Germany and Austria

Such an amazing start to the tour: Food and walks and history and a canal cruise and the beautiful art at the Rijksmuseum. The best part of it all, has been getting to know our fellow tour members...

It has been an absolute  whirlwind but truly a wonderful introduction to the tour! And today we are off to Germany! 

We meet outside the hotel for our coach and as we wait to board, we all silently evaluate our fellow tour members "light packing" skills. Well done everyone! (okay, almost everyone) 

We are now a few guided walks and tours and meals into this gig together, and starting to get the hang of things! Now for a few quiet hours on the bus. 

We stop along the route today at the open air museum in Arnhem where, for the first time, the kids begin to bond a bit. They started the morning on the bus separate - all choosing to sit with their respective families. By the afternoon, they  join forces and move en masse to the back of the bus. 

Parents etc. are giving a sigh of relief (and gratitude that those teens are coming around to all this.)   This may in fact work out as planned. 

Good tips!

(or, things one learns the hard way)

Aside from all the amazing history and cultural exposure this tour provides, it also meets another need: Kids and teens want to play and climb and be physically challenged - use this to your advantage!! Educate and enrich them but, by all means, tire them out!

This Rick Steves Tour provides all that young people need in this regard:

-hikes

-climbing on medieval + Roman ruins

-parks and playgrounds

-a suspension bridge

-a mountain luge

-castles to explore

-sky-high suspension bridges

-downtime play: soccer, table tennis, beach-combing, swimming + games on the bus. 

Say YES!! 

To getting to know your coach  driver.

After accepting an invitation for a pre-dinner chat and a beer , I discovered that our coach driver, Will,  was in fact, one of the most interesting people I had ever met,  hands down!

At a loss for words. Or not. 

Sonder (n) Origin - French (but possibly Old French or Latin)

The realization that every person you meet or just pass by in the street, is living their own vivid and complex life,