"The tour is over, but the adventures are just beginning." - Andrew, Our Tour Guide
First Things First:
Thank you to all of the other tour members on this trip and to our guide, Andrew. You all made this trip such a memorable experience. I really enjoyed all of the meals and conversations we had together. Having a group with such a variety of backgrounds really made me think about topics in different ways.
A Few Reflections:
Seeing how bike friendly all of the towns and cities we visited were was really refreshing.
Additionally, I really took notice of how clean the streets were in Europe. I can't recall seeing any litter on the sides of highways or local streets. This is an area where I think parts of America could really use a change and make a difference in being more respectful to our planet.
The Rosenberger rest stops between cities were a big hit among the group. Freshly carved meats, baked breads, assortments of fruits and vegetables, and delicious desserts put America's rest stops to shame. These few pictures don't do the place any justice.
Advice From The Trip:
Traveling to the alpine region of Europe can bring a variety of weather. Don't let a morning socked in by clouds and fog ruin your fun! Make the most of your experience and try new things! Take chances!
The best stories at the dinner table are the ones that differ from the rest and seem too crazy to be true.
Paragliding in Chamonix. Coming into this vacation, I never thought I would have been flying outside of a plane. But after seeing all of the paragliders and basejumpers in Lauterbrunnen (along with some encouragement from the other tour members) I decided to give it a shot in Chamonix. Each location had amazing adventures, but this experience was epic and definitely a highlight of my trip (plus I would do it again now!).
Lauterbrunnen. The shear beauty of this location just takes your breath away. There's a reason that the tour spends two and a half days here - there's just so much to see and do. I know for sure that I'll want to go back one day for more alpine exploration, visiting the Jungfraujoch, and to fit in another round of paragliding. Like my "favorite moment", all of the locations we visited were extremely memorable, but Lauterbrunnen really just stood out with that "wow" factor as a whole.
Overall Thoughts on The Tour:
I couldn't have asked for a better first experience abroad. This tour was exactly what I was looking for and it exceeded my expectations in every way possible. Originally, I was just going to backpack around Europe on my own. This trip saved me so much time and hassle, by having all of the logistics lined up. From the transportation (both local and from country to country) to the hotels and little details (like the timing of the rest-stops) it was perfect. And then I had the freedom to go out every day/night to adventure on my own. Although I took a very independent approach to the trip, the Rick Steves' MyWay style is perfect for families and couples as well. I would highly recommend a Rick Steves' tour to anyone and can't wait to see where I end up next.
"Travel is one of the world's greatest teachers because it guides us through our lives in ways that disrupt what we think and challenge how we think. It redefines our reality, pushing us further, pulling us in. So keep on traveling!" - Andrew, Our Tour Guide