|Subject: Re: Introduction - Germany, Austria and Switzerland|
Hi Terry and Ron and welcome
I went on the Best of Europe Rick Steves tour in Jun 2001 (can't believe it was that long ago!) and it was a fantastic 3 weeks of travel.
While independent travel has so many advantages, there are so many good reasons to take a guided tour on your first trip to Europe. You'll have a blast.
I can personally recommend that you do as much research beforehand as you like because even though it is a guided tour, there will still be ample opportunity to do things on your own in your free time. Knowing what you do and don't want to see beforehand means you can easily plan for all contingencies - change of weather, change of opening hours, etc. Plus, it's then easier for you to ask one of your guides for advice regarding a specific plan.
Can't say enough about what a wonderful trip you'll have. (And if you'd like, you can read about some of the places you'll visit in a travel diary I did from my trip ... Skip past the other stuff if you'd like straight to the Rick Steves tour .... http://www.geocities.com/megangrenenger
One thing I can say - the blue book Rick Steves sends you with all your tour information in it may be out of date - in Beaune and in Paris we walked quite some time looking for featured restaurants that no longer exist! Check with your tour guide beforehand if unsure...
Bon journee! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia