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Best memory from a 2016 Trip

I thought as we reflect on the past year during this next week, we should share the best memory from a trip that you took in 2016.
Here is mine. I've been blessed to have two trips to Europe in 2016. The first trip a long tour of the Europe waterways, where I had the greatest time meeting fellow travelers who were such a great group and made for a very memorable experience.
The second trip's memorable experience was in the small town on top of a hill, Motovun, where the restaurant owner shared the entire truffle experience with us and gave us the behind the scenes scoop on Anthony Bourdian. He also knows Rick and admires him. That RS tour, for what you experience was amazing, and a very happy alternative as when 2016 started I thought I was going to Turkey.

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1122 posts

In May I took my girlfriend, her first time, to Paris for 8 nights, but it was our day and overnight stay in Colmar that we both really enjoyed. Ending our evenings walking past Notre Dame back to our apartment was another pleasant memory of the trip.
In August I took my mother to see my older son, his wife and my first grandchild/grandson, her first great grandchild/son. The weather was pleasant so we did a lot of day trips around the Bavarian region & even threw in a day in Prague. But, my fondest memory was doing the Night Watchman Tour in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, something I did not get a chance to do in 2015.

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2251 posts

Camping at Crater Lake, Oregon. That's Beyond Europe, of course. Phenomenal.

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646 posts

Two, spending an afternoon walking the grounds of what is left of Vyshrad Castle and looking at the views of Prague from there; walking around Cesky Krumlov in the early morning. I already have two paintings from the later, and I may end up painting a few more.

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618 posts

Seeing the Alhambra. Absolutely fabulous.

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4737 posts

Seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber at the theatre in London.

I went to see "School of Rock" during its first week of previews. Andrew Lloyd Webber walked up the aisle and sat down a couple of rows behind me. He was gone at the interval, so I suspect he just wanted to see the beginning of the show from the audience perspective. If you want to see some really talented kids, check out this video:

http://uk.schoolofrockthemusical.com/behind-the-scenes-first-preview/

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80 posts

Seeing Big Ben, the London Eye and the Thames from the window of my plane before landing. Then again, Saturday will be landing in Rome for Christmas...

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3551 posts

Just returned from Patagonia with a guided tour. As we rode along the highway a guanaco was giving birth, right at roadside. Within 10 min the birth occurred and the new born was up on all fours. A bit wobbly but all was well with mother and calf. Amazing!

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920 posts

Tgreen - what a nice idea -

We (husband & I ) went on an RS tour april 2016 for his 11 day Holland/Belgium tour. It was my husband's first time overseas (my 7th trip overseas). Now that both of us are retired, I told him that my bucket list was 1 European trip a year. I was worried he would not enjoy Europe at all. To my surprise, he had a great time. We arrived in Brussels after the bombing and loved it prior to our start in Ghent. I enjoyed all the art that we saw, Anne Frank house, flanders field, and especially loved Keukenhof Gardens. Made terrific friends. We travelled to Ohio in September and called up fellow tour mates and had dinner with them one night.

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254 posts

Visiting museums in Nice, France in March. Going up Mt. Pilatus and touring Swiss cities in June. I loved it all, and love to travel! Makes life worth living.

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1916 posts

Thanks for the reminder to stop and appreciate some really wonderful moments from this year. For me, a couple of top moments are waking up to snow in Prague in January- it was magical; and climbing up and down crazy stairs to old organ lofts at Eglise Saint-Augustin in Paris.

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15037 posts

Meeting Enric in Barcelona, Avi in Valencia and spending a few hours with a friend in Sevilla. Sightseeing highlight . . . Semana Santa in Malaga

Then meeting Jay in Chicago, Larry in Santa Cruz and Priscilla by phone. Missed Zoe . . . next time, I promise!!

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1878 posts

I also enjoyed two Europe trips this year. With my wife to Ireland in early May, a return visit after 14 years. Then a solo trip to Italy in October-November, first time to Italy in nine years. Best memory was driving the Slea Head Loop on the Dingle Peninsula in absolutely glorious sunny weather (on an otherwise fairly rainy Ireland trip). I hiked up a coastal hill with amazing views, above an apparently popular surfing beach, and ended up within sight of the place where they were building the set for the Star Wars film currently in release. I not a Star Wars nut or anything, but that was kind of cool. Mostly I just loved the scenery. Probably could come up with another have dozen best moments from just that trip if I tried :).

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1842 posts

My wife and I were blessed to be able to go to Europe twice in a year. We went to Tuscany last December and then took a cruise down the Rhine in July.

We had so many wonderful experiences it would be hard to come up with the "best". Instead, I'll share a little background on our trips.

When Deb and I were in Junior High, her high school science teacher who was the mother of my best friend from the second grade signed up to take 8 students on a People to People tour of Europe in July-August 1966. Deb was one of the 4 girls and Mark and I were two of the 4 boys. Mrs. Molleson was wonderful, we began planning in the Fall of 1965, having meetings every month where we would have to present a report on a section of the itinerary. Of the 64 students on the tour, we were some of the few who knew what we were seeing and why. We started in Belgium, then traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France and Great Britain. Within a couple of days, Deb, who was all of 14 (I was 15) and I started hanging out together. A romance bloomed and we shared our first kiss in Florence the evening of August 8, 1966.

On the trip, the 8 of us made a pact to return together in 50 years. In the meantime, Deb and I dated through high school and married when we were Juniors in college. We kept up with the original 8. Sadly we lost one 10 years ago to Lou Gehrig's disease.

Deb and I had a window of opportunity and returned to Tuscany last December. Just as we finished firming up our plans, our friend Mark called us out of the blue and invited us to join them on a Rhine river cruise in July, 50 years after our first trip. We through caution (and money) to the wind and agreed. We had a terrific time with them, getting to see many of the sites we visited on the first trip.

I am truly blessed. I got to kiss my girl in the same magical town on two occasions separated by 50 years. Deb and I maintained a friendship with a dear friend. 3 of the 8 made good on a 50 year old promise.

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597 posts

I am thinking a lot the past few days of being in Berlin in September. My husband and I both felt our tour of the Reichstag dome was almost magical -- it's symbolism, grace, environmental practices, views of the city. Also, on that same trip we included a RS Alpine My Way tour with my sister and her husband. Seeing Mt. Blanc up close with her was truly a highlight as a dear childhood family friend spoke of Mt. Blanc often.

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1068 posts

These occurred on the same trip: visiting the historic cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, Uzbekistan and spending time in Persepolis, Iran. I enjoyed my other trips as well, but those were rare jewels which did not disappoint. On another trip I had a fantastic dinner (one of the best I ever ate) overlooking Loch Ness with fog rolling into the mountains and wee 'airy coos munching grass in a field. After dinner, another hour of watching the fog and Loch Ness was helped by several samples of local Scotch.

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1093 posts

Walking through Old Havana. Communicating with 5 Cuban boys on a baseball field even with no common language.

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308 posts

Riding a bicycle on Aero Island in Denmark with my husband in May.

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5149 posts

DougMac wins! Not that we're keeping score...

Thanks for the sweet story, DougMac.

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1780 posts

Hi tgreen, great topic. In September we did a RS tour of Switzerland. Our best memory was experiencing the Thrill Walk in Birg. Neither my BF or I are particularly "brave" but we did it and lived to talk about it! Great photos, great memories.

After the tour we spent 12 nights in France on our own. In Amboise we met a shopkeeper at a local jewelry store and had several nice conversations with him over a few days. Loved being able to take time to get to know the area and the people.

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1481 posts

I had an hour of a glacier in Norway all to myself.

I was doing a one-day loop driving tour, starting and ending in Balestrand. Unna-Marie, the proprietor of the Balestrand Hotel, suggested I check out Supphellabreen, and I pulled off the main road just outside Fjærland and drove the dirt road until I came to the glacier. There was not another soul there. I sat on a boulder and listened to the ice cracking, resonating like thunder in the bright blue sky, and watched the water dripping and flowing. There were signs warning not to walk on the glacier or even get too close, so I had to enjoy it from a distance, but it was one of those magical moments that you only get as an independent solo traveler.

After an hour, a school bus filled with kids arrived, and I departed to continue my driving tour. There was lots of great scenery all that day, but the memory of that time of communing with the glacier will nourish my soul for the rest of my life.

Here's a brief video I took.

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4637 posts

Lane, if you didn't tell us that you took that video in Norway I would say that it was taken in our beautiful Northwest in North Cascades in the area of Mount Shuksan from the Lake Ann. Very similar.

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353 posts

We traveled around France in June specifically for the 2016 European Cup Football (soccer) Championships. We watched Les Bleus in their opening game on a giant screen set up in the fan zone at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Hearing 50,000 French fans sing their National Anthem with the Eiffel Tower in the background was a truly magical moment.

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697 posts

Did not make it to Europe in 2016 but did the next best thing - a trip to Quebec City, with my French teacher daughter & 3 of her students. The best memory of the trip was enjoying the best pastries & cafe au lait with her at a wonderful pastry shop near our hotel. Also enjoying live music at a pub too.

Our whole family (11 of us) went to Gatlinburg, TN for a week in August. Best memory there was hiking to one of the waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains. We got soaked but had a blast anyway.

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920 posts

One highlight was watching the Military Tattoo in Exinburgh with the castle as the backdrop with my wife. A second was the trip I took with my son as a graduation present to Germany and Spain. We stayed in St. Goar and toured 3 castles. We also went into the Mezquita in Cordoba just as it opened. We immediately went to the far side and had that area to ourselves for about 15 minutes.

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5504 posts

I was able to travel to Rwanda and meet the young person I have sponsored for the last 7 years. Many, many exciting moments on this trip, but the highlight had to be meeting this young man and seeing what a huge difference just a little giving/supoort can make in the lives of others. I also participated in teacher in-service training for Rwandan teachers.

I love to travel, but I think when you can connect service opportunities to travel it is absolutely the very best experience.

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400 posts

Sitting by a window in our AirBnB in Arles, overlooking the Rhone river, tearing up some bread, cutting some cheese with my new laguiole knife and sipping on some wine. Priceless

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2986 posts

Donna, so glad you enjoyed your Switzerland Tour!
I have to do that tour!
Here's Rick Steves himself, doing The Thrill Walk!
The New Thrill Walk at Birg, from Rick Steves Europe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1KPVJvRLD4

My best memory from our May 2016 trip to England was five days in Salisbury.
Salisbury Cathedral is amazing! And we saw their copy of the Magna Carta.
Lots of cobblestone streets and buildings from the 15th and 16th century.
A great town in which to stroll and look around.
Good restaurants and shops.

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4590 posts

Every day is full of new opportunities to be thankful. Here's our favorite memories of our Italy/France trip this year:

Venice – climbing the Clock Tower, the fun of purposely getting lost
Vicenza – walking out to the Rotunda; our dinner!
Parma – the amazing interior of the Cathedral & of course, the food!
Torino – singing with 3000+ locals in the piazza (MITO SettembreMusica 2016 )
Annecy – renting a powerboat; pastries each morning from Pan & Gatto!
Lyon – exploring & our ancient, eccentric apartment room in the Traboule area
Paris – croissant cooking class, showing my hubby the Montmartre area

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1156 posts

DougMac, what a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
I have 4 that stand out from my few weeks in France this past Fall.
The first was my Paris Greeter Wanda taking my friend and me to the Marais and then sharing her own family's personal history while at the Shoah.
The second, also from Paris, was being at the Musee Montmartre and finding out that several of my favorite Renoir paintings were actually painted in that very garden and that Renoir had lived in the house.
The third was in Nice, walking at least once every day along the Promenade and including 2 beautiful sunsets.
And the fourth was (finally) being able to visit the Chagall Museum in Nice.
This is a fun topic, tgreen. I am glad that you thought to start it.
SharYn

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1949 posts

My travels this year were bookended by J.S. Bach -- I heard his St. Matthew Passion in the packed cathedral of Tarragona performed by a full orchestra and choir during holy week, and had a nearly private performance of the Christmas oratorio arranged for organ at the Bryn Athyn cathedral holiday pops. (A conservatory student was home for the month and had some rehearsal time reserved on their newly dedicated gi-normous instrument. I just lucked out to be visiting at the right moment!)

I also want to repeat Chani's mention of Valencia -- we had a very small group tour of the historic center, and more Las Fallas excitement than any ears can handle!

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2050 posts

Two for lucky me. Easter Sunday celebration in Scicli, Sicily...parades, lots of music, fireworks and all the townspeople resplendent in their Easter finery. The second memory is hiking the ethereal Dartmoor moors in the (almost spooky) mist among standing stones and hut circles, picturing the civilizations that were here long before us. What a great topic, bringing back wonderful memories of this year. Thanks!

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1780 posts

Hi Rebecca, thanks for the Thrill Walk video! We loved the Switzerland tour and we're planning to go back to Murren for a week in 2017 on our own. Happy Holidays!

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111 posts

My favorite memory came after I returned from Spain and Portugal in November. This was the first European adventure where I had completely planned everything by myself and I bravely took my parents along with me. After we returned, my dad who tends to be pretty critical of everything, told me that when he received my post tour survey, he would be sure to mark Exceeds Expectations on everything :-) I must have done all right by him, because he's letting me plan a trip back to Spain and another one to Belgium and The Netherlands this Spring!

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45 posts

My favorite memory is from my only trip to Europe this summer, Portugal. The first day we arrived, after we had made it from the airport to our rental apartment and gotten settled in was an incredibly satisfying experience. We walked out of our apartment and into the main tourist area, can't remember the name of the avenue, but it was magical. There was a gorgeous arch, beautiful tiled sidewalks, musicians, and the sun setting along the horizon, giving the atmosphere a purple/pink glow.

It was incredible because it was our first family trip since having twins in 2014. I just felt an incredible sense of achievement getting our family of five (we have an older daughter too) through an international flight and everything it took to get us in that situation. And it made me hopeful for our future trips in 2017 and beyond. Most people think I'm crazy for taking my kids with me to Europe, but I wouldn't have it any other way. And seriously, I don't know anyone who would babysit our twin toddlers for three weeks, so they go with us!

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382 posts

I agree with Jane. Dougmac wins. What a wonderful story of your first and most recent trips to Europe. How special for you to appreciate Europe as a teenager. Your teacher did you a big favor! I hope you and your wife have many more opportunities to visit Europe.

I didn't make it to Europe this year. We chose instead to drive from Texas to Alberta, Canada. Our best moment was to be one of the first people to arrive at Moraine Lake just as the clouds lifted. The beauty of the turquoise water surrounded by 10 peaks is special.

I'll be able to give a report of Europe next year. We are headed to France in September. Merry Christmas to all and Happy Traveling in 2017.

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4776 posts

Tgreen,

Thanks for this post! I've enjoyed reading everyone's best memories!

My best trip memory for 2016... When I flew to Edinburgh to meet my daughter who'd been studying there (5 months) When the taxi pulled to the front of her apartment building (she was waiting for me on the front steps) I jumped out of the taxi and we embraced for the longest time, and we both had tears of joy. I hadn't realized that the taxi driver was patiently waiting for me to pay him :-)
It was so great to have my wonderful daughter be my private tour guide! We walked everywhere around her favorite city. We then flew to Geneva and spent three amazing weeks touring around France.
Happy Holidays to all!

Edit to add...

I must add that I've met some amazing people on this forum, and have enjoyed communicating with some of you.

Chani, perhaps next time we'll meet in person! :-)

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345 posts

Our family of 4 was reminiscing about last summer's trip to France at Christmas lunch today, and all of us agreed that hanging out and people watching on the plaza in front of Notre Dame in the evenings was one of our favorite travel memories. And agree, DougMac for the win!

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2329 posts

The warm May afternoon I spent in Budapest's Margit sziget park sitting amongst the storks--they are my favorite birds and getting to be within a few feet of them, observe their habits and seeing them tend the baby storks still in nests was a pure delight for me. I also visited the town of Tata where my mother's family lived until 1899, very special feeling to be there, even for just a little while.

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27 posts

Visiting the gem of a town, s'Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in the Netherlands in March for the Bosch 500 celebration of the great artist Heronimus Bosch and viewing nearly all of his paintings and drawings gathered from around the world together at the Nordbrabants museum.
Lisa

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489 posts

Thank you everyone for the great memories you have shared. Doug Mac, you make me cry. What a beautiful time you had.

On Anthony Bourdain, the owner of Mondo Konoba, where a segment of AB's show aired confirmed that the man and his crew drink heavily (you probably couldn't guess that... haha!) also that they did actually find a truffle and didn't have to "plant" one to find.

Keep Traveling...

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4590 posts

DougMac, I love your story!! I went to Europe, Russia & Hungary with the 4-H People-to-People program in 1975! It opened my eyes to traveling and meeting people from different countries. (For those unfamiliar, P2P had us stay in people's homes in a few of the countries we visited) I still stay in touch with the daughter of the family I stayed with in The Netherlands. She & her husband convinced their traditional music group to perform near Seattle, so they could come visit us in 1995. She flew over to attend my daughter's wedding a few years later. My husband & I stayed at their home for our 25th anniversary on our way to experiencing our 1st RS tour, the GAS tour back in 2003. We rode bikes along the tree-lined road over to her parents home. Everything was almost the same inside their home as when I was there in 1975.

Last year while in Paris, I saw a P2P group walking....more cultural bridges in process!

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12970 posts

On the 2016 trip to Europe, two places in particular stand out as striking, poignant, unforgettable, etc...going to Brno, then to the main place Slavkov/Austerlitz.

I was thrilled, couldn't believe I had made it to Moravia and seeing the chateau in Slavkov, historically known as Schloß Austerlitz, and the extensive Napoleon exhibition, where the French had stayed, still needs a return trip. The 2nd place was seeing/ walking through the ruins of Küstrin an der Oder on a day trip from Berlin., almost Pompei like. Basically destroyed in 1945 and more destruction by the commie East Germans in the 1950s.

In US traveling in 2016...seeing Wash, DC the first week in Dec. for a full week while attending a conference, my first time in DC, fascinating, super interesting, the memorials, museums, numerous historical statues on the side walks on Penn. Ave, and elsewhere...most definitely a return trip is in order.

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1017 posts

Made several trips to Europe with my Mom after my Dad passed away. She's now having medical problems, and can't travel that far any more, but as a final fly-away trip she wanted to see Niagara Falls. When she saw the Falls for the first time this past June she had a huge smile and said she never thought she'd get to see them. So grateful to be able to help her do so.

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276 posts

In October, I took my older sister to Europe for two weeks - her first trip abroad, my 15th to France alone. She's never understood my passion for traveling or love of France and its people, but after the many wonderful people we met, I think she gets it now. We spent a week in Paris, 4 days in Bayeux, 3 days in Colmar, and ended in Freiburg, Germany (where her son had studied abroad). She's not very vocal and hadn't said much during the trip about how she felt, but a few days after I got home and was unpacking, I found a postcard she'd tucked away for me. In it she said that I'd given her the trip, and adventures, of her lifetime, and she'd always treasure them. So I guess my favorite travel memories are those I was able to give my sister.

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34 posts

New Orleans - walking down Bourbon street with my parents (in their 60s) and listening to jazz music from every direction, stopping where we felt for a drink and food.

Italy - hiking in the CT. First from Vernazza to Monterosso, stopped at a place on the beach for great bruschetta and a bottle of CT wine. The next hike from Vernazza to Corniglia, the town was pretty much empty as there was a train strike and enjoyed a lunch without anyone around overlooking the water and with Manarola in the distance. Hiking back to Vernazza (no trains) we stopped for some wine overlooking Vernazza. Hiking and wine go well together...

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1842 posts

Thanks to everyone for their kind words! I'm glad you liked hearing about our adventures.

You are right, our teacher gave us a precious gift in our preparation for our trip. Our love of history and adventure she helped inspire has provided us with a full life.

We are already planning our next trip, which will be to take our two oldest grandsons to Paris and Provence. The oldest has spent two months as an exchange student in Paris. His family has also hosted two French exchange students. He speaks French well and loves France.

His younger brother, who is 15, hasn't been to Europe but has been on a mission trip to Honduras and has gone to a surfing camp in Nicaragua.

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350 posts

On top of the Schilthorn on a picture perfect blue sky day with good friends we were traveling with that we met on a previous RS tour! We could see forever and met many friendly people. My husband travels with his guide dog and many people wanted to learn about her and have a picture taken with her. Afterward, we did the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald. It was the perfect day for soaking in the natural beauty of the area.

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2354 posts

Great thread Tammy, oops -- tgreen! I was fortunate enough to make both spring and fall trips to Europe this year, spending various amounts of time in seven different countries, not counting a few airport connections in Germany. These trips included several world-famous sites, but I will choose as my single best experience an unexpected place --- Bulgaria! I took the RS Bulgaria Tour plus spent five days there on my own before the tour. I really did not know what to expect. I found an unknown treasure, wonderful friendly people, rich and diverse history and architecture, interesting and often unique forms of art and culture, plentiful and varied museums and houses of worship of various faiths, beautiful mountains and countryside, excellent cuisine, and wonderfully, very few tourists! (Yes, I realize I was a tourist.) Most of all was the opportunity to get to know many local Bulgarian people who do NOT make their living serving tourists.
And to add two more countries, sort of, I enjoyed having a fine Italian lunch in Santa Cruz CA with Chani, and being presented a nice Israeli tote bag that I now carry in my car, and once in a while, in my hands!

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1955 posts

Great thread! Yes, it is important to look back and savor memories.

I'll categorize ours:

Beauty (actually unbelievably beautiful):
Viewing the Napali Coast and the lovely TALL waterfalls, then also looking down into a live volcano and seeing red lava, from a helicopter. We'd never been to Hawaii and we now wonder why it took us so long to go!

Can't-believe-we-are-really-here moment:
Seeing Venice for the first time (it is so beautiful), then seeing it from a different view as we sailed out from Venice.

Will-TRULY-stay-with-me-for-life memory:
Our guide for a tour of Old Town, Tallinn, Estonia. Why? She truly reminded us how very precious our freedom is. She spoke of attending the Song Festival (when Estonia sang its way to freedom) as a young girl and how worried her parents were that she was attending. She also shared what life was like before her country was independent and free....lining up for food (and often it ran out before the line did) and hot water for only a few hours in the winter only. How her country values its NATO membership and planned to send more money than required in appreciation. A little bit of her will ALWAYS be in my heart and mind, especially in today's world as we watch international/national news. She reminded us that at our next port we would see grander buildings, but we would not see people smiling (she was right). In Tallin, she noted everyone smiled because they are happy and free! Reminded us that but for the grace of God.......

We will likely never have another year with as many travels as 2016, but we will always have the memories. Thanks for making us all reflect.

Oh, and I guess I should add (though it was not travel for us), having a friend we made in Ireland visit our home when he came to the US for vacation, and also having two friends from our second RS Tour visit us when they were in Nashville. It's fun to make new friends when traveling.

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279 posts

My most memorable event occurred on the shore of the River Dee in Wales. My wife and I and a another couple spent a wonderful 10 days on a pair of narrowboats on LLangollen Canal. At the end of the cruise we split up; they went on to Scotland and we went to Wales. One of my goals for Wales was to catch a wild brown trout on a fly rod.

An important difference between fishing in the UK and the US is that there is no public water for fishing in the UK. All fishing access is owned by someone usually the local landowner but often by the local fishing club. Access is obtained by purchasing a permit, a "day ticket", to fish the water from the landowner or the fishing club. On the famous "chalk streams" or the Atlantic Salmon rivers of Scotland a permit can be very expensive. Elsewhere much less so.

For our day of fishing on the River Dee, Trevor, my guide purchased the permit in the hardware store in the village of LLangollen for 15 pounds. The hardware store was the agent for the fishing club. Earlier in the morning Trevor had provide me with a license to fish in Wales.

A little later we were donning our waders and otherwise getting geared up when another car drove in. Two guys got out of the car. One of them starting pulling out his wallet and asked to see our fishing license. I went to digging for the license that Trevor had given me, but he said "He wants to see this" and handed the fellow the permit we had recently purchased. In the meantime the fellow had unfolded a large, ornate piece of paper identifying him as the "water bailiff" for this section of the River Dee. In all of my years of fishing in the US I have been asked to show my fishing license only two or three times. My first day fishing in Wales and the "water bailiff" shows up and asks to see my day ticket! Only in the UK! And quite a story for my fishing buddies in the US.

As it happened the arrival of the water bailiff was purely coincidental. He was showing a new club member the club water. We talked a bit and went our separate ways.

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63 posts

These are amazing to read!

My ultimate best memory from this year is:

Having my Mom and Dad meet us on Shetland. I have wanted to go forever and my parents had always wanted to go but it never seemed to right time. Our family emigrated to Canada from Shetland in the 1880's and there are still some cousins there.

So, I planned it all and told them when we would be there and challenged them to meet us. To my huge surprise (Mom is a very nervous traveller), they did!

My husband, children and I love travelling to Europe and to share it with my parents was overwhelmingly wonderful.

Shetland was even better and more beautiful than I even imagined. But it wasn't any one part that stood out, just doing it all with my parents and sharing our love of seeing new places with them was what made it special.

Best off all- they had so much fun, they now want to do a tour of the South West of England in 2018! With us!!

And isn't that the best part of travel- looking forward to more!

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177 posts

These are wonderful. (I agree. Dougmac wins! Such a wonderful story.)

My husband and I had a truly magical 16 night trip to Tuscany and northern Italy last May. But one memory that stands out was his birthday. We were torn about desperately wanting to see the Cinque Terre but detesting crowds so we made a compromise. We spent the early part of the day in nearby Porto Venere and trained into the CT late afternoon just as the hordes of tourists were all leaving. It was perfect. We stopped by Ristorante da Billy in Manarola—a tiny place stacked on three levels at the edge of the Mediterranean— based on reviews we'd read, to see if we could score a last minute dinner reservation, but alas, they said they were full.

But then, just as we turned to go, they said they did in fact have a table...which turned out to be the best seat on the house. It was a table for two that squeezed onto a tiny terrace hanging out over the sea...at sunset! It was so close to the sea, that I worried that if I missed the basket for the balsamic attached to our table, it would go directly in the drink. The dinner exceeded our wildest expectations. Don't miss the fish appetizers if you go. They brought us dozens of delicious bites for two!

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65 posts

Snorkeling with sharks, rays, marine iguanas, sea turtles, playful sea lions and all manner of fish in the Galapagos.

Sea kayaking for two days in a Norwegian fjord.

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88 posts

My first trip to London. I'm not sure what my favorite experience was. There are several that stand out.

  • A day trip to Eastbourne to hike part of the South Downs Way, despite the fact that I was coming down with a cold. Also, this seems dumb but though it was also annoying the fact that a broken signal at the Eastbourne train station prevented any trains from coming in our out and delayed and rerouted our trip to London just added to the adventure. We had some lovely conversations with fellow travelers that we otherwise would not have had.

  • Eating fish and chips for lunch from a neighborhood take away in a little urban playground on a weekday. So many great things about that. Just knowing you are in another country and on a weekday when your co-workers are back home toiling away (our about to toil away due to the time difference). And kind of experiencing the city the way locals do. You know?

  • Attending a play in London (No Man's Land) and meeting my favorite actor after the play at the stage door.

Which one do I choose?

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43 posts

Everything around Arles from the Pont du Gard to dinners in the Forum Square to the special van Gogh painting exhibit to the crazy Bull Match on the 4th of July. We had two nights on our RS tour and three nights on our own.

Bill in SoCal

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Cinque Terre! Lake Como and our stop in Assisi were most memorable during the Best of Italy 2016!