Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, November 2017
	Kalmar’s mighty castle — restored in the 19th century after being used as a prison, distillery, and granary — stands guard over its town.

You can blame my Norwegian heritage, but I'm not so hot on the Swedish countryside. Even so, you can't say you've seen Sweden if you've only been to Stockholm. Rural Sweden -- especially the province of Smaland -- is a worthy addition to any Scandinavian itinerary.

Covering the entire southeast coast and running deep into the interior, Smaland's most appealing corner is bookended by the smallish towns of Vaxjo and Kalmar. In between lies Sweden's famous "Glasriket," Glass...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, November 2017
	At Sevilla’s Alcázar, the Christian king Pedro I built his palace around water, like the Moors who preceded him. They viewed water — so rare and precious in most of the Islamic world — as the purest symbol of life.

The quintessential image of Spain is the region of Andalucia, home of bullfights, flamenco, whitewashed hill towns and glamorous Mediterranean resorts. And while much of the region's appeal is in its hill and coastal retreats, at the heart of Andalucia are three great cities: Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla.

Granada is the famous last home of the (Muslim) Moors, who were driven out of Spain and back to Africa in 1492 during the Reconquista -- the "reconquering" of Spain by...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, November 2017
The Swiss village of Gimmelwald, under a blanket of snow, is a picturesque place for winter festivities.

High in Switzerland, the mighty Alps seem to shout the glory of God. Up here, the Christmas season fills a winter wonderland with good cheer. I'll never forget the holiday I spent in the village of Gimmelwald in mountainous central Switzerland, where old traditions remain strong.

In Swiss villages like this, home windows serve as life-size Advent calendars -- and like the paper calendar counterparts, one newly decorated Advent window is lit up every evening in a different...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, November 2017 -- Page 53
Hallstatt is a peaceful and perfectly Austrian alternative to the tourist hustle of Salzburg. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

A fundamental part of enjoying travel in Europe is finding places that I call “back doors.” 

When I first started traveling, back doors, to me, were Europe’s undiscovered corners and untrampled towns that had, for various reasons, missed the modern parade (like Dingle in Ireland or Salema in Portugal). But now, with more sophisticated travelers, worthwhile places rarely go undiscovered, and certain destinations that I raved about now suffer from back-door...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, October 2017
	The first leg of the Norway in a Nutshell experience is one of the prettiest train rides you’ll ever experience, taking you across Norway to a land of rocky landscapes and glaciers.

Sometimes in travel, the journey is the reward. And that is particularly true in Europe, where travelers can enjoy special trains, buses, and boats that link destinations near and far, high and low, urban and rural, often through spectacular scenery.

One of my favorite journeys is called "Norway in a Nutshell," a series of coordinated bus, train, and ferry rides that connects the cities of Oslo and Bergen -- all while laying Norway's fjord country grandeur before you spread-...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, October 2017
City transit lines that cover tourist sights (such as Rome’s notorious bus No. 64) are happy hunting grounds for pickpockets: Stay alert and keep your valuables secure.

I don't give much thought to petty crime when I travel abroad. I'm well aware that it happens: I've been preaching about the importance of wearing a money belt for decades. And for decades -- probably about a total of 4,000 days of travel -- I've never been hit by a thief. Well, my happy streak finally ended: I was pickpocketed in Paris this summer.

It was my own fault. I wasn't wearing my money belt -- a small pouch worn at the waist under your clothes. I lost my driver's...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, October 2017
	A statue of Martin Luther towers over the main shopping square of Erfurt, Germany, where he became a monk.

Martin Luther -- a pious monk and fiery orator who became "The Great Reformer" -- came from a humble, pastoral corner of Germany's heartland. It's a land of half-timbered villages, rolling hills and fanciful castles -- and where Luther's bold attempts to reform the Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation. This month marks the 500th anniversary of this event, which, along with the Renaissance and as part of the rise of humanism, contributed greatly to the birth of our modern world...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, October 2017
With flower-bedecked windows and a buzzing produce market, Bolzano feels equally Austrian and Italian.

The Dolomites -- the dramatic mountains along Italy's northeast border -- offer not only some of Europe's most scenic alpine experiences, but a chance to encounter an intriguing mingling of cultures. These Alps belong to the long-Austrian, now-Italian region of South Tirol, an area that for centuries has been at one of Europe's main crossroads, and a mixing bowl for Germanic and Italian cultures. The valley hub of the region, Bolzano (or "Bozen" to its German-speaking residents), is a fun...

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