Wednesday, January 18, 2012

thought for the day/ Review of Rick Steve's tour of Europe video

The above youtube is just a taste of Rick Steve's 90 episodes of Europe I found on PBS channel, bought and watched it recently.

Don't know if Rick Steves plans on doing this for other cultures, but Europe is certainly a good place to start if you want to see great architecture. 
Rick Steves videos are meant to be tour guides.  To make it all interesting, he talks lots about history.  He ends up going to non-Europe Egypt, Iran, and Israel, but not say Iraq(good reason?), and many ruins throughout the rest of North Africa at least(lots of Phoenician and Carthage ruins). He sometimes goes to really ancient stuff, but misses other stuff. He goes to Stonehenge, but not to the ruins of Malta even though they are off the coast of Sicily(a place he goes to).  He goes to Egypt, but doens't go to Abu Simble amongst lots of other great ancient Egyptian ruins.  This is just a sample of places he missed.  Of course, you say, he can't go everywhere! True, and maybe he's just getting started.  Still, he doesn't go to the Jericho tower, Minoan Crete, Bolongna, Ulbino Castle amongst so much.  Even though he misses much, you might find stuff you havn't seen.  You might get an appreciation of the Hapsbergs whos family member getting killed started off World War 1.
One place I actually became dissappointed in was Switzerland(he doesn't check out the Large Hadron Collider).  Places I became much more excited about was Ireland, Scottland, England, and Norway!
Rick Steves hits most of the countries capital cities, but then goes to the country where he finds many treasures.
The thing about the series is that it always becomes something political.  But, then he ends up eating somewhere great; but, it always turns into alcohol.
Although he does show some science and technology, it seems remarkable to me how the series shows that high culture is more about alcohol, the ruins of kings and religions, than high thinking.  Kings and religious leaders forget one thing; they don't live forever; all their great architecture ends up being places for the non-righteous to live and visit!  Rick Steves also seems to know about sungods; but, that is as far as I want to mention that here!
Well, outsides of the Large Hadron Collider, Europe has become one big tourist industry!  Watching these videos is kind of fun while eating and/or doing casual reading(I'm rereading Crease and Mann's "The Second Creation" in celebration/anticipation of the Lhc's official confirmation of the Higgs particle before this year is out!).

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