Friday, November 29, 2013
One day, Doug Mack is out with his mom scanning stacks of used books when he stumbles upon a worn copy of Frommer's, Europe on 5 dollars a day, written in 1963. It just so happens that his mother used the exact same travel guide on her Grand Tour of Europe in 1967 and she was so excited that Doug found a copy of it, she was jumping up and down.
When Doug and his mom got to talking, he discovered that her trip was well documented as she had saved all her letters and postcards to his father and his return letters. He grew up reading travel memoirs and inherited the travel bug and from his parents, so he decided to travel to Europe using Frommer's book as his guide, as a sort of experiment to see if he could travel cheaply without the use of the internet. He also wanted to document how things have changed in Europe since 1963.
Doug's European Grand Tour:
Florence, Italy: First stop. Full of awe and amazement. Visits Statue of David and has a museum overload. So much art, architecture and gelato.
Paris, France: Something's Gotta Give memorable moment. Favorite place; Montmartre at sunset.
Amsterdam, Netherlands. Anne Frank's house is a must see. Beer drinking, bar hopping and people watching. Must tour the red light district.
Next stops include; Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, Venice, Rome and Madrid.
Mack is a witty writer and Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day is well-researched and a interesting look into the history of travel, Frommer style. It also contains some of the post war history of the European countries and cities that he visits. It is very entertaining and I found myself getting a strong case of wanderlust and reminiscing about my travels in Europe and wanting to go back, like, right now! Mack includes lots of travel advice and of course his musing's on tourism and traveling.
Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day contains some of Doug's parent's letters as well as a few pictures of his travels. It is full of entertaining stories of getting lost and almost killed and so much more. He includes 5 lists in the back of the book on such topics as 5 things you can actually buy for 5 dollars in Europe today.
Traveling is a life changing experience and you learn so much about yourself and the places you visit. I have only visited two of the cities out of the eleven that Doug Mack travels to and I have to say that I learned some very interesting tidbits from Reading Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day and I'm hoping to go to Rome and Athens this summer. Fingers crossed.
This is excellent book to read if you are planning a trip to Europe and even if you're just traveling via armchair, you will have a grand adventure and then get to sleep in your own bed.