European Traveler Blu-ray Collectors’ Edition Box Set Now Available
There’s something that’s plain cool about traveling in Europe.
It’s not just that it’s been there since nearly the dawn of civilization, that it has landmarks that have stood the time test of centuries and that it has dynamic cities.
It also has cool people, more cool frankly, than many of us in the U.S. Europeans take a carefree approach to life, don’t get too stressed out about their jobs and have a calm sophistication about them that shows they are cultured but they don’t flaunt it so that everybody in the room notices it.
Perhaps that comes when living in a place where you’re able to jump on a train and be in another part of their country or another country altogether in a couple of hours. Traffic jams getting out of town on weekends? Ha! Europeans are drinking wine looking out a large window at the passing countryside.
I love traveling in Europe but can’t get there often enough. So it’s with great pleasure when I turn on PBS station and run across one of Rick Steves’ European travel videos. (Other than big sporting events, I don’t watch TV by a schedule; rather, I flick it on and roam around like a traveling nomad until I find something I like.). Steves’ videos go the cities of Europe and to small country villages, to major events like Running of the Bulls and local unknown festivals.
But now I – or anyone – doesn’t have to wait for the luck of the PBS schedule to see his videos, for he has his entire journeys out on a Blue Ray box set. It contains all 70 of his Europe public television shows and specials. There’s 12 discs that cover Italy’s cities and countryside, Austria and the Alps, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and England and Scotland.
Another video is called “European Travel Skills & Specials” and that’s basically and instruction manual for Americans on how not to be an ugly American. Steves strongly believes – and I can’t agree more – that when you are visiting a place you are the guest, and you can’t enjoy it if you keep comparing it to home.
The information Steves provides is great, and he offers every tip he’s learned from his decade-plus of trail-and-error travel. And his delivery is such that it seems as if he’s talking directly to you rather than to a huge television audience. He’s got a soft voice and easygoing demeanor. You almost start to think he’s a good high school buddy who just happens to be making a video and he’s telling you all about his adventures.
In this, he differs from Anthony Bourdain, who has the popular “No Reservations” show on the Travel Channel. While Bourdain seems to struggle at times in an effort to come off as being too cool, Steves talks to the camera as if it’s a fellow traveler.
Plus, let’s face it, he also drinks beer and wine in his episodes and I can certainly relate to anyone who is willing to let his or her down the guard a bit to let you see their real self.
You can get the entire set of DVDs and Blue -rays for $99.99, or order individually for $19.99. Sometimes, there are discounts on his website.
To order, go to his Travel Store.
And while there, I highly recommend you order his rolling carry on bag; it’s a roller bag that converts to a backpack. I have one and use it all the time. Took it for a week trip to Switzerland, in fact, and it worked out great. I even managed to bring back a couple bottles of wine from Domaine du Daley winery in it and they arrived back in California unharmed and ready to drink.