Rick Steves Tour
“It is the personal experiences on our travel adventures that transcend just visiting somewhere new” – Julie A R Stephens
Rome, Italy – I put euros in her cup and remember her
“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.” – Julie A R Stephens
Rome, Italy – this lady and I make eye contact and smiled – she communicates asking for Bruce’s help opening her shop
My husband and I experienced our first RS tour in 2017, the Best of Paris, in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary – we did 2019 Venice Florence Rome – (written about in this blog) – we have done trips abroad on our own and now RS tours work best for us
Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in Paris 2017
The malicious Covid plague hit shortly after our return from Italy in late October 2019 and then the world shut down. It was all rather daunting but we had to make the decision to no longer travel or to do all we can to prevent Covid and continue onward with travel adventures. Onward!
We got our two Moderna vaccines in March 2021 and a booster in December 2021. We flew for the first time since the end of October 2019 to Austin in March 2022. There we met our youngest grandchild. We have not caught Covid. We wear KN95 mask inside around other people. We are rather isolated in our tiny mountain village but for different reasons, others here have caught the virus.
On September 9, 2022, exactly four weeks before boarding our plane to Munich, we got our bivalent vaccine; which targets the highly contagious omicron variant of Covid. Though not required, we wore our mask on the planes. Our Rick Steves tour has all travelers show proof of having gotten all Covid vaccines and a negative Covid test 24 hours or less before our first meeting. We all signed a pledge stating we would wear KN95 mask when inside together – except of course restaurants.
Great to see the official negative Covid test
Husband and I are both deserving of being proud of us getting out of our comfort zone and it begins with the airport – each earsplitting, hectic terminal is bigger and louder than our peaceful little mountain village (except in the summer – visitor’s season)
The moon and pink, lavender, blue sunset out the window of our plane on October 7th
I read my book a lot on the flight – The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs. It begins with a plane crash – rather off putting while flying but it is filled with believable, interesting characters and such is the story as well.
Here I am reading that book in Austria – I carried it all over Europe (electronic books don’t appeal to me)
Our first meal out on this trip – informal and interesting, eating outside is my favorite and Europe is filled with outdoor cafés – we are so lucky that English is the universal language. Most menus had both German and English and most people speak at least some English. Greeting locals in their language pleases them. We then ask if they speak English – all to say language was not a barrier when we are kind with each other.
I picked the spicy pizza and asked the waitress what drink would complement the food and indeed, my taste buds are having a party
Aperol Spritz – the flavors were having a parting dancing with my taste buds
Aperol Spritz is 3 parts proseco, 2 parts Aperol, I part sparkling water. Chill all bottles and combine
Bruce picked this salad and we shared the food after a blessing of thankfulness and using hand sanitizer
Best view in Munich – from tower at St. Peters (303 steps) St. Peter’s Church is a Roman Catholic parish church in the inner city of Munich, southern Germany. Its 91-metre tower is commonly known as “Alter Peter”—Old Pete—and is emblematic of Munich. St Peter’s is the oldest recorded parish church in Munich and presumably the originating point for the whole city.
After St. Peter’s we come across this adorable little tea shop and Bruce buys me a birthday present that will be saved until that day next month
Amen! We then come across this café and alfresco we enjoy coffee and share a yummy pastry
We were really lucky with the weather for the entire trip with only the occasional drip of a raindrop – not even worthy of rain gear. Only our last day was rainy and that wasn’t dreadful – no wind, no cold, no downpours
We walk to the Deutsches Museum. The 18 minute or so walk in the picturesque autumn day is a joy
The beautiful autumn days keep giving both blooming flowers and changing leaves
October is our favorite time to travel since Europe is cooler and the crowds are thinner – the stunning leaves are a bonus
This scene is so European looking!
The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It receives about 1.5 million visitors per year
Oh my …The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was an actual radioactive toy and learning set sold in the early 1950s. The $49.50 set came with four samples of uranium-bearing ores (autunite, torbernite, uraninite, and carnotite), as well as a Geiger-Mueller radiation counter and various other tools. Thankfully the price kept them for selling really well.
So very many NASA displays and yet it looks like they went out of their way NOT to have NASA shown anywhere – ONLY on this one display, on the back, has a very small NASA patch – WHY???
I am keenly aware since our son and his wife are NASA engineers
I thought of my FB friend Elaine McAfee Bender who is the biggest Beatle’s fan I know
One of our desserts – looks like a valentine
Baking class in Salzburg EDEL WEISS cooking school – fun experiance
– I had a bit of assistance with the apple strudel
I tasted schnapps – a strong alcoholic drink resembling gin and often flavored with fruit. I did not care for it
Pinch me! The Do-Re-Mi steps from The Sound of Music in Salzburg
The final Mirabell Gardens Sound of Music filming location featured in the song sequence for “Do-Re-Mi” is the grand steps at the north entrance to the gardens. This entrance gives you the iconic and stunning view of Hohensalzburg Fortress, as it towers above Salzburg.
RS tours start early in the mornings to avoid crowds – NO other people around in this famous, public place~!
OMG! I’m HERE! The first site in Mirabell Gardens featured in the movie The Sound of Music is the Pegasus Fountain. The kids and Maria walk along the edge of the fountain singing before jumping off in cinematic choreography. Pegasus Fountain is located directly at the bottom of the Musical Steps at the north end of Mirabell Garden
Mirabell Garden Palace – where we heard a concert – palace and gardens built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his beloved Salome Alt
This is Hallstatt – postcard pretty little Alpine lake village (600 people – 2x’s the size of our little mountain village) our RS tour group took a boat around the lake to get the most stunning views
Later when we were on our own, Bruce and I took a lift to get more amazing views
The view out our window in our Hallstatt hotel room – we were on the top floor – we have stayed in some nice hotels – this is the loveliest by far. In our experience this RS tour has had better hotel rooms by far. Our bathroom looked like Frasier’s (TV show) – the perfect celebration for our (August 20th) 45th wedding anniversary…
This is the church where Maria gets married in the Sound of Music. It is the basilica in Mondsee. I walked down the aisle remembering the scene in the movie…in my head I could hear the nuns singing – how do you solve a problem like Marie…
Another valentine-looking dessert!
Mozart candy – Iris, our guide gave us each a piece – Mozartkugeln is a small, round sugar confection made of pistachio, marzipan and nougat that is covered with dark chocolate. It was originally known as Mozart-Bonbon, created in 1890 by Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst (1856–1941) and named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Potato dumplings and salad with goat’s cheese
Gerhard, our passionate guide and founder of the 3rd Man Museum – as he said he and his wife have no children so he can put all the time, money and passion he has into this work – Gerhard says he does not understand how his homeland Austria can just want to ignore the war…ignore the holocaust
The Dritte Mann Museum (Third Man Museum) is a museum in the 4th district of Vienna, Austria. Opened in 2005, the museum has an area of over 400 square meters divided into 16 rooms, displaying a comprehensive collection of original exhibits based on and around the international film triumph The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed and based on a treatment by Graham Greene
The Third Man Museum is an independent two-person project, initiated by Gerhard Strassgschwandtner. He put together the collection, whilst the design and concept came from Karin Höfler. Specialists and generalists, they created the museum from scratch. It is a private museum with no sponsors and subsidies.
The museum contains collections on the history of pre- and post-war Vienna. An exhibition within the museum explains the historical backdrop of the film and portrays the everyday life of a city occupied by the Allies (Americans, British, Soviets and French) between 1945 and 1955, and includes many original documents from the period.
Their little girl is taken away…
The ALBERTINA Museum in Vienna
The Albertina is a museum was founded in 1776 and is in the Innere Stadt of Vienna, Austria. It houses one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphic works, photographs and architectural drawings
They must mean something, these extraordinary moments
What, if anything I have presented here speaks to you? Why? Are you a traveler? Why or why not? What’s your next planned trip? Do you think traveling outside your comfort zone helps you grow as a human being?
Rick Steves see travel as a political act as we leave our prejudices behind – thoughts?
“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.” Julie A R Stephens