Program 364: Monaco; Norway's Fjord Country; Travel Faux Pas

Release Date: 05-17-2014

On Air Description

It's a big year for Norway, as they celebrate 200 years as a nation. On the next Travel with Rick Steves, we get tips for enjoying Norway's scenic fjord country. We'll also look at what makes the tiny principality of Monaco sparkle, on the Riviera coast. And listeners share tales of travel faux pas they committed while visiting other countries.

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  • Hilbren Buys and Gaelle Pacheco Buys, European tour guides based in Brussels
  • Lisa Rybloom, tour guide to Norway

Related Links


  • "We will have five days in Scandinavia (via Copenhagan) and want to experience the fjords and small villages, as well as Bergen and Oslo. Suggestions?"   (Rebecca in El Macero, California)
  • Caller plans to visit Iceland and Norway with 15 year old son, who enjoys high adrenalin activities (i.e. white water rafting, hang gliding, caving). "What do you suggest in Norway's fjord area?"   (Luc in Brossard, Quebec)
  • Caller going on a cruise asks for advice when disbarking at several small fjord towns.  "My husband and I will be cruising Norway in June, visiting Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Tromso, Honningsvag, Molde, and Bergen, along with several days in the fjords. Which of these cities can we explore on our own, and which ones would be best seen with organized tours?"   (Janet in Walland, Tennessee)
  • "My first trip away from North America was to the UK. I was about 20 years old, and really excited to be ordering beers.  I went to the woman tending bar and signaled '2' in the American way. She kept asking 'Two or two?' while signaling first in the American way (peace sign) and then the UK way (like an L). When I finally understood my mistake and made the L, she flipped me off American-style and brought me my beers. Lesson learned."  (Lisa in Everett, Washington)
  • Caller describes faux pas she committed visiting a Turkish friend's family in Diyarbakir.  "I lived and traveled in Turkey for just over a year in 1966-67.   Our savvy Turkish friend informed us after our visit with his family that carrying our toilet paper to the squat toilet in the courtyard was considered very dirty by his parents.  One should take water and rinse.  Also, stepping over him while he was lying on the floor meant to his parents that we dropped our sins on him.  Not good, and too late to make amends.  Lesson learned.  Years later, while with Tibetans, I learned not to sit with the soles of my feet facing someone."  (Carol in Astoria, Oregon)
  • "On my first visit to England, I noted that an American asked where the 'toilet' was located.  Surprised at her directness, I later asked where the 'restroom' was.  I was directed to what amounted to an upstairs sitting room, minus the necessaries!  After that, I bravely asked for the 'toilet!'"  (e-mail from Margo in Redmond, Oregon)
  • "Riding the subway in Berlin, my boyfriend and I had an experience that we were only able to laugh about later.  Running late one morning, we hurriedly boarded a train without tickets, honestly intending to buy them when we got off at our destination.  Imagine our surprise and shame when a ticket inspector came through the car, asked to see our tickets, then ordered us leave at the next stop!  As curious onlookers gaped, gawked, and muttered about our lawless ways, the inspector calmly explained how the honor system works. He then slapped us with a $100 fine. Lesson learned!"   (Lisa in Hartsdale, New York)
  • "At a fine restaurant in Siena, we ordered the Steak Florentine for two. It was the best steak we ever ate, but it was much too big for my wife and me. My wife asked for a 'doggy bag' to take the rest home.  The waiter gave us a very funny look, and took it into the kitchen, where we heard laughter, but he then brought it back nicely wrapped in foil. We only learned later that the "doggy bag" concept doesn't really apply in Europe, so I guess we were silly low-class Americans to them.  However, the leftover steak was delicious!" (e-mail from Les in Miami, Florida)
  • Describes incident on a recent trip to Mexico City where she was "chased around Chapultapec Park by a giant Chicken Little!"   (Elizabeth in Sacramento, California)

Incidental Music

  • Coco Steel & Lovebomb, 'Yachts," Hôtel Costes, Etage 3 by Stéphane Pompougnac (collection) / F Com
  • Barrio Jazz Gang, "Chok-A-Blok Avenue," Saint Germain Café: The Finest Electro-Jazz Compilation (collection) / Wagram (France)
  • Quincy Jones, "Soul Bossa Nova,"  Cocktail Mix vol. 2 (collection) / Rhino
  • Jack Costanzo, "Peter Gunn Mambo," Ultra-Lounge (collection) / Capitol
  • * Jean Pacques, "Petite Fleur," Piano Bar vol. 14:  jazz, blues et dixieland / Seniors
  • Norwegian Radio Orchestra, "Rustle of Spring (by Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, arr. by Hans Sitt)," The Nordic Experience, disc 1 (collection) / Warner Classics
  • Leif Ove Andsnes, “Suite No. 1 ‘Nordland images’ for piano, Op. 5 No. 2, ‘The little stone god," A Portrait / EMI Classics
  • Norwegian Radio Orchestra, " Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 op. 46 - I: Morning Mood (Grieg),"  The Nordic Experience, disc 1 (collection) / Warner Classics
  • Hege Rimestad, "Myrullmorgen (Rolling mist)," Wizard Women of the North (collection) / NorthSide
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra (cond. Adrian Boult), "Die Walkure (Wagner)," The Keys to the Classics: Wagner (collection) / Angel
  • Rune Alver, "Klaversonate in e-moll (Piano Sonata in E Minor, op. 7):  Finale-molto allegro (Grieg),"  Mountain Dance:  Visionary Masterpieces by the Young Edvard Grieg / Edvard Grieg Museum, Troldhaugvn
  • St. Olaf Choir, "Norge, Mitt Norge," Reflections Of Norway / St. Olaf Records
  • * Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ari Rasilainen, cond., Harald Aadland, violin, Jon Sønsebø, viola, "Vision (from Suite No. 3, op. 19) (Kurt Atterberg)," The Nordic Experience, disc 1  (collection) / Warner Classics
  • Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Gavin Sutherland, cond., "Suite for Timothy:  I-Allegretto (Pamela Harrison)," English String Miniatures, vol. 5 / Naxos
  • The Beau Hunks and the Metropole Orchestra, "We're Out For Fun," Our Relations:  The Original Score by Leroy Shield (original score to the Laurel and Hardy film 'Our Relations') / Basta Audio-Visuals
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal and Wolfgang Schultz, "Echo for Two Flutes:  III-Presto (Haydn)," Sony Almanac 1992 Highlights of the Year (sampler) / Sony Classical
  • The Pearlfishers, "Berlin," Sky Meadows / Marina Records
  • Banda Filharmónica del Centro de Capacitación y Desarrollo de la Cultura Mixe, CECAM, "Alma Fandanguera,"  Sones de Tierra Y Nube, vol. II / Asociación Cultural Xquenda a. c. (Mexico)

Dated References

  • At :42 in the billboard, Rick notes that Monaco has more members in its orchestra than in its army.
  • In his intro at 7:10, Rick notes that Hilbren and Gaelle were married in Monaco "just one year ago."
  • Segment A includes discussion of the Formula One Grand Prix auto race in Monaco and the Cannes Film Festival in nearby Cannes, France, held each May. 
  • Rick's reset at 32:15 notes that May 17 is being celebrated as the 200th anniversary of Norway's Constitution.
  • At 32:56 caller Janet says she's taking a cruise in Norway "in June."