During week eight Rick Steves and Samantha Brown travel to France, Spain, “Little Europe,” New Zealand, Switzerland, New York, Florida, Maine and Texas. Below you’ll find travel logs, links to more information about each episode, additional educational materials on PBS LearningMedia related to the countries and topics, and maps tracking our progress!
Monday, July 20
Rick Steves: Burgundy: Profound France
Burgundy is a calm and cultivated corner of France, where fine living is intimately tied to nature and traditions run strong. Slow down to enjoy the region’s edible, drinkable, scenic, and floatable delights. Travel on a canal barge, visit a medieval hospice and a modern monastery, build a barrel, appreciate fine Burgundy wine, slurp escargot, and eat very, very well. If you’re looking for quintessential French culture, you’ll find it in Burgundy. Learn more about this episode.
Samantha Brown: The Southern Finger Lakes, NY
It’s a destination known for its natural beauty. A place where sparkling lakes are the backdrop to sparkling wine, served in the sparkling glassware. Upstate New York and its beautiful Southern Finger Lakes teem with small town charm, and world renowned innovations. From a material that changed the world and the roots of modern aviation, to quaint bakeries and local artisans, it’s easy to see why Corning, New York and the Southern Finger Lakes is a place to love. Learn more about this episode.
Tuesday, July 21
Rick Steves: France’s Dordogne
The Dordogne River Valley — with its dramatic castles, evocative cave paintings, and prized cuisine — is an unforgettable blend of man-made and natural beauty. Take an idyllic canoe ride, and then visit a goose farm and savor the foie gras. Also wander through a lamp-lit castle, enjoy a country market, and visit the Sistine Chapel of the prehistoric world. Then head south to Albi, home of Toulouse-Lautrec, and the imposing fortress city of Carcassonne. Learn more about this episode.
Learning connections on PBS LearningMedia
Post-Impressionist Artists I: Cross, Serusier, Signac, Toulouse-Lautrec (grades 2-12)
Samantha Brown: Auckland, New Zealand
It’s a city that stands on the edge of an island, boldly facing toward the South Pacific Ocean. Its geologically sublime location inspires love of the outdoors that prevails all year long. And yet, it delivers a big city experience, complete with diverse flavors and stories that date back a millennia. Learn more about this episode.
Learning connections on PBS LearningMedia
Maori Culture in Colonial New Zealand | Teaching with Primary Sources (grades 6-12)
Wednesday, July 22
Rick Steves: Barcelona and Catalunya
The creative spirit of Spain’s Catalunya — the land of Picasso, Gaudí, and Salvador Dalí — is on a roll. Get caught up in the festivity of Barcelona, enjoying the vibrant street scenes, tasty tapas, and pedestrian-friendly Gothic Quarter. Then take a scenic side trip to mountaintop Montserrat, and finish with an artist’s pilgrimage along the Costa Brava to Salvador Dalí country. In seaside Cadaqués, visit Dalí’s home, and in nearby Figueres, experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum. Learn more about this episode.
Samantha Brown: The Coastline of Maine
Few places compare to coastal Maine’s wild beauty. It’s where mountains meet the ocean, marine animals have island retreats, and the air comes perfectly salted. It’s known as summer vacationland. And yet for its residents, it’s a year-long effort to create art, iconic tastes and experiences both past and present. Its coastline stretches over 3,400 miles, punctuated with lighthouses, schooners, and fabulous lobster shacks. Throw in a foggy sunrise at Cadillac Mountain and boom—you’ll see why Maine has captured so many hearts. Learn more about this episode.
Thursday, July 23
Rick Steves: Little Europe: San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, and Andorra
Blitz through Europe’s tiniest countries: Vatican City, the planet’s smallest country, boasts the its biggest church. The fairy-tale princedom of Monaco lures high rollers with its fancy casino and glamorous views. Italy’s last independent hill town, San Marino, still looks formidable, as does the castle-guarded principality of Liechtenstein. And amid the rugged beauty of the Pyrenees, tiny Andorra draws shoppers and hikers alike. Learn more about this episode.
Samantha Brown: Miami, Florida
It’s a city that harnesses a type of energy unlike anywhere else. It’s an energy sparked by an electrifying multiculturalism, created by people from all over the world. People flock to its famous beaches for sunshine during the day, and to its lively clubs and bars for dancing and cocktails at night. However, Miami is full of little-known gems that make it so much more than a fabulous beach destination. From incredible Haitian food, to celebrations of Cuban culture, art and adventure that’s accessible to all, it’s easy to see why Miami is a place to love. Learn more about this episode.
Friday, July 24
Rick Steves: Great Swiss Cities: Luzern, Bern, Zurich and Lausanne
Focusing on Switzerland’s often-overlooked urban charms, explore lakeside Luzern, cobbled Bern, spire-filled Zürich, and sophisticated Lausanne. We’ll enjoy eye-opening art, from Chagall and Klee to the works of asylum inmates. Ring a very big bell high up in a church spire, float down a rushing river, and ponder Switzerland’s pragmatic drug policies and hidden underground arsenals. And it’s all before a backdrop of stunning natural beauty. Learn more about this episode.
Samantha Brown: Houston, Texas
Travelers are always on the lookout for the little-known haunts or hidden gems. But what if that hidden gem was an entire city? From incredible museums to diverse food and a fun music scene, discover why the Magnolia City really does have it all. Learn more about this episode.
OUR TRIP’S PROGRESS AT THE END OF WEEK EIGHT: