In times of crisis and challenge, we ask ourselves: What is the true value of travel? Is it just hedonism...or something more powerful? After a lifetime of exploring Europe Rick Steves shares his reasons why. This special episode is a sonnet to travel — an introspective love story, set in Europe, that vividly celebrates the rewards of exploring our world and the joy that awaits those who travel.
Venturing beyond Europe, and with local experts as his guides, Rick uses Ethiopia as a classroom for understanding global hunger and extreme poverty — and how to beat it. Together, we witness the importance of water, education, empowering women, and nutrition during a child's first thousand days. And we see firsthand the impact of globalization and climate change.
Exploring the Nile Valley from north to south, we see the highlights of Egypt. In the fabled city of Alexandria, we venture through a market wonderland, smoke a shisha, and stroll a Mediterranean promenade. In Luxor, we explore the pharaohs’ tombs and temples before sailing on a timeless felucca. Our finale: Ramesses II's magnificent temple at Abu Simbel.
Teeming Cairo, straddling the Nile, is the capital of Egypt and one of the leading cities of the Muslim world. With 20 million people, greater Cairo pulses with energy. We explore the back streets on a tuk-tuk, drop in on a mosque, haggle with a gauntlet of eager merchants, bake some pita bread, marvel at King Tut’s gold, greet the ancient Sphinx, and climb into the center of the greatest pyramid.
Traveling across Germany, we learn how fascism rose and then fell, taking millions of people with it. Visiting actual locations — from Munich to Nürnberg to Berlin — we trace the roots of Nazism in the aftermath of World War I, when masses of angry people were enchanted by Hitler. We explore the totalitarian society Hitler built, and see the consequences: genocide and total war.
After exploring the proud cuisine capital of Lyon — which, at least in its own mind, rivals Paris — we head for Chamonix, in the shadow of Europe’s tallest peak: Mont Blanc. With the classic alpine resort as our springboard, we make some high-altitude cheese, then ride the lift up to Aiguille du Midi and over to the border of Italy.
Switzerland draws travelers from around the world for its legendary mountains. From the Matterhorn to the Jungfrau to Appenzell, we savor both the country’s jaw-dropping alpine beauty and the rich and resilient culture of its people. As we lace together that dramatic mountain wonder with scenic train rides, breathtaking lifts, and unforgettable hikes, we also enjoy alpine life.
In the Alps of Austria and Italy, we celebrate both nature and culture. After conquering the Zugspitze, we tour Innsbruck, visit a remote farm in Austria, and join in a Tirolean village festival. Then we cross the Alps into Italy and tour a uniquely well-preserved medieval castle before joyriding deep into the rugged Dolomite Mountains.