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Shout out to Rick Steves

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Victoria, Minnesota
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Shout out to Rick Steves

Hope it's okay to pimp his book on this site.

I have to say, his book titled "Provence and the French Riviera" was excellent. I've just returned from 8 days in Nice and I took the book with me everywhere I went. If you want to get the most out of your vacation, just do exactly what he says, eat where he recommends, and skip what he says to skip (such as Cannes, unless you just can't live without seeing where they do the film festival...)

It's so detailed too. Right down to where you should sit on the bus to get the best views, where to get off, which line to take, etc. In a region filled with thousands of restaurants, it's often very difficult to decide where to eat. You only have so many chances to enjoy a meal, and it sucks when you feel like you wasted one on a bad place. Fear not! Just eat where Rick says to eat. Every place he suggested was absolutely perfect. He even lists the owner and/or managers names in the book. I lost count of how many times I joked with my wife that "Rick was right!" Or, "We really should have listened to Rick!" LOL.

London, United...
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for Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer
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1. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

I came, I saw, I ate.

There is more to the Riviera.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

Is tongue in cheek???

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

while he grates on many a nerve, his books and advice are pretty good -- especially for timid middle aged first time travelers chancing independent travel rather than tours.

He has done a lot to promote travel somewhat close to the ground. He also ruined one of my favorite 'finds' 25 years ago i.e. the Cinque Terre -- I found it in a book of photos and found out from the cutline where it was and planned a trip there -- there were NO American tourists and just a handful of German hikers. During the day in May we walked the trail all day, we saw no other hikers except for one school group of Italian 14 year olds.

His hotels in our experience are awful and we don't follow his restaurant advice because we assume his acolytes will be clustered there -- but his overall advice is sound and he has no doubt improved the travel experience of millions.

Montreal, QC
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for Nice
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4. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

I think I'll get the book to make sure I know where not to eat...

Paris, France
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5. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

My father is a man of routine. For 25 years he mercilessly dragged my poor mother (who always wanted to go to Europe) to Bermuda twice a year (it's only 25 miles long and a mile wide). He had been there, he knew it, he liked it and there was no need to go anywhere else. He went there so many times he became a member of the Leopards Club (the 3rd caucasian member in their 40 year history). My parents house has a bathroom we kids affectionately refer to as The Bermuda Memorial Bathroom because it's crammed full of Bermuda memorabilia hanging on the walls, perched on shelves and otherwise making it a kind of creepy place to spend your private time. He went to Bermuda so many times he was given an award by The National Minister of Tourism, which proudly hangs on the wall in the memorial bathroom.

Then one day he saw Rick Steves on PBS. Rick is a man of routine. He goes somewhere, he sees it, he likes it and he knows exactly what to do. Dad was hooked and within a couple of months he owned the entire Rick Steves dvd catalogue. And he was making his first trips to Europe.

So the moral of the story is that I will never say a bad word about Rick Steves because if it wasn't for him my father would still be going to Bermuda and my mother would be in an asylum. I've never read anything by Rick Steves and I probably never will but he appeals to some people and is able to inspire people to travel who might not have been travelers otherwise. Did you know that Rick Steves is a member of the board of directors for the organization NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)? :o

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6. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

I was going to write a defense of Rick Steves, because people like to sneer a little and I don't think he deserves it. He seems to me to be one of the most open-spirited travelers. He comes across a little cornball on TV, but his blog and his books "Postcards from Europe" and "Travel as a Political Act." show him to be a responsible traveler, looking to connect with people in other cultures. He's also a very funny writer.

But French Mystique's comments stopped me in my tracks. This has to be the definitive tribute to the man. I can say no more (I'm laughing too hard).

Antibes, France
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7. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

I dread to see my favourite Antibes restaurant in Rick Steves for fear next time I go it will be filled with people in Hawaiian shirts baying for the English menu.


Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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8. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

Yes, not let us be too hard on Rick Steves, and scoff at his selections of places to see and sleep.

He has done a great service to the people of the US to make them get out of their comfort zone and try another country, and on a budget. Who cares whether the "well-traveled" don't agree with his recommendations. He is not talking to us who are "well-traveled" but to those who want to travel and need some direction, and want to be able to afford the trip.

DH and I have been traveling for years and years, all over, every chance we get, but my "initiation" into Europe was a three week tour of Europe which can only be described by "If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium". It was a grueling, but fantastic trip and paved the way for my future independent trips.

So, don't trash Rick Steves. Well, unless he has made your favorite secret place into a tourist trap <grin>. Things happen.

Kamloops, BC...
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9. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

Well, folks - I defend Steves all the time. His original book (updated regularly), Europe Through the Back Door, is the definitive resource for folks arranging their first independent trip to Europe. It's pretty difficult to make any major errors in planning when you have this particular book to guide you every step of the way. Steves Europe 101 is also a book that I recommend because it gives a great overview of European history and art. It's absolutely true that a couple of generations of folks have been given the information and confidence that permited them to go travelling. He recommends, as do we here on the forums, that travellers learn some basic phrases in the appropriate language so they can be polite when dealing with the locals. If you run into his book Mona Laughed which I think is out of print, pick it up. It's worth a read. Don't worry about what happens to a restaurant once it appears in a Steves book, it can't be any worse than the effect of restaurant recommendations here on the forum.

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10. Re: Shout out to Rick Steves

I'd never heard of him till i joined TA and all the comments made me look at his website - i haven't read any of his books

Rick says about Nice -Castle Hill sits anchored at the north end of the promenade. Climb or take the elevator up for a 360-degree view of Nice, the Alps' foothills, and the sea — all best at sunset.

Which all sounds fine till you realise that a] the stairs lift/elevatoir and gates to the colline de chateau are locked before sunset in summer and b] know that lots of tourists get locked in and have to be rescued