unification were tried by Charlemagne, Napolean and Hitler and many today believe the current artificial welding together of completely disparate nation states cannot endure for long against their peoples' wishes.
P.S. In describing the composition of the House of Lords, Lord Alderdice neglected to mention that many of today's members include political cronies of past and present govts.,(commonly called "Cash for Favors" and still under investigation by the Police) whereas in the more distant past, one of the questionable advantages of the hereditary peers was that they were far less likely to be "bought" by the lure of title, power or money.
seattle, WA USA Sat 09/06/2008
Why didn't Sadam say he had no nukes
Sept. 6 show - FYI...Your guest suggested that Sadam Husain did not want to be humiliated so he did not allow inspections. I heard elsewhere on NPR that he did not want Iran to know he didn't have WMD, fearing an attack from Iran...no bearing on US opinion/face saving
Seattle, WA USA Sat 09/06/2008
Travel in the Middle East show
Yesterday I listened to the show about the books written by a woman and a gay man who traveled in the Middle East.
The lessons and insights that they learned were could have been gained by reading about two Englishmen who found ways to become part of the Arab/Middle Eastern culture. Sir Richard Burton, not the actor :), and TE Lawrence learned these lessons many decades ago.
Last week I read Lowell Thomas's book 'With Lawrence in Arabia' and found that his insights about how women fit into the Arab culture at the time are mirrored by what the woman writer found decades later.
The Thomas character was written into the 'Lawrence of Arabia' movie as a reporter. Burton's biography is incredible! Both of these men passed themselves off as Arab. Burton could do a better job because he had dark eyes. Lawrence learned the customs and languages and earned respect.
In Thomas's book his last chapter, 'Art of handling Arabs' gives some great insights about how to be a good traveler. Heck, I learned some good things about being a better friend or supervisor too!
Dallas, TX USA Sun 08/31/2008
The recent podcast of budget travel tips overlooked a good source of meeting local residents while keeping costs down - eating at Subway, McDonalds, and its European counterpart Quick. I found that similar to the U.S., young people tend to frequent these places. They are friendly and eager to use their English. I've also gotten into good discussions about politics and day-to-day life issues. The prices are usually within $1 U.S., making it easy to remain thrifty. Of course, cafes and bistros so often advocated in the Rick Steves programs are wonderful but frankly, I've enjoyed my fast food dining experiences more. Try it on your next trip.
Clearfield, PA USA Tue 08/05/2008
NATURAL AREAS OF THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS
I wish to recommend NATURAL AREAS OF THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS (located in the Straits of Juan de Fuca in WA state and Canada) by Terry Domico, a biologist who has lived and worked in the islands for over 20 years.
Listed are sites which are accessible and defensible (so they can be respectfully enjoyed without destroying them) that guide the reader to uniquely native flora and fauna in some of the most beautiful locations in the islands.
Included are maps, photos, facilities, access (many by car or state ferries, some by boat or kayak) and an explanation about how nature lives with itself and with human neighbors.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 08/02/2008
Jamaica Is Dangerous
I listened with dismay to the radio podcast interview with Oliver Hill, the author of the Moon handbook to Jamaica. Jamaica is a dangerous destination full of violence targeted at tourists and a nation in which homophobic violence is totally out of control. The government of this island nation seems to turn a blind eye to the frequent violence and murder of gays and lesbians. As a travel agency owner I have implemented an office policy of never arranging travel to Jamaica for any of my clients due to the safety concerns and instead refer them to a safer Caribbean destination such as the Virgin Islands or Cayman Islands. My grandparents were the victims of crime in Jamaica when they were robbed at knife point by a taxi driver several years ago. Recently I had the chance to give an earful to a representative of the Jamaica tourism industry at a local travel trade show and was informed that he often heard this same complaint about the danger to tourists but that there was little that he could do. Until the government of Jamaica takes a stronger stand to combat violence I will continue my boycott without apology. Avoid Jamaica!
Chapel Hill, NC USA Wed 07/30/2008
Olympics Wash State
The route 66 and Life book show failed to mention the Olympic Mountains in Washington. I just climbed Mt Townsend. The view from the top included Mt Rainer, Baker, Olympus, Victoria and other parts of Canada. It was magnificent. Hiku Golden Eagles, Mountains water, wild flowers, unending beauty
Bremerton, Wa USA Sun 07/13/2008
Bad Advice from the Artist in Africa
In the "An Artist's Impressions of Africa," a caller asked where to find up to date information about the safety and security in Africa countries. The artist's horrible advice was to check with your travel agent! Not only was his advice awful, but I can't believe that Rick Steves did not correct him and advise listeners to check with the US State Deparment, an agency which maintains up to date travel warnings and advice.
An American in Hong Kong, HK HK Sun 07/13/2008
Route 66 show
I LOVE your show, but I am utterly shocked that your guest during the Rte. 66 segment failed to mention Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman AZ. Nobody who's ever taken out of a Grand Canyon river trip has missed the chance to stop at Delgadillo's for ice cream or a burger, and for a big dose of corny 50's style decor and humor from the staff. It's about as "Mother Road" as you can get. It's too bad they don't have a website, but those guys are truly stuck in a bygone era!
Durango, CO USA Mon 07/07/2008
America the Beautiful
My vote for a worthy site for the America The Beautiful Life book is the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Not only is this a spectacular stretch of the Columbia River with spectacular waterfalls pouring off of lush basalt cliffs but it is also a significant part of the American west.
Lewis and Clark passed through here on their way to the ocean. But thousands of years before that Native American tribes lived here fishing the river for plentiful salmon and trading with tribes as far away as Idaho, at least until the Boneville Dam was built, burying Celilo Falls, their best fishing spot. This was also where emigrants following the Oregon Trail caught the downstream barges into the Willamette Valley. It is a beautiful spot where history from many directions collide the have impacted our country.
Portland, OR USA Sun 07/06/2008
Tony Wheeler's Lonely Planet
I just want to say that the show with Tony Wheeler on Lonely Planet was fantastic I have read Unlikely Deatanations : The Lonely Planet Story best travel read ever, Lonely Planet is awsome my dream is to work for them someday.
Lawrence, KS USA Thu 07/03/2008
vaseline in the nose
A little-known fact of medical concern is that vaseline in the nostrils becomes its own medical hazard, according to published research. Putting it in a nose, protectively or for dryness, was mentioned in today's section on travel medicine.
Think of vaseline as thick oil. It slowly spreads out over the surface it is placed on. From the nostrils, some of it runs downhill along the breathing passages into the lungs. There it accumulates; it is not metabolized, and it doesn't easily become part of the mucus you cough up.
As you can imagine, over time it will fill up spaces. Perhaps dust and biological particles will stick to it. At its worst, a chemical pneumonia can result. This is a reason the Vicks Vap-O-Rub type products tell you not to put it in your nostrils.
Would one exposure hurt you? Unlikely, but over time it really has the potential to reduce your ability to breathe.
So, how to moisturize dry, sore nasal passages? Get your doctor's advice, but for starters, don't be rubbing at it repeatedly. Try breathing normally, but through a moistened (with water) bandana or hankie. (If it's dusty or otherwise hazardous, you can make a very effective mask by tying it around your noggin. You can even put a single thickness across your upper face and still see through it adequately for survival purposes.) (If you're using Vicks-type stuff, keep it outside your nostrils and the aroma will still be adequate to whatever actual medicinal value it will have.)
davy B, RN
fresno, CA USA Sat 06/28/2008
moistening your nose while traveling
Now that I think of it, breathing through a moist bandana isn't the only protective upper respiratory thing to do (but if your're doing it, remember to keep re-moistening as it dries out).
Along with washing your face, you can perform a nasal douche twice a day. This is unknown in the West, but a common hygiene practice in some places, such as South Asia. Flushing your nostrils this way has been shown to reduce the incidence of some illnesses like the common cold.
Use mildly salty water - the right proportion won't sting the way it stings when you get a blast of fresh (or hyper-salty) water up your nose. You can buy the bottled product ("Ocean Spray" or whatever) but I find it more pleasant to make my own salt water with warm tap water. Pour it into your palm, lean over the sink, snort it up, blow it out (don't hold one nostril closed or anything; just snort and blow), and repeat until it flows easy and no snot is returning.
I'll bet if you practice this twice a day - like after brushing your teeth - for a couple of weeks, you will have a more comfortable nose and fewer cases of flu. You'll think, "why don't we health-phobic Westerners already know about this?"
So there again!
davy B, RN
fresno, CA USA Sat 06/28/2008
Kalmar and Oland Sweden
My wife and took design tours to Sweden for a number of years. I think often this part is ignored for the more glamorous gloass district. There is so much to see there. Go the last Sat. night of September for the fall festival to find farms open with art exhibits. We had dinner with the cows in one farm with fine china and lace table cloths. There is the notion that the Swedes are boring and droll. They are crazy and fun. I love Sweden.
Bellevue, WA USA Sat 06/21/2008
Traveling with Kids
Can I add one more very important point about our experience traveling with a young child?
All of our European trips are guided by the best... Rick's guidebooks! I truly appreciate the time and energy-saving tips and advice about our destinations, as this allows us to have more time and energy to prepare for the "journey" with our child.
Thank you for addressing one of my favorite topics-TRAVELING WITH KIDS- on your radio show. It was a pleasure to meet you and of course- your talented producer Tim!
I am looking forward to meeting the traveling parents/grandparents who attend our free "Jet with Kids" travel class (at Rick's European Travel Center in Edmonds, WA) on Saturday, June 21.
And of course, I will be picking up the 2008 guidebooks for our upcoming trip - Belgium, France, Germany, with a stop in Prague!
Thanks again Rick-
See you next week!
Anya Clowers, RN
CA USA Wed 06/11/2008
I just heard rick talk about slovakia a little on the radio and I wanted to encourage him to talk more about this country. I was a peace corps volunteer in Levoca, Republic in 1990 and it was a remarkable place. Levoca is in the eastern part of the country near Kosics and easily accessible to Krakow which I visited a couple times. It takes one day to get from Bratislova all the way across the country to Kosice.
It is truly a cool country and the Peace corps is no longer there. They have internet and cell phones and good beer and very friendly people. I recommend more information for poor Americans on this destination.
Kent, WA USA Tue 06/10/2008
Kids in Italy
Whatever the pain of traveling with kids, we found the Italians were thrilled to see a family. The fact we had our kids with us seemed to bring out the nurturing feelings of the families that owned the restaurants. They brought us free food and teased the girls and were wonderful. Having the bambinos in tow was a real ice breaker.
Other Lesson learned: Give the kids a chance to recover from the trip. We hired a guide to take us to the Vatican and scheduled the tour for three hours after we hit our B&B near St. Peters. We nearly had a great story about our daughter vomiting in front of the Gorgon head statue in the Vatican Museum (the statue on the front of Edith Hamilton's mythology book). Slow it down and go for quality over quantity.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 06/10/2008
Anesthesia conference, Amesterdam
What a great trip we had using Rick Steve's guides to Germany, Austria, Brugges and Amsterdam where we atteneded an anesthesologist's conference. Most all the attendees had Rick Stev's guidebooks so we all traded tips of what we had read or had done during the trip. We actually got a great picture of one of the attendess of the conference in Munich while she was reading the guide and viewing the sights. Keep up the good work!
Clermont, FL USA Mon 06/09/2008
Travelling with kids
My son is now 13 and we've been traveling and living abroad since he was an infant. A couple things I'd like to mention that might be helpful:
1) Parents need to be aware that the rules around passports for minors have changed. Both parents now have to appear in person and sign off on passport. If that's not possible, the applying parent must present either a notorized document from the other parent expressly giving permission for issuing the passport or documentary evidence of sole custody or make a good case why the other parent is not available. The logic behind this new rule (since 2002) is to prevent a parent absconding with the child. But it has not been well publicized and parents need to be aware in case they need to make special arrangements.
2) For young children, especially infants and toddlers who are especially vulnerable to ear pain on takeoff and landings, I heartily recommend Ear Planes. These are ear plugs that equalize air pressure. This little item was a godsend for my son and he still insists on wearing them. They work for adults as well. I don't know why more parents don't know about them. In my experience, they're magical. They're available in most drug stores and major supermarkets now, but you may have to look for them.
3) I echo the notion that traveling with kids gives you a very different, and much more real, experience of other cultures. Kids are a people-magnet, especially for other kids, and people's behavior is much more revealing.
4) I took my son to Eastern Europe to live when he was 2 (for 6 weeks) and between 3-7. It was a great experience and I recommend it. It's much easier to do this when kids are pre-school or early primary school age. It provides an invaluable life experience.
Portland, OR USA Mon 06/09/2008
Cheap Lodging in London
When I went to London, I found lodging through "London Homestays" and got a room with a family. It was cheap and included breakfast and was pretty close to the tube. And it was neat to stay with a British family, I had great conversations with them about politics, the monarchy, etc.
Here's the link for the program I booked through:
Vancouver, WA USA Sun 05/25/2008
Sharing Normandy with the Next Generation
Appreciated the program on Normandy. I think the experience needs to be shared with the very young generation. I had the pleasure of taking the Texas Children's Choir to perform at the National Cemetery at Omaha Beach for the White House 60th Anniversary D-Day ceremonies in 2004. After they sang their concert for the American and French presidents and 10,000 veterans and their families, they were "adopted" by veterans who took each of the young singers to where they had landed on the beaches in 1944, and shared their entire experiences with them. The children have grown quite a bit since then and are now writing about their Normandy experiences in their high school history classes. We won't get to have many more commemorative ceremonies if we don't involve the next generation now before those veterans are gone.
San Antonio, TX USA Tue 05/20/2008
The death of a Pope
I love the show and never miss a podcast, but have to say something about the recent Rome show.
I couldn't disagree more about not being in Rome if the Pope dies :-)
My mother and I arrived in Rome the day after the death of John Paul II and it was absolutely the best time to be there. The city was very clean (getting fancied-up for the world's media), felt very safe (was full of police to take care of the world's bigwigs) and we didn't line up for one single 'sight' (because everyone was at St. Peters and we had the Forum, Coliseum etc to ourselves).
It was absolutely brilliant. On our first day we went to the Vatican and spent time with the mourners but then after that we were on our own once we'd swum against the crowd out of our apartment - they were all heading to the Vatican and we were heading to the Capitol!
We were very worried prior to going, thinking it was going to be a total madhouse, but it was the best time to be there. Obviously it's not an easy thing to plan, but don't be put off if the Pope happens to die before you arrive!!
Thanks again for all the brilliant podcasts and travel ideas, I really enjoy the show.
Australian living in Germany Thu 05/15/2008
Istanbul Radio Show
I'm listening to the show about Istanbul and just wanted to correct a statement that Rick made. He just mentioned that when India and Pakistan were partitioned this was done b/c Pakistan wanted to be a Muslim nation and India a Hindu nation. Independent India was designed to have a secular form of government - as is evident both if one reads their Constitution (which declares that they are a secular republic) as well as takes even a cursory look at the history of Independence (including the fact that the constituent assembly that drafted the Constitution was made up of delegations which included those from the Muslim League). Just wanted this mistake to be noted.
Columbus, OH USA Sun 05/04/2008
Tapestries at Chateau d'Ecouen
A question was asked on your recent radio program on Paris where textiles might be found. In the Chateau d'Ecouen is a wonderful Brussels tapestry woven in 1515 which is displayed over three rooms and tells the story of David and Bathsheba. It's excellent, and I'm surprised it's not displayed in Paris itself.
Chateau d'Ecouen is easily accessed from Paris from Gare du Nord. Take the train to Ecouen-Ezanville, just a 23 minute ride in Carte Orange Zone 4. The Chateau is closed on Tuesdays.
This trip is included in the book An hour from Paris by Annabel Simms.
Cincinnati, Ohio USA Wed 04/23/2008
our superlative sunny Sunday in Dublin
We were docked in Dublin on a Sunday in July '04. Our dear friend had booked us for Sunday brunch in the Shelborne Hotel, where the harp music made us feel we had arrived in heaven. Afterwards, we wandered over to St. Stephen's Park across from the hotel for an outdoor concert. We sat on the grass with all the Dubliners, enjoying the (rare) sunshine, camaraderie and music. My husband went back to the ship with a tan - an unexpected souvenir from our Sunday outing. We also went to a store with only Irish products - excellent souvenirs. I would go back tomorrow. Erin Go Brach!
Boca Raton, FL USA Mon 04/14/2008
I was disappointed that Rick barely touched on the human rights abuses of China, and largely allowed his guests to whitewash China's government.
I'm not going to discourage people from going there, but if you're going to broach the subject of the government and corruption, please check with Human Rights Watch to see what's actually going on, and don't just let guests broadcast misleadingly positive views of the Chinese government.
New York, NY USA Mon 04/14/2008
America's capital - a city of paradoxes! Tour the residence of the leader of the free world-and visit the world's embassies. Visit the capital building where the 13th ammendment was passed under a dome ornament built by slaves. See 200 years of First Ladies' innagural gowns or the moon rockets! Your federal income taxes support most of the city's attractions, so DC can be a budget vacation.
USA Mon 04/07/2008
Children and travel
I got my bug to travel back in 1979 when I took a "Europe Through the Back Door" class and my husband and I have traveled frequently since.
A couple of years ago we took an entire year off and did an around the world trip with our then 12 and 14 year old boys. We camped through Europe in September and October, which was fabulous, and then traveled inexpensively through many developing nations in Asia and Central and South America. The boys loved it, as did we, and all I can say is GO! It was the best investment we ever made.
Kingstson, WA USA Mon 04/07/2008
Paris visits backstage at small artisan shops
I found a small company that arranges visits to all sorts of small producers, sellers, and crafts people. As a result, I was at Girard Mulot watching them make macarrons and chocolate covered orange peel. I also visited the bakery of Arnaud Delmontel, who won the "best baguette" award (Concours pour la Meilleure Baguette de Paris). You can visit jewelry designers, book binders, etc., not just food makers.
For a small fee, from 5-10 Euros per person, you spend up to an hour meeting the artisan and watching behind the scenes. Tours are in English and French. It`s called Meeting the French They also arrange much longer visits and events, and B&B stays, but I have no experience with those. The short visits are called "company visits" on the English version of the website: MeetingTheFrench.com.
This is a small agency partnered with the Paris tourist office. The owner and her chief guide are both delightful. I highly recommend this company and their mini-visits for a really different Paris experience.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 04/05/2008
National Parks Road Trip with Kids
I took two boys on a 6-week road trip last year to National Parks - Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. My boys fell in love with the nightly ranger programs. They became the highlight of every day. National parks rock!
Seattle, WA USA Mon 03/31/2008
Ricky on the Radio!!!
Rick on the radio is simply magical. I was thrilled with his videos and his television shows but now that he is on the radio, I can listen to Rick 24/7!
He has such good advice for vacationing. I've always wanted to meet up with him while he is filming. This may sound silly, but it is one of my life goals! I'll keep traveling until we finally meet =]
Rick = Life
Chicago, IL USA Thu 03/27/2008
On the podcast, Rick and his guest said that the main National Museum of Ireland was on Kildare Street. The other National Museum of Ireland is actually on the other side of Dublin near the Jameson distillery (Aston Quay). The Collins Barracks National Museum houses the decorative arts and historical artifacts collection. There one will see examples of historic weaponry, furniture, silver, ceramics and glassware. On Kildare Street, the National Museum houses the Archaelogical & History section of the museum--over 2,000,000 artefacts which range in date between 7000BC and the late medieval period. In sum, there actually two National Museums of Ireland, both of which should not be missed. Also, I Jameson distiller and the Smithfield area deserved a mention! I agree with the prevous post on Dublin; it would have been better to have a "Dub" narrate the podcast, as opposed to an individual from the North of Ireland, even though he was very informed about Dublin. It would have been amusing to discuss "Dublinisms" and Dublin slang.
Austin, TX USA Wed 03/26/2008
Saturday 3/15 program on Ireland
3 quick comments ...
1. Trinity College is Irelands oldest University but it is not the leading in terms of all academics as Steve inferred with the "Ivy League" comment. Remember while the republic of Ireland has many third level institutions - it has only has 7 Universities amongst them. Each then have a very high standard of limited admission - and each have respective specialities that out rank the other in terms of admission standards. Also Trinity does not cost marginally any more to attend as it too is a state sponsored school. I should know I'm a graduate of same.
2. Irish Army: Rick should be aware that the Irish army is primarily a Defence Force and while small is very well trained - with a special forces section and general services that serve at home and fyi abroad in more than 20 countries - primarily UN - but most recently in the EU force to Chad - where an Irish Army General has overall command of the 6000 member enforcement force. Also the army has begun training within the Nordic section of the EU's rapid deployment force - completing recent field exercises in Sweden.
3. while your Irish guest was fairly well informed on matters - it was rather odd to have a non Dublin (northern ireland in fact) commentator speaking about that subject. I'd suggest a more appropriate voice on future programs.
Thanks for your good work on this and other programmes.
Bellevue, WA USA Mon 03/17/2008
How amazing to turn on Rick's radio program and hear the voice of Nigel, our excellent guide in Berlin, Prague, and Vienna (fall 2007). We appreciated his deep knowledge of Berlin when we visited there and have often thought in the months since of the vibrant, yet haunting quality of that city. Give him a raise, Rick - Nigel is great.
Springfield, IL USA Sat 03/08/2008
Loved all the info on Italy and wine making from Tour Queen Renee Restivo-can't wait to travel with her again to Sicily and then the Olive Harvest Tour.
Stamford, cT USA Sun 03/02/2008
I thoroughly enjoyed your program today on Wales and that other place, I didn't quite catch the name. Apart from the comments on Rhyl, which might be true, but still hurtful this being one of the holiday resorts for the mill workers from Lancashire.
Though now a US citizen I was raised in Prestatyn and went to school in Rhyl. A couple of other bits of information on North Wales (please note not Northern Wales). Gold was mined and panned from streams in Snowdonia and both the gold for the wedding rings of the Queen and Princess Margaret were gifts from the Welsh People. On a future visit to North Wales you might like to check out the hamlet of Gwynesgor, above Prestatyn which has one of the oldest churches in Wales. The walls lean outwards to represent Noah's Ark, and has a small 'leper' window, so the lepers could listen to the sermons from outside the church. Marks on the font are from the swords of local knights being sharpened before proceeding to the Crusades and a local pub is (or was when I lived there), called the 'Saracen's Head' possibly a war souvenir. The Roman's mined lead locally at Melidan. There is lots more but you might like to check it out for yourself.
Diolch yn fawr,
Renton, WA USA Sat 03/01/2008
Traveling on your stomach: Everyday Italian cuisine
On the question of wine in Italy. Rick's guest was elaborating on Primitivo wine. He said it was related to Zinfandel. Rick clarified and said something like "you mean primitive wine?" and his guest said yes. I think there was something lost in translation.
Primitivo is actually a type of winegrape. It was brought to the United States by Italian immigrants and it is known in the US as Zinfandel. In the 1990's, Carol Meredith, a professor at UC Davis, found that the grape known as Primitivo in Italy is genetically indistinguishable from the Zinfandel winegrape now grown in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Mosier, OR USA Sun 02/24/2008
New restaurant in Cortona, Italy
Our last meal in Italy was quite memorable.Having dined at the well known established places, a vintner recommended a new restaurant called "Dolce Maria"Every meal in Italy was great, but this was superior! The shellfish, salad, and steak were divine and beautifully presented. www.dolcemaria.it
Cincinnati, OH USA Sat 02/23/2008
Errors of fact and emphasis in Tibet piece
I felt that the segment on Tibet today gave a very one-sided perspective. I am a Tibetan Buddhist who visited Tibet in 2006, just after the train started running. Tibet was a repressive, stagnant theocracy when the Chinese took over: now, just like the rest of China, it is modernizing at an astonishing rate, and that is not a bad thing (I particularly remember the solar panels on the backs of the nomad's yaks, charging their cell phones). I also felt there was a good deal of stereotyping of Chinese residents and tourists, many of whom come to China on their own spiritual searches and many of whom, I would say, are a good deal more devout than me. Many people forget that spirituality runs very deep in Chinese culture too.
Everyone in Tibet is free to practice their religion, and the majority of the population do, fervently. They also appreciate the material benefits the Chinese have brought (I still remember the wizened old lady circling the Barkhor with her prayer whell in one hand, taking a call on her cell phone with the other.) What the government does not tolerate, understandably, is any attempt to overthrow it, and in this respect the attitude of many Westerners, who express a desire to restore the Dalai Lama (which in my opinion would be a disaster - I would foresee mass deportations of Han citizens. It's often forgotten that many middle-aged Han citizens of Tibet were born there) is not reassuring them.
Your guest was also pretty ill-informed on a number of questions. It takes 3 days to get to Kailas, not 7: the electrical outlets are physically American but supply 240 volts not 120 so you will need a step-down transformer: the flights from Chengdu run every couple of hours, not every couple of days.
Actually, I have to say that I found the piece pretty racist.
For an account of my month in Tibet, see
Seattle, WA USA Sat 02/16/2008
I am listening to the fascinating show today (Feb 9) about the artworks of Europe being saved from German theft and destruction. My late friend Elias "Dutch" Schultz was a wood sculptor who'd studied in Europe on a GI Bill and, on a trip to the Louvre, saw a work done by his favorite German artist. It was mis-labelled with a French artist's name. He was upset and asked to speak to the curator. He was told that many works were intentionally mis-labelled so they would escape the notice of the Germans, and that this was one of several whose identities and provenance had not yet been corrected. Thought I'd add this interesting story to the fascinating story being told. Thanks for your show and for your great advice over the years.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 02/02/2008
Caller who wants to live in Europe
Hi, I just heard a caller on Travel with Rick Steves who wants to live in Europe with only a tourist visa. Rick and his guest advised the caller to cross into another country whenever his tourist visa was about to expire, and then cross back to get a new tourist visa. While this works in Asia, Africa, and South America, it doesn't work in Europe. The Schengen Agreement was signed by nearly all countries in Western Europe, and states that a visitor may only stay in the Schengen area for a total of 90 days per 360 day period. So, unfortunately, living in Europe without a residence permit is more complicated than Rick and his guest led the caller to believe. Good luck!
Cincinnati, OH USA Sat 01/26/2008
Rick Steves in Paris
A few years ago (summer of 2003 I think), my wife and I were enjoying a great vacation in Paris using Rick Steves book as our primary guide.
On one particularily beautiful Paris day we were walking in a neighborhood recommended by Rick's book and who was coming up the sidewalk towards us? None other than Rick Steves himself. He was gracious enough to say hello and sign our copy of his book. What a neat thing to happen while vacationing in Paris. We would like to again say thank-you Rick. You made our day.
Mike S. Bradshaw
Deer Park, Texas USA Tue 01/15/2008
I liked Umbria so much I bought an apartment there
In 2005 I took 3 months off from work, and traveled from Rome as far north as Padua, but spent 3 weeks of my first month in Umbria, east of Chiusi, in a small hill town called Panicale. During those 3 weeks I made several Italian friends and ex-patriots also.
My mid-life break-out ended when i put an offer on an apartment. This last year I spent 11 weeks there, working long distance via internet (I live in Portland, OR). Tomorrow I leave for Panicale again!
My advice is, stay in a place where you can cook, and try lots of the variety of produce. I always ask the mothers how to cook things I don't know. I'm looking forward to agreti in spring!
Your program is making my heart race even more, thinking of being back there! So I will make a plug also for the Umbrian hill towns, and also the Montefeltro country towards Urbino.
Portlant, OR USA Mon 01/14/2008
What about the Dolomites! The town of Toblach near the Tre Cime is amazing! Don't forget the Dolomites!! AMazing hiking, huts, people, espresso!
Bend, OR USA Sun 01/13/2008
I took a long awaited trip to Europe last fall. The trip was wonderful. It was part business with lots of time afterwards to enjoy Munich,Paris and London. One note, street signs are not on sign posts like in the US, they are on the side of buildings. I learned this quickly after arriving at my metro stop in Paris at 6:30am after taking the night train from Munich. Dark and rainy it took a little wandering to find the signs! Because of you're guidebooks I've got the confidence now to fulfill my travel dreams! Thanks Rick!
Parkville, MD USA Sun 01/13/2008
Attractions in London
On your programme to-day you were looking for attractions in London.
An attraction I can recommend is a visit to Chislehurst Caves. Chislehurst is in Kent and part of Greater London. The caves are next to Chislehurst railway station, about 20 minute train jouney from central London. Their history that goes back to before the Druids, through the Romans up to it's use as a air raid shelter during WW II, followed by a venue for rock bands in the 60's. The tour is illuminated by hurrican lamps carried by tour participants.
I have been several times, the first time in 1954 when I was 10.
It's not too expensive, and is fun.
Bothell, WA USA Sat 01/05/2008
I just heard the new year's show. I had the pleasure of New Years in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid--just try to eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes the hour--after 6 I felt like a pelican--whose mouth holds more than his belly can
Riverside, CA USA Thu 01/03/2008