Time for another Top Five list! I’m not even going to pretend I can pick just five of my favorite episodes of Rick Steves’ Europe, though, but I did narrow it down to seven, which honestly, I think is pretty good. Not up for consideration on this list are the specials, especially Rick Steves’ European Christmas, because if I had included them when I was compiling the list, it would be even longer!
- “Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region: Best of the Alps” (season two)–While I’ve always thought it would be cool to visit the Alps (probably because I’ve seen The Sound of Music so many times!), I didn’t realize just how many charming places like Gimmelwald there are in Switzerland until I saw this episode.
- “Normandy: War-Torn, Yet Full of Life” (season three)–This episode introduced me to Mont St. Michel, an Abby built on an island which is sometimes accessible by foot. There is so much history in this episode, from the old tradition of keeping the beat while making omelettes for people on a pilgrimage to the abbey, to Monet’s lilies, and especially the beaches of Normandy, which still echo with memories of D-Day.
- “Dubrovnik and Balkan Side Trips” (season six)–Continuing with the theme, I had never heard of Dubrovnik until Rick Steves took me there. I have learned so much about the world from watching the show, and this was no exception, but now that I know about it, I think it would be an amazing place to visit, evening if watching the guy dive off the bridge does always make my heart race!
- “Florentine Delights and Tuscan Side Trips” (season seven)–This might be my very favorite episode of Rick Steves’ Europe (other than the Christmas special). I never really thought Italy would be at the top of the list of places I’d want to visit in Europe, but seeing Pisa and watching Rick dine at a local restaurant sold me on the experience!
- “Paris: Regal and Intimate” (season seven)–It’s Paris…what more do I need to say?
- “London: Historic and Dynamic” (season seven)–I guess it’s not really fair to include this episode on my list, since I want to visit London so badly, but I think I did pretty well to only have one London episode represented here. It’s my favorite look at that city because Rick visits all the places I would want to go!
- “France’s Loire: Château Country” (season eight)–The Loire Valley is another region I never really thought about visiting, but looking at all of the beautiful, stately homes makes me want to spend a day or three exploring the history of the area!
Maybe someday, I’ll even be able to travel to some of these places, and see them for myself! It’s nice to dream of a world where international travel is a possibility, isn’t it?