Where Rick is Wrong
|We think Rick Steves is one of the best travel writers in the business. When we travel to
Europe, Rick's books are our guide. He has a great sense of what to see and what to leave
behind. But every now and then Rick gets it wrong ... sometimes he over sells a tourist trap
(Dingle Ireland) and sometimes he down plays a really great spot (Jungfraujoch). Granted, this
is only our opinion, but talking to many other family travelers over the years we've also
developed a sixth sense for what works.
|Dingle Pennisula We found a tourist trap filled plastic leprechauns, "classic American" music, and only a touch
of Irish language. The most useful words and phrases we used came from my Polish Grandparents. Half of the
working people in Dingle are Polish!
The Dingle peninsula itself was an incredibly beautiful and tranquil place. We definitely recommend seeing it. But
unless you like your culture Epcot style, skip the town and day trip in from Tralee. The music was better, the food
was better, and it felt much more genuine than Dingle.
|Carcassonne France - Perhaps it was the years of anticipation, or the crush of the August tourist hordes, or the
pre-packaged cuteness, but Carcassone was a disappointment. (mom's note: Dad was disappointed...mom loved it)
The photos are beautiful.
|Better than Expected
|Jungfrau (alp mountain accessible from the Lauterbrunnen Valley) This is a must do with kids. We went in August
dressed in layers of t-shirts, sweaters and jackets and had a great day playing at the top of the world. They offer ice
caverns and unbelievable views. There are all sorts of activities from cross country skiing, husky sled rides, ,zip
lining , and even free sledding. Pack picnic supplies and enjoy the bluest sky you will every see, dining while sitting
on a glacier. Rick Steve's did not give this destination enough credit.
|Chesky Krumlov, Czech Republic- This town was disappointing. It is a long way off the beaten path....with
alot of travel time commitment...for very little in the way of sites or experience. If you want to canoe...Try the
Dordogne in France. People are unfriendly...like they really don't want the tourists there.
|Avignon--The Walking Tour was a complete waste of time....boring. They were really stretching to find something
|Vienna Austria--Rathaus The fun atmosphere of watching nighttime movie operas, while mixing with the
locals....drinking beer and enjoyed the offering of the international food stalls is not to be missed. Rick Steves'
books barely make a mention of this Vienna highlight
|Venice--We expected a tourist trip and got so, so much more. You must spend a couple of nights here. Throw
away the map and get lost. After all it is an island.
|Stonehenge - Everyone has seen the pictures and Rick warns that it "looks like it looks". It does. But it has the
eerie grandeur that you can only experience by being there. It's a 3 triangle site for us.
|Not Even Mentioned--Swanson Finds