We just had the opportunity to tour Paris, Bourges, the Loire Valley, Amboise, Brittany and Normandy on an 11 day Rick Steves Tour. I'm surprised when I tell folks about this kind of tour and they haven't heard of Rick Steves. Nonetheless, there are still an abundance of "Rick-Niks" out there who know that he is a respected authority on European travel who's provided valuable information via his books, radio and dvd's since 1976.Rick's mission is "to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening.''
|The Louvre - a very crowded place full of cool art.|
My daughter went to Italy on her honeymoon armed with Rick's book and was thrilled to have chosen good hotels and managed to get around using public transportation. I took a look at the book and felt overwhelmed when it was our turn to tour Italy, so I googled Rick's name and was thrilled to discover his "successful small-group tour program taking 30,000 travelers to Europe annually." In 2016 we saw Venice, Florence and Rome on a "Best of Italy" tour and stayed at wonderful European hotels, ate fabulous food and were extremely pleased with the tour guides and travel experience. We made new friends and this year decided to go with some of those new friends to France on Rick's "Paris and the Heart of France 11 Day Tour."
|The group of friends who traveled together on yet another Rick Steve's tour in front of Chateau Chenonceau.|
Our tour guide in France, Christine Coleman, was a young mother/yoga teacher/expert of all things French. She led us through Paris and it's surrounds, constantly sharing information about the history, culture, food and ways of the French. Thanks to her I have been trying to eat like the French, with my LEFT hand, to slow down the process and enjoy the experience more. She was wonderful about attending to the needs of all 28 tourists in our group.
|Chris Coleman preparing to tell us about Giverny.|
We also had many local guides, all of who were wonderful - full of personality, information and sometimes local treats.
|Elizabeth was charming and brought us cheeses to try with bread and strawberries.|
There were so many wonderful moments on this trip and I am trying to figure out how to sum it up succinctly. Perhaps just a few of my favorite photos from the trip.... (Oh, this is VERY, VERY hard!!!)
|From the top of the Eiffel tower.|
|Chateau de Selles Sur Cher|
|Sacre Coer as seen from the Museum D'Orsay|
|Mont St. Michel|
|Clos-Luce where Leonardo Da Vinci spent his final years inventing some amazing things.|