Rick Steves: 8 magical experiences in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe' started by sobore, Jan 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...eves-8-magical-experiences-in-europe/1809783/

    Smart budget travel isn't just about saving money — it's about maximizing your experience. Let me stoke your travel dreams by sharing some of my favorite European experiences from 30 years of crisscrossing the Continent.

    In Dublin, be the only tourist among 50,000 cheering fans at a hurling match — that uniquely Irish game that's as rough and tumble as airborne hockey (with no injury timeouts). Matches are held most Saturday or Sunday afternoons in summer at Dublin's Croke Park Stadium (www.gaa.ie). Choose a county to support, buy something colorful to wear or wave, scream yourself hoarse, and you'll be a temporary local.

    n northern England, hike the best-surviving stretch of Hadrian's Wall. Picture being a soldier posted there back in ancient Roman times to keep out the scary Scots. For a good, craggy three-mile walk along the wall, hike between Housesteads Roman Fort and Steel Rigg. Free maps are available at the Once Brewed National Park Visitor Centre.

    Britain is full of mystery and history. Trek from a hamlet in Dartmoor — through a foggy world of scrub brush and scraggy-haired goats — to find your own private Stonehenge. Arriving at a humble stone circle, sit and observe blackbirds and wild horses, and feel the echoes of druids worshipping (and then partying) right here thousands of years ago.

    A castle tucked away in Germany's Mosel Valley wins my award for the best castle interior. As you approach through the gentle trees of an ancient forest — where you'd expect the Seven Dwarves or Martin Luther to be hiding out — a castle of your fantasies suddenly appears. It is Burg Eltz, nestled in an enchanted setting just above the river, lovingly cared for by an aristocratic family that has called it home for centuries. The family's noble matriarch still puts out fresh flowers for her many visitors.

    Summit the Rock of Gibraltar by taxi or cable car to find yourself at a unique perch: the only place on earth where you can see two continents and two seas come together. Ponder the energy where two bodies of water meet, creating choppy riptides where little fish gather, attracting big fish, which attract big fishing fleets. Consider the action at this meeting point of two great civilizations — Islam and Christendom — rubbing like cultural tectonic plates for 1,300 years. Then ape with the monkeys who call the Rock home and couldn't care less.

    On Italy's Cinque Terre, borrow a good knife from a friendly restaurant and hike from village to village through hilly vineyards. This is Italy's most exotic stretch of the Riviera coastline. Climbing through ancient terraces, surrounded by twinkling Mediterranean views and castle-studded villages, you'll work up a thirst. Then, using a big leaf as a protective mitt, break off a spiny cactus fruit, peel it with your knife, and slurp it — sloppily savoring the sun and the fun as you explore the best of the Riviera.

    Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...eves-8-magical-experiences-in-europe/1809783/
     
  2. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    I love Rick Steves. He is the ultimate travel hacker, turned bumming around Europe every summer into a lucrative career.
     
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