Want to get to know a place before you get out your passport? Host Rick Steves gives us a bird's-eye view of some of the most inviting places around Europe. He covers everything from well-known visitor hubs to monuments and eateries known only to the locals. You'll hear all about how to track down the best pastries, get into the spirit of a town festival, and the secrets of the grand art and architecture of cathedrals. In some countries, he's done several episodes, so you can see the possibilities that might be too much to absorb in one weekend. Most of it, surprisingly, fits within a good day's walk and the average budget. If you think you've seen it all before, look again. Rick Steves offers witty and helpful advice for the armchair adventurer and the frequent flyer alike.
Rick Steves' Europe is in my top 5 shows, regardless of theme. Personally I'm not much of a travel buff (never been to Europe), but I feel I already know all about it from watching the different incarnations of Rick's shows. The enjoyment comes not from necessarily being informed of travel details, per se, but more the way the show is superbly done, from the engaging Mr. Steves, who writes very interesting and knowledgeable narrative without being stuffy or boring, and delivers it in a laid-back, friendly style, all the while seeming to actually enjoy himself, to the excellent camera work, with perfect panning techniques of both monumental architecture and breathtaking scenery (which really pops in HD), to the well researched background music, which, if you pay attention, is always the perfect choice and fits seemlessly into the narrative without overshadowing it. Add to this at least one or two fun drinking/singing/laughing/all of the above scenes per episode and a small blooper reel at the end of each show, and you have the perfect weekend afternoon couch potato pleasure, with no guilt whatsoever!
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