I'm sharing my travel experiences, candid opinions and what's on my mind. If you think it's inappropriate for a travel writer to stir up discussion on his blog with political observations and insights gained from traveling abroad, you may not want to read any further. — Rick

Thank You, Public Radio!

signed letters from Rick Steves and a santa hat

 

I’m so grateful for public broadcasting — and for all the hardworking people who make it happen. Thanks to them, we can all enjoy programming that assumes an attention span, respects our intellect, and is driven not by a passion for keeping advertisers happy, but by a passion for educating and inspiring us to embrace life and celebrate diversity.

My weekly public radio show, Travel with Rick Steves, is one of my favorite endeavors. I’ve been at it for 13 years now, and along with producers Tim Tattan and Isaac Kaplan-Woolner, I’ve created more than 500 hours of radio. Rather than being the guide, I get to be the curious traveler, acting as a conduit between experts and my listeners. We all have a lot of fun together — talking travel, learning, and dreaming.

As a small expression of my appreciation for the more than 400 stations that air Travel with Rick Steves every week, I just popped a little gift in the mail for each of them, along with a short note. It’s no small task to sign a stack of notes like this…but when you get in the zone, you can buzz right through it. Here’s a little peek at me doing just that.

Thank You, Public Radio!

I’m so grateful for public broadcasting — and for all the hardworking people who make it happen. Thanks to them, we can all enjoy programming that assumes an attention span, respects our intellect, and is driven not by a passion for keeping advertisers happy, but by a passion for educating and inspiring us to embrace life and celebrate diversity. My weekly public radio show, “Travel with Rick Steves,” is one of my favorite endeavors. I’ve been at it for 13 years now, and along with producers Tim Tattan and Isaac Kaplan-Woolner, I’ve created more than 500 hours of radio. Rather than being the guide, I get to be the curious traveler, acting as a conduit between experts and my listeners. We all have a lot of fun together — talking travel, learning, and dreaming. As a small expression of my appreciation for the more than 400 stations that air the show every week, I just popped a little gift in the mail for each of them, along with a short note. It’s no small task to sign a stack of notes like this…but when you get in the zone, you can buzz right through it. Here’s a little peek at me doing just that.Thank you, public radio partners. Merry Christmas!

Posted by Rick Steves on Monday, December 17, 2018

 

Thank you, public radio partners. Merry Christmas!

 

Video: Christmas in Germany

To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras, and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas.

When it comes to traditional holiday images, Germany’s Bavaria is the heartland. In this clip, we savor classic holiday themes: glittering trees, old-time carols, and colorful Christmas markets.

Even though I was determined to limit the shopping focus in the show, I couldn’t help but be impressed by Germany’s grandest Christmas market in Nürnberg. Like the region’s children, we were mesmerized with Nürnberg’s quirky, gift-giving Christmas angel, called the Christkind. In an auditorium with several hundred lovingly wonderstruck grade-schoolers, the Christkind held court. Filming the children mob her after she said, “If you’re very, very gentle, you can touch my wings,” was great TV. (Tomorrow, I’ll share a rare interview with this German Christmas angel.)

 

Video: Christmas in France

To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras, and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas.

Today we travel to France, where Christmas is the stuff of dreams. Rich sounds of medieval carols abound, simple rituals are shared by families and friends, and when days are short and nights are long, it’s customary to leave a single candle flickering in the window.

We found that Paris celebrates Christmas with its typical urban flair: extravagant lighting, yummy window displays, and ice skating up on the Eiffel Tower. And the Burgundian countryside surprised us with its rustic, small-town enthusiasm for the spirit of Christmas. Highlights included following the mayor (with her flaming-red hair and sack of gifts) as she visited her town’s senior citizens, enjoying a humble picnic in the woods with the guys out to chop some firewood, and filming a private concert of intimate medieval carols in an ancient abbey.

Joyeux Noël!

 

Video: Christmas in London

To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras, and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas. Today we travel to London, which offers Christmas fun fit for a queen and streets twinkling with joy.

The Christmas special is the only time we’ve ever filmed with a sound technician. We knew that we’d be privileged to film at wonderful Christmas concerts throughout Europe and we wanted to get the music just right. Our sound team did a marvelous job, and music was a big part of the program (even giving us the bonus of a great Christmas CD as a souvenir).

Video: Christmas in the English Countryside

To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas.

Writing the script for my Christmas special was a fun challenge, and I needed to tap my European friends not just to be good tour guides, but to take us into their homes to be there with their families as they celebrated. England came through royally. Maddy Thomas (who runs Mad Max Tours, my favorite minibus tours from Bath into the countryside) has a lovely family and delighted our crew with kindergartners singing in ancient churches, crusty blokes playing gruff Father Christmas, and an intimate afternoon with her kids and husband preparing the figgy pudding and mincemeat pies for a fairy-tale English Christmas.