Video: Travel Thrills on the Cutting Room Floor

When it comes to our TV show, I tend to overpack. I love each corner of Europe — but there are only 30 minutes, or 3,000 words, in each episode. Invariably our episodes come in at 32 minutes or so, and I need to make the hard cuts. While it’s painful to lose bits I really like, the tighter shows are better without them.

Many of you have been watching Rick Steves’ Europe for literally decades, and I thought, as we celebrate the arrival of our tenth season (12 all-new episodes debuting next month on public television throughout the USA), I’d share with you the kind of footage that ends up on our cutting room floor.

In this little clip, you’ll see what we cut from our upcoming Scottish Highlands episode:

  • The Inveraray Castle, which houses clan mementos that are precious to Campbells.
  • McCaig’s Tower, a silly “folly” in Oban. (Beautifully filmed mediocre sights in bad weather are the first to go.)
  • Me sharing a tip for road-trippers to get out of the car and take little hikes. (Fun asides are easy to cut when we’re running long because they don’t impact the structure of the script.)
  • The town of Fort William. (This was an entire module — like pulling a tooth, it only hurts once to lose it…but I hated to delete the great sound bite from our guide Colin, with his nice dig at English imperialism.)
  • Much of the Scottish Crannog Centre. (This was just too much information, so we used a much shorter version.)
  • A juvenile clip of me searching for the Loch Ness monster (which was not too juvenile to end up in our bloopers).

Thanks to all our travelers, whose viewership has kept us on the air for so long, and to public television, which continues to be a lonely bright spot in the broadcast media landscape of America. Stay tuned for lots of Rick Steves’ Europe this fall — including episodes on Portugal (Lisbon and the country’s heartland), the heart of England, Greek islands, Sicily (Best of Sicily and Sicilian Delights), Scotland (Glasgow, Highlands, and islands), cruising travel skills, and two special episodes on Europe’s greatest festivals. Check your local listings for air dates.