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Started this discussion. Last reply by Eleanor - 'El' Dec 14, 2007.


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What is your favorite place in Europe so far?
Austria is where my heart is. I love Switzerland. I've been itching to spend more time in Umbria and Tuscany South. Prague is my favorite city.
Tell us about one of your favorite places to stay on an Untour. Do you have a favorite host? Apartment? Village?
When in Switzerland, I usually stay in Hohfluh. The incredible mountain views and easy access to hiking suit me well. I've never stayed more than a few nights in Sachseln, but I can certainly see the appeal of that village as well.

In Austria, I really like Kuchl. It has a real "village" feel with its main street shops and restaurants. The people are friendly, the mountains are beautiful, the walks are flat, the biking is great, and Salzburg is only 30 minutes away.

In Italy, I really like the Tuscan village of Buonconvento. Again, I like the feel of the main street and the unassuming character of the locals. No pretensions here.

Nafplio, in Greece, is a town for wandering. When I'm there, I feel almost resentful when I have to leave town to research day trips and such. I could spend weeks lingering over Greek coffee in the cafes, savoring the roast lamb and local red wines, and watching life on the squares and promenades.
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When I travel in Europe these days, I'd be lost without my smartphone (Android). I use apps for everything from train schedules to finding restaurants. Here are a few that I've used:

  • Rick Steves has a useful app with his excellent audio tours. (does not need data)
  • SBB (Swiss Railways) has a great rail schedule app that can be used for schedules all over Europe. It is easy to…

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 10:21am — 1 Comment

Turquoise Coast Cruise

A month ago, I set out on a one-week cruise of Turkey's southwest coast and the Dodecanese Islands of Greece. It was even better than I'd expected. 

I had the good fortune to sail with Untourists Ted and Rose McKenna who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. We were joined by an amiable group of 16 Australians, 2 other Americans, 2 women from Spain, and 1 gentleman from Germany. By the end of the week, we felt like one big family.

The crew was fantastic, especially…


Posted on May 29, 2012 at 2:19pm

Today Show in Switzerland

Matt Lauer of the Today Show was on the Jungfraujoch today.  For some great shots of the alps and interesting segments on Switzerland take a look at this link.

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 3:14pm

The situation in Greece

Our very own Cathrin Baumbach is just back from Nafplio and Athens.  If you'd like to chat with her about how things feel "on the ground," please give her a call.  1-888-868-6871 x2010.


(We actually have two other staff persons in Nafplio at the moment as well: Sue and Marilee.  Word is they don't want to leave...)

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:30am

Independent Biking With Support

Has anyone ridden an e-bike yet?  I just tried one on my recent trip to Switzerland and it was really fun.  First of all, you should know that I like bike riding, but I’m not in the shape I used to be.  That’s why I was excited to try one after reading a NY Times article about e-biking back in August.


It wasn’t long before I realized that e-bikes are very popular in Switzerland.  Everyone knew about…

Posted on October 6, 2011 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (12 comments)

At 11:46am on July 13, 2007, Eleanor - 'El' said…
I'm not surprise that one of your friends is Marilee. If you hadn't accepted her, you might not be still alive.
Delighted to recognize that handsome young man, Hugh, as he appeared in numerous of your photos. If we hadn't had the pleasure of meeting your family and you at the picnic, I would have had to guess that he was your son. Tell him that pizza looked good. Was it?
At 11:52am on July 13, 2007, Brian said…
Thanks for the comment, Eleanor. Yes, lots of those pictures are from a trip to Italy with my son in March/April of this year. I haven't gotten around to labeling and commenting on them yet. The pizza was his first in Italy. It was a "Margherita" which is just cheese. It was fine, nothing special, though. The food at the farmhouse visit in Umbria was much better. Hopefully, I'll get around to adding that info to the pictures at some point. Hard to find enough time for this fun stuff!
At 6:06pm on July 27, 2007, Pete and Maggie Haggart said…
Thanks for your comment - We liked the uneven floors in the building and our ability to adapt to our new surroundings and better understand what he was trying to do...........
At 6:35pm on July 28, 2007, Amy Schaffner said…
You need to get together w/ my husband, Vann Schaffner - who is also in the cafe. He is a bike enthusiast. Loves to bike in CH, as well as anywhere else he possibly can. He did the Lance Armstrong Ride for the Roses a couple of yrs. ago. We have had several really nice rides in Europe.
At 2:29pm on August 1, 2007, Johana Thornton said…
Hi Brian,

That is the Jungfrau in the background of my picture from Interlaken.
At 9:55am on August 3, 2007, Arlene Smith said…
Hi Brian! So good to hear from you! Are you still going to tai chi classes? If so, you know I've gone astray but do go through the form regularly to keep it in my body memory and circulate that chi! As far as Kandersteg, I know that Dennis uploaded a bunch of photos on the website from our trip but I'll have to go through and find some from Kandersteg. So beautiful! Will definitely return some day. Also would love to visit Austria, which I see is your favorite. So many places to go. At the moment I'm at the Jersey shore - Brigantine - at a friend's condo right on the ocean. Am reading and relaxing and enjoying the vibes. I just sold a house in Media ... was thinking of you and Untours through the whole transaction. Best Wishes to You!!! Hope we can keep in touch. The Cafe is a great idea.
- Arlene
At 9:21am on August 29, 2007, Arlene Smith said…
Brian ... glad you're still a tai-chier! I look forward to seeing you at the workshop. I'm going Saturday. See you then; enjoy the rest of the summer. BTW, any trips coming up for you?
At 9:57am on September 6, 2007, Sara and Christopher said…
Hi Brian, thank you for the friends request. Happy to oblige! By the way, are you the same Brian who sent me that message about the Untours Cafe over on my other blog??
At 1:24pm on November 9, 2007, Doris M said…
Just watched your new videos and the slide show of the pictures you added, Brian. You really captured the spirit of the moment in so many of them. Loved that Swiss cow photo too - that is a real winner! Photos of Sicily make me want to go there; actually, I've wanted to go for a long time but I always love being enticed further. Sending a friend request; think you've helped me out in the past with trip planning....and it was always much appreciated.
At 6:52pm on December 10, 2008, Gina said…
The photos are beautiful. You are so fortunate to be able to tarvel. You do what I can only dream of a chance to do one day.

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