Program 253a: Composer Sites in Europe; Portugal Beyond Lisbon; Eating Adventures

Release Date: 07-20-2013

On Air Description

The payoff can be a life-long happy memory when you make a point to go off the usual tourist routes.  On this week's Travel with Rick Steves, we'll see how attending a performance at one of Europe's great concert venues can add to your enjoyment of classical music.  A guide from Portugal introduces us to some of the high points away from Lisbon.   And travel writer Don George shares stories of life-changing food adventures around the world.

It's a feast for the senses on the next Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

  • This week is a re-edit of Pgm #253, which first aired July 16, 2011, and also contains some material from Pgm #256. 
  • Underwriting credits that are usually embedded just before the ends of segments A and C will resume with program #333, which will air next week (release date July 27, 2013).


  • Ben Curtis, tour guide and associate professor of political science at Seattle University
  • Portugal tour guide Cristina Duarte, based in Lisbon
  • Travel writer Don George, editor of "A Movable Feast"

Related Links


  • Couple going on a cruise with friends that stops for a day in both Lisbon and Portimao. "We would like to find a guide to give a tour of Lisbon and the surrounding area for six people, and information on the sights in Portimao."    (Gail in Irvine, California)
  • Caller tells story of getting acquainted with Japanese cuisine, and meeting her Japanese husband, while working there in 1982.  (Monica in Issaquah, Washington)
  • Describes being in Lisbon, Portugal, for the Feast of St. Anthony, "where I ate a most memorable midnight dinner of fresh grilled sardines."  (Jacqueline in Petaluma, California)

Incidental Music

  • Orchestra e coro del Teatro alla Scala, cond. by Riccardo Muti, "‘Va pensiero' from  ‘Nabucco' (Verdi),"  Aria:  A Passion for Opera (collection) / EMI Classics
  • Prague-based ensemble Prazsky pout'ovy orchestr, with the theme from the Czech anthem by Bedrich Smetana, "Vltava," Ta nase pisnicka ceska / Bua International (Czech)  
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra (cond. Adrian Boult), "'Die Walkure' (Wagner)," The Keys to the Classics: Wagner (collection) / Angel
  • Atlanta Chamber Players, "'Clarinet Trio in B-flat, op. 11-Finale' (Beethoven)," The Spirit of '96 (collection) / NPR Classics
  • Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore, piano,  "'Die schöne Müllerin-Des Bac,' D795 (Schubert)," Die Schöne Müllerin D795 / Deutsche Grammaphon
  • * Massimo Farao Trio, "Ode to Joy," The Classic Jazz Lounge / Azzurra Music
  • Les Negresses Vertes, "Face a la mer (Massive Attack remix)," Cafe de la Noche (collection) / Sunswept
  • Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata, featuring Alonso Lobo, "Cum Audisset Johannes," Nueva España / Erato
  • Sinfonietta de Lisboa, "Dez Vocalizos Para Leonar E Arcos: O Chorinho De Mê Filh' Antonio,"  Carrapatoso:  Leonoreta / La Ma de Guido
  • Instrumental intro to Cesaria Evora, "Sodade," Trance Planet (collection) / Triloka
  • Mariza, "Fado Portugues de Nos," Transparente / EMI Music Portugal
  • Peter Scharli,  "Miniature III,"  SRI Musica Helvatica 96/1.2 Sampler CD / Swiss Radio International
  • * Ryuichi Sakamoto, "Lulu," Heartbeat / Virgin
  • St. Germain, "Latin Note," Tourist / Blue Note
  • Osamu Kitajima, "The Three Orders,"  Behind the Light / Higher Octave
  • Parasksévas Grekis, "Zorba's Dance (Horos tou Zorba)," Greece/Grece-Mikis Theodorakis / Mikis Theodorakis
  • Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, "Jesusita en Chihuahua," Memorias Musicales de Mariachi (collection) / MCM Mexico-WMI 
  • Mariza, "Quando me sinto só," Transparente / EMI Portugal
  • USSR Radio-TV Large Symphony Orchestra, cond. Djansug Kakhidze, "'Maiden's Dance' from ‘Gayane, Act II' (Khachaturian)," Aram Khachaturian Gayane: A Ballet in Three Acts / Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab-Melodiya

Dated References

  • Rick says at 8:52 that there's usually standing room "for about $5" at most opera houses, if you only want to take in part of an opera.
  • In Rick's open to segment B, he notes that Portugal's population is 10-million, where people earn the equivalent of about US$22,000 a year, with a GDP similar in size to the state of Indiana, and an economy in decline, "like much of Europe."
  • Cristina notes that typical private tour guide weekday rates are around €100 for four hours, and €165 for eight hours.  Rick translates that into "about $140" for a half-day privately guided tour.  
  • Cristina notes at 33:01 that Portugal's revolution following the dictator Salazar's rule was in 1974, and opened up an atmosphere of sudden freedom in Portugal.
  • At 33:51, Rick asks Cristina about Portugal legalizing the use of drugs "ten years ago," and later adds that he thinks other countries are paying attention to their model.   
  • At 34:25, Cristina responds to Rick's question about Portugal's membership in the EU by quipping that it has ended up in similar economic straights as it was when it first  joined the EU as a poor nation. 
  • At 53:45, Rick brings up the scene at outdoor winter sake stands in Japan. 
  • The feast of St Anthony, which caller Jacqueline mentions at 54:35, is observed in Portugal on June 13, when sardines are in season.

Haiku Awards

Trans-Atlantic lag

Lifted upon arrival

Among new faces


Ancient nations live

Pushing proud at the edges

Of our world worn maps.

— Will Phillips, Seattle 


Alpen cattle graze

Dangling uniquely tuned bells

Wind chime on the hoof

— Randy Hamm, Bakersfield, California


The tattered suitcase

Of a weary traveler

Restoreth my soul

— J-David Hershberger, Boulder, Colorado