July Travel News

Hi from Rick: My Dutch Sense of Herring

Last month I spent four days in a driving rain in the Netherlands — amazed at the fun I was having. What made it so was being out in the weather with locals. They'd say, "We're from Holland, rain doesn't keep us in!" And I'd say, "Tell me about it, I'm from Seattle."

When I look at this photo (at the Zuiderzeemuseum, an hour north of Amsterdam), I remember how that hot, greasy little fish was part of a big, beautiful ensemble of sensory experiences: huddling around the big old herring steamer and smelling the sea in its fumes; listening to the deep, Dutch accent of the fisherman and feeling grounded in the turf that was reclaimed by the hard work and ingenuity of his forefathers; and then walking with my herring-breath around a centuries-old windmill in action... Read more

In this issue

Renting a Car for Your European Trip

Even with Europe's super-efficient public transportation system, there are times when it makes sense to rent a car. Having your own wheels is ideal for getting to more remote or rural places (that aren't covered as well by public transportation): England's Cotswolds, Norway's fjord country, Spain's... Read more

Europe's Oddball Museums Broaden Perspectives

You could spend a lifetime in Europe's grand museums — the Louvre, the British Museum, and many others. But I also like to take in a destination's more idiosyncratic sights, getting a bead on the quirkier side of the local culture. It's my nature as a travel writer to look for the rustic... Read more

Eating in Spain: Sustenance for the Soul

My guide Roberto met me at Madrid's airport, we rented a car, and minutes later, we were southbound on the freeway, immersed in the vastness of La Mancha. It's a tough terrain. A windmill — weathered into a rough little useless nub — still capped its blustery hill... Read more

Early 2015 Tours are Here!

We're gearing up for our complete launch of 2015 tour dates in the second half of August (we'll email all Tour News subscribers as soon as that happens). You can’t wait? There’s hope. Our popular off-season tours (February–March 2015) are ready for you to book TODAY!... Read more

Forum Question of the Month: Is "Ciao" Too Familiar/Informal?

I understand that when entering a shop or other business, it is polite to greet the shopkeeper. Is using "Ciao" to familiar and/or informal? Should I use "Buon giorno" or "Buona sera" (depending on the time of day)? What about when I leave? Grazie!... Read more

Video of the Month: The Netherlands' Working Windmills

Three centuries ago, half of what we know as the Netherlands was under water. Slowly, the former seabed was reclaimed and the Dutch went to work drying the ground with the country's leading natural resource — the wind. Over 1000 windmills, some still functioning, survive in the Netherlands today...Read more