Program 341: Back-Roads Quebec; Cuba Update; Hiking in Germany

Release Date: 10-12-2013

On Air Description

This week on Travel with Rick Steves, an expert on travel to Cuba updates us on how their society is changing under Raul Castro's policies, and how Americans can legally get around the embargo on travel to Cuba. And just in time for fall color, we look into the attractions of back-roads touring in Quebec, and we'll hear about Germany's extensive network of hiking trails, and the passionate outdoors culture that goes with them.

Notes to Stations

In addition to airing our twice-yearly fundraiser modules, you can contact Executive Producer Tim Tattan at 425-608-4234 for help finding cutaway options during any of the regular weekly shows, to allow you additional time within the hour for local fundrasing.


  • Travel writer Crai Bower
  • Christopher P Baker, author of the Moon Cuba handbook
  • German tour guide Thomas Gundlach

Related Links


  • "How soon before we have affordable travel to Cuba from the US?" (Sherrill in Long Beach, California)      
  • Caller and her husband lived in Germany in the 1980's. "One of our favorite things to do was go on Volks Marches.  Last September, we spent a week in Heidelberg, and did a volks march in Ittlingen.  It was so much fun: You have a chance to meet locals, enjoy local food, drink and music, and get exercise."  (Lynne in Duluth, Minnesota)
  • "My husband and I hiked the Tour of Mont Blanc in the Alps last year. What circuits do you recommend in Germany? We really like combining outdoor adventure in the day with great food, culture and real hotels at night!" (Debbie in Tucson, Arizona)
  • "We spend two weeks each year in a village near Rothenburg. Our favorite part of Rothenburg is outside the city walls, bicycling along the lovely Tauber river valley. It's easy to meet people when you're on a bicycle. We also love Sommerach on the Main river and biking around the little winery towns there.  What other areas would you recommend?" (Stephanie in College Park, Maryland)

Incidental Music

  • Tommy Duchesne, "Reel des patineurs," Héritage Québécois (collection) / MCA
  • La Bottine Souriante, "La Brunette est là," Québec (collection) / Putumayo
  • Oscar Thiffault, "La cabane a sucre," Héritage Québécois (collection) / MCA
  • Manu Chao, "Piccola Radiolina," La Radiolina / Nacional Records
  • Léandre Ethier, "On court toujours," Prendre le temps / Audiogram
  • * Ruben Gonzalez, "Pueblo Nuevo," Buena Vista Social Club / Nonesuch-World Circuit records
  • P-18, "Urban Cuban," Urban Cuban / Higher Octave World - Virgin
  • Felix Chappottin, "La Guarapachanga," Cuba Classics vol. 2:  Dancing With the Enemy (collection) / Luaka Bop
  • Rene Ferrer, "Como a Cada Manaña,"  Café Cubano (collection) / Putumayo
  • Eliades Ochoa, "Siboney," Estoy Como Nunca / Higher Octave Music
  • Orquesta Aragón, "Guántanamera," Serie Nostalgia:  Havana 1950 / Max Mex Records
  • Raúl Planas, "Rumberos del Ayer," The Stars of the Buena Vista (collection) / Tumi Cuban
  • * Ry Cooder and Manual Galban, "Echale Salsita," Mambo Sinuendo / Nonesuch
  • Glenn Gould, "Partita No. 5 in G major BWV 829, 5-Menuet (J. S. Bach)," Glenn Gould - Bach:  Original CBC Broadcasts / CBC Records
  • The Belmont Chorale, "Der Frohliche Wanderer (arr. for choir by Norman Luboff),"  Music for the Appalachian Trail (collection) / Gasparo Records
  • Kreuther Trio, "Obermueller Holbwalzer," Landler und Bayrische aus dem bayrischen Oberland / Bogner Records
  • Double Fantasy, "Lost Control," Universal Ave. / Innovative Communication
  • Martin Lane, "Sondaarspoort," Intimate Piano / Trio Records
  • Country Fair, "Der Froliche Wandersmann," Oktoberfest / Columbia River Entertainment

Dated References

  • In the billboard and open to segment A, Rick refers to the American embargo against Cuba as being in effect "for more than a generation now."  And in the segment A open he refers to life "without Fidel at the helm."  There's also a seasonal reference in the segment A open about fall color in Quebec and Oktoberfest in Germany.
  • At 7:45, Crai says the July 1 Canada Day holiday is treated as "Moving Day" in Montreal. 
  • Crai mentions, at 9:35, that new variations on poutine are being served as part of a current renaissance of comfort food.
  • In his open to segment B, Rick says that it appears "Cuban society is changing faster than US policy on its embargo." 
  • Christopher P. Baker notes at 24:00 that Raul Castro has been initiating reforms to Cuba's economy, and adds that "in the last year" the Obama administration has lifted restrictions on the amount of money American citizens can send to Cubans.   He gives examples of a newly vibrant nightclub scene in Havana. 
  • Chris describes alternatives for Americans to travel to Cuba, starting at 25:55, and adds the Obama administration does not seem to be policing it as closely as the Bush administration did.  He adds that Cuban authorities will place a stamp on page 16 of your passport, but that only two Americans have actually been prosecuted for going to Cuba so far.
  • At 28:55, Chris notes that only licensed travelers are allowed on charter flights to Havana from Miami.  He adds at 29:30 there are no restrictions on tourist travel within Cuba. 
  • Around 30:05, Chris observes that the scene in Havana is a time warp of the 1950s, while the countryside appears to be more of a time warp from two centuries ago. 
  • Chris notes at 30:40 that Hurricane Sandy "last year" devastated Santiago, Cuba's oldest city, where buildings in the central plaza lost their top floors. 
  • Chris tells caller Sandy that, because the U.S. President doesn't have the power to change policy toward Cuba without the consent of Congress, he doesn't foresee any changes in direct travel restrictions there in the foreseeable future. 
  • At 54:57, Thomas notes that 80-million people now live in Germany.
  • At 57:01, Thomas says autumn is the best time of year to go hiking in Germany. 

Program Extras

Program 341 Extra - Christopher P. Baker elaborates on changes in the Cuban economy under Raul Castro's leadership, the effects of the ongoing American embargo, and the problems created by Cuba's "dual currency" system. (runs 2:27)