Traveling with W. A. and Brenda Robison
| Every good home page should be built around a central
theme. We will be developing and updating this page as a site for
those interested in European travel at a moderate cost--something that
lies somewhere between the backpacking and hosteling favored by
college students and the pampered tours favored by those whose income
far exceeds ours. This page is designed especially for the beginner
who has always wanted to go to Europe but has been a little reluctant
to take the initial step.
and experiences have been limited, and this site will reflect those
limits. (1) We will emphasize travel in Germany, Switzerland,
Austria, Italy, France, the Benelux countries, and the United Kingdom.
Information on Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Ireland will also be
included but will be based on fewer trips. (2) We prefer to travel
by rail (and other public transportation) and will emphasize that
mode of travel. [Note: We have rented a car on only two trips to
Europe; therefore, our recommendations for automobile travelers will
be meager and limited. ] (3) Accommodations we recommend are simple
but not austere. In general the places we stay offer double rooms
with toilet and shower for prices ranging from $60-$150 per night
(at 2003 exchange rates).
| This site will be built around the Travel
Album section, reports and photos from our trips to Europe during
the past twenty years, but it will also include our own travel stories
and photographs as well as links to other travel sites both on and
off the World Wide Web. Much of our philosophy about travel is derived
from the following sources:
|John Bermont: How
to Europe - 2003 (4th ed.) http://www.enjoy-europe.com
|Twenty years ago, the 2nd ed. of How to Europe became our main textbook that we studied carefully before each of our trips, and even though much of the details of the materials for many of the chapters had changed substatially over the years, I continued to use it some before every trip. So, I was thrilled recently to discover the new fourth edition and have been spending all my spare time poring over the material. This is definitely not the book to take to Europe with you, the author tells us; for one reason, it's much to heavy. But it should be the homework for every new traveler in the weeks before the trip, and certain chapters should be required reading for even the most experienced traveler. John Bermont is the pen name of a writer who has spent a lot of time in Europe during the last 20 years, both as a resident worker and as a tourist. He uses the insights he has gained while living in Europe to aid the traveler, and he presents it in a straightforward, easy to understand format. This one is well worth your investment. The old 2nd ed. had a "Yellow Pages" of practical information that has been expanded into a useful web-page companion in the new book. On that web page, you'll find information for ordering the book through Amazon.com. I strongly suggest that you use the purchasing alternative called "murbro" to get a great price and personal contact directly from the publisher.|
|Rick Steves: "Europe
through the Back Door"-- Travel Guides, Videos, Travel Gear http://www.ricksteves.com
| The "Europe Through the Back Door"
philosophy has become familiar to many American travelers through
Rick's books and his PBS travel series. All the shows shown
on PBS are available as Video Tapes. Each of the tapes gives a decent
overview of the city or region and offers practical travel advice ranging
from purchasing tickets, to packing, to seeing the pharmacist. The
books give practical advice about places to sleep, places to eat, and
sights to see. Many travelers like to take the books along to help
with the sightseeing and with finding accommodations. Over the
years, as Rick has grown older with the rest of us, he has tried to maintain
some of his "back door" philosophy, but he has expanded his recommedations
to include places that are a little more comfortable to the older crowd
than the dorm rooms and tents of his earliest books. Rick Steves gets
a lot of praise from a faithful following, so there will be many Americans
staying in the places he recommends. He also gets some criticism
for being a little bit corny at times and for going a little overboard
on his politics. But for the most part, we've not been disappointed
in the directions he has led us; and I can honestly say that I enjoyed
Paris MUCH more after I finally took his advice about the rue Cler area
in the 7th. Today, we'll change the date of our travel rather than
stay somewhere else in the city.
|Durant and Cheryl Imboden's Travel Pages: http://www.europeforvisitors.com|
|The "Europe for Visitors" link above is one of
several pages maintained by Durant and Cheryl Imboden (including sites for
Switzerland, Austria, Paris, and Venice). This valuable resource includes
hundreds of travel articles on European destinations and practical advice
on many topics ranging from money and travel insurance to passports and packing.
In addition, they maintain one of the best collections of travel links
anywhere on the Internet. Over the years, we have enjoyed many hours
browsing through these pages, both in planning for our trips and in dreaming
about new possibilities.
|The Travelzine: http://www.thetravelzine.com
|Don and Linda Freedman, a retired couple from Toronto,
have made TheTravelzine one of the best non-commercial, personal travel sites
on the Internet. Well-maintained and always up-to-date, the site is
made up of stories and photographs from the Freedmans' extensive travels during
the last ten years or so.
|Bavaria Ben: http://www.bensbauernhof.com
|On the homepage of this site, we are told that
"This website is for anyone who loves vacationing in and near Germany."
Designed for the independent traveler who knows that great travel
doesn't have to be expensive, the site is chock full of trip reports, photos,
travel tips, and links. If you don't know what the Stammtisch
is, drop by Bavaria Ben's to find out. If you're anything like us,
one visit definitely will not be enough.
|ITN describes itself as a "medium for business
and/or pleasure travelers to foreign destinations outside of North
America and the Caribbean." Therefore, much of the information
included goes far beyond the scope of our travel interests. However,
this magazine cannot be beat for down-to-earth information about
all elements of travel. About 90% of each issue is written by the
subscribers. It is not available on newstands. A subscription
is $18 dollars per year (with reductions for longer term commitments.)
Send subscription requests to 2224 Beaumont Street, Ste.D, Sacramento,
CA 95815, or telephone 1-800-ITN-4-YOU. I have been subscribing
for eighteen years and I still have all my back issues. It's fun
to read about a trip to a certain country fifteen years ago and then compare
how things have changed..
|When we first started traveling, Forsyth
Travel Library was an important part of our planning, because it provided
just about the only source for the Thomas Cook European Timetable. We
still order many of our railpasses from Forsyth because if the order is
large enough, we get a free copy of the timetable. Although one can
get much more detail about the trains from raileurope.com or from individual country
train sites (especially Germany's excellent www.bahn.de or Switzerland's www.sbb.ch), thumbing through the Cook's gives
a kind of retro pleasure that is fast disappearing.
|There are three travel articles listed here. The
first of them, the most recent, was written in the spring of 2003 as
I was recuperating from a broken arm suffered in Cairo. Entitled
"Disarmed in Egypt," it was first written for our local
newspaper and then expanded for this web site. In it, we talk about
the misadventures of hospital confinement in an unfamiliar setting, but
we also discovered a lot about ourselves and how we see the world.
The next two articles were orignially published in the i-travel 'zine, one of the first internet travelzines in existence, in mid-1995. Published in Canada, i-travel 'zine switched to a French language zine, Vacances, for a short period of time, before finally going the way of so many of the early internet enterprises. The two articles were later published on another travel site that also too soon disappeared. I finally decided that the only place that I could guarantee that they were available was to put them on my own page with no need for advertisement to keep them in print. The two short articles follow:
Neuschwanstein : The first one tells about Neuschwanstein, the fantasy castle constructed
by King Ludwing II of Bavaria.
A good source for stories about Europe is European Visits: The Online Magazine of European Travel.. I don't have any articles here; I just enjoy reading them.
|When we first began this site eight or nine years ago, we had great hopes for this section where we could include some of our favorite Advice, reveiw our favorite Accommodations, and relate a few travel Anecdotes. Much of what was originally intended for this section has become incorporated into the main body of the site, the "Travel Album." The archival material that remains here does so only until all the files have been cleaned up as the site is updated and refined.|
|In this section we will archive many of
our favorite photographs from some of
our past trips until we have had a chance to place them in the proper
"Travel Album." An effort will be made to identify and date each
of the photos. Note: This archive has not been maintained and will
probably be removed as the "Travel Album" section is expanded.
|Please sign our Guestbook.
Copyright 1995, 2005 by W. A. Robison. All rights reserved.