Becoming a Stark: Archery at Winterfell

Tourism based on TV and pop culture is an odd bird, but I have to admit that Game of Thrones is making me a believer. While its story and settings are brilliantly fictitious, many of the filming locations have their own historic, cultural, and eye-catching charms that can be worth a visit for even non-GOT…

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Men at Work in Salzburg’s Old Town 

Travel provides so many opportunities for cultural insights. It’s easy to find them via the historic, artistic, and culinary experiences that most people encounter. But how much do you pay attention to the stuff of everyday life in a town you’re visiting? Let yourself be mesmerized—like I recently was in Salzburg’s Altstad, or Old Town—by…

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Italian Experiences with Rick Steves

It’s been more than Rick Steves has led one of our Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, but you’d never know it. His enthusiasm, energy, stamina, knowledge, and love of Europe seems only to have increased with those passing years.  Along with 28 happy tour members, my guide colleague Ben Cameron and I (we’re Rick’s assistants on…

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Scenes from a Guide Summit

Name 20 countries from the European Union. Imagine the “typical” citizens of those countries–their features, their demeanors, their gestures, their accents. Now picture a collection of 120 people from those countries who are passionate aficionados on the history, art, culture, politics, and people of those motherlands all descending on a small town just north of…

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Right Place, Right Time: Visiting the USS Missouri

With our moving experience at the USS Arizona Memorial completed, Odile and I have just enough time for a blitz visit to the USS Missouri before scooping up her little cherubs from preschool.  As we drive onto Ford Island, the tranquil solemnity I felt on the Arizona quickly gives way to mild panic about having…

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Contemporary Egypt

On our trip through Egypt, we hit most major historical and architectural sites in Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor: the Pyramids of Giza, the new great library Biblioteka Alexandrina, the temples at Luxor and Karnak, and the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.  Stunning and powerful, one and all.  But equally fascinating to me was…

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