Hi from Rick: Fresh, Rich Memories
|Rick shares his good taste in travel maps.|
Sorry this month's Travel News is running a bit late, but I've just returned from 70 busy days of book research and TV production in Europe. This trip generated lots of great new information for my 2006 guidebooks covering Germany, Switzerland, Britain, London, and England (a new title), plus three new TV shows to air a year from now (Wales, Bath/York and Edinburgh).
I'm enjoying lots of fun new travel memories. Just my last couple of weeks in Britain left a kaleidoscope of cultural images rattling around in my mind...
The kid on a family trip who pressed me to add a new kind of rating for sights in my guidebooks: IFK (icky for kids). The way the Welsh made me feel like a fool when I said "ciao." Watching a frisky sheepdog enjoying total control over his flock along a green hillside, directed by whistles from his Welsh master (his little dog-and-sheep show for tourists, typical of Britain, was too cleverly named: Ewe-phoria). The tour guide in Liverpool who could only see the world in terms of obscure Beatles trivia ("John's girlfriend's next boyfriend went to school here..."). How Europeans don't say mashed potatoes...but smashed potatoes. The kilted friend who answers questions about whether he's British or Scottish, with: "Scottish first, Scottish second." The strange joy I got wearing a fine kilt atop the peak that rises above Edinburgh. The man in the suit who took me up York's Minster tower to film its ten-ton bell. And my surprise when he pulled the rope until the bell actually rung him, carrying him high above the medieval floor.
In this month's Travel News we'll help you jump-start plans to make your own travel memories in 2006, with a couple of fun articles on Italy (focusing on local sports and lemons), and Prague's historic Petrin Tower. Check out our new 11-day Scotland tour (plus two dozen other 2006 destinations). And if you spend $100 or more in our Travel Store this month, we'll toss in my hot-off-the-press "Europe Through the Back Door 2006" travel handbook and a colorful Europe Planning Map — a $27 value — free.
Stay tuned for my next update in a couple of weeks. Thanks for traveling with us!