During the early part of 2014 I was searching for a new destination to experience for about three to four weeks. I was looking at a Mediterranean cruise, but I was pretty well “cruised out” after covering the Pacific Ocean on four cruises since 2010. I needed to experience something different and none of my usual sources of travel were helping me to make a decision.
|Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera|
His tours offer terrific value, and he promises to show you Europe “through the back door”, which means you will see many of the typical sights, but your travel experience will more closely resemble how native Europeans travel. That certainly appealed to me; especially the idea of staying in a location for a couple of nights, and often staying outside major city centres to keep costs down and to provide a more authentic travel experience.
I also liked the idea that Rick’s tours involve some substantial walking to counter the inevitable bus and train travel. Finally, his tours include down time, where the group is left on their own. They can snooze in their hotel room for a whole day; go crazy and do some extreme sports; go to a remote beach to get away from the crowds; or shop until they drop!
|Hiking the Swiss Alps|
I am leaving home two days early - a day for travel, and a full day in Holland to relax before the tour starts. The tour ends in Paris where the group stays two nights - we see some, but not all of the sights with our guide. I booked two extra nights at the same hotel so I can see a few more sights in and around Paris before returning home. I have already booked an advance purchase admission to the Eiffel Tower, since I don’t feel like waiting two hours in line. My travel time is precious!