I have just finished the RS Scandinavia tour and wanted to let the forum members know my thoughts. This is our 8th Rick Steves tour and in spite of all the craziness going on in the world in general, it was outstanding. Sweden, Denmark and Norway are each different but tied together by their shared history. Let me get started:
Stockholm: I liked the city, it is very clean and people were friendly, took a lunch cruise before the tour started and you get a feel for the fact that the city consists of hundreds of islands. The pickled herring is an “acquired taste”!
Copenhagen: Busy urban culture, open face sandwiches everywhere, on our city walking tour the guide arranged for a actor to meet us and he gave a 40 min.performance, dressed in 18th century clothing and top hat, on Hans Christian Andersen and he told about the fables he wrote and the story’s behind them along with his life. The presentation was excellent and the group was spell bound. While there, several of us did a tour of the Rosenborg Palace, I recommend that you do this in your free time, it is very interesting.
Aero Island: I have to say that this was a highlight, the island is right out of a Walt Disney movie, it was relaxing and the traditional Christmas dinner we had was really tasty!
Oslo: This was my favorite city, the Norwegians take the idea of “going green” very seriously,. The city has flowers planted along all the streets and there are parks everywhere, you felt close to nature even in the middle of the town. We visited a park that is made up of hundreds of statues by a local artist that depicted daily life and it was quite moving.
Cruise on the Fjord: This was an amazing day, we drove over a mountain pass and scenery was like a postcard, then we boarded a boat and overdosed on beautiful waterfalls on the high walls surrounding us.
Overall, this tour exceeded my expectations, our guide Gabriella was excellent, knowledgeable, just fun to be with, she brought so much energy to the group. The hotels and dinners were great. One thing that made this tour different was that I didn’t bring any cash, you just don’t need it, everything is paid for with credit card. In fact, most of the time I used my Apple Watch (Apple pay) so I didn’t even get my credit cards out of my money belt.
We had to connect through Amsterdam so carry-on luggage (our preferred mode of travel) is the way to go this year due to the airport dysfunction with lost baggage. Lastly, after two years of being unable to travel due to Covid, it felt so liberating to load my clothes in the back pack and travel through Europe again!!