Untours Cafe

Brian's Blog (13)


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…

Added by Brian 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…


Added by Brian on May 29, 2012 at 2:19pm — No Comments

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.

Added by Brian on November 10, 2011 at 3:14pm — No Comments

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...)

Added by Brian on October 28, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments

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…

Added by Brian on October 6, 2011 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Good article on Leiden

I just came across this article that some of you will enjoy. Leiden is Untours' base in Holland.


Added by Brian on December 25, 2009 at 11:27pm — 1 Comment

Greece Untour in ITN

For those of you who don't know it, ITN (International Travel News) is a monthly magazine that is about as unslick as they come. It's printed on newsprint and only in black and white. It's loaded with trip reports and good information. Rick Steves even has a regular column. I recently came across a good article by Untourist Bob Dear on our Greece Untour that some of you may enjoy. Click here to read it.

Added by Brian on February 27, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Switzerland from a new perspective

In late November, I received a package in the mail. It turned out to be a published book about a Swiss Untour. The book is written by Zoya Schmuter, a retired Russian doctor living in New York. She and her husband traveled with their grandchildren to Switzerland in 2005. Her 2008 book chronicles the experience of experiencing Switzerland through the eyes of her American-born grandchildren. Her own history of growing up in Russia and living in Israel adds an interesting dimension to her… Continue

Added by Brian on January 6, 2009 at 10:35am — No Comments

Hal in the Philadelphia Inquirer (again)

The Inquirer ran another story on Hal after getting wind of a Foundation donations of dolls to several worthy causes. Why does Hal have dolls to give away? You'll need to read the article to get the full story.



Added by Brian on December 10, 2008 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Should the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

Here's an interesting column by Peter Singer, a fascinating and controversial philosopher, on philanthropy. He mentions Hal and Norma Taussig (Untours' founders/owners).


Added by Brian on June 18, 2008 at 4:29pm — 1 Comment

What's a B Corporation?

Some of you may have noticed the new logo on the back of our latest catalog. It's a B with a circle around it. What's that all about?

In recent years, we've talked more about the work of the Untours Foundation and the fact that our profits go to support its efforts. We've done this a bit reluctantly because Hal and Norma don't like being put on a pedestal and getting attention for work that is deeply meaningful to them personally. At the same time, we don't want to be seen as a… Continue

Added by Brian on March 13, 2008 at 9:00am — 1 Comment


I noticed some great additions to the Fodor's discussion today from "ronkala", "Amy", and "dorism". If you are on the cafe, thanks for your support! Any mention of us on these forums, especially with a link, can help get the cyberbuzz going!

Added by Brian on January 23, 2008 at 10:12am — No Comments

Untours on Fodor's forum

I'll try to post recent publicity here as we find out about it. There is a nice little discussion on Untours going on Fodor's at the moment in case anyone wants to chime in...


Added by Brian on January 22, 2008 at 4:17pm — 3 Comments


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